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Applied behavior analysis and statistical process control?


, : Applied behavior analysis and statistical process control?. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 28(3): 379-386

This paper examines Pfadt and Wheeler's (1995) suggestions that the methods of statistical process control (SPC) be incorporated into applied behavior analysis. The research strategies of SPC are examined and compared to those of applied behavior analysis. I argue that the statistical methods that are a part of SPC would likely reduce applied behavior analysts' intimate contacts with the problems with which they deal and would, therefore, likely yield poor treatment and research decisions. Examples of these kinds of results and decisions are drawn from the cases and data Pfadt and Wheeler present. This paper also describes and clarifies many common misconceptions about SPC, including W. Edwards Deming's involvement in its development, its relationship to total quality management, and its confusion with various other methods designed to detect sources of unwanted variability.

US$19.90

PMID: 7592156

DOI: 10.1901/jaba.1995.28-379


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