Bounded in a nutshell: The uncertain future of EAB.

Discussions of the future of our field should be devoted not so much to predictions of things to come, but to what we should be doing if our field is to have a future. As reflected in much of its data, experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) has been largely in a steady-state mode and is likely to remain so for some time. This is not a “breakthrough” science; its content reflects mostly an evolution in exploration and sophistication in treatments of concepts like contingency and stimulus control. As such, there are few surprises—the overwhelming emphasis is on control, not prediction. Advances in nontrivial predictions will occur through developing more comprehensive quantitative “explanatory” models. EAB has emphasized steady-state studies with aggregate measures under quite constrained conditions, largely ignoring dynamic, moment-to moment processes such as shaping, basic to complex performance development and practice. There are long-term challenges within and outside the field that threaten EAB as we know it. Fundamental concepts typically presented in textbooks as “gospel” are being questioned, raising problems with interpreting the results of many studies, as well concerns over how best to train students. Trainers of future behavior analysts must recognize the need for gaining expertise in other fields from which we can both learn and contribute through collaboration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)