Social Justice is the Spirit and Aim of an Applied Science of Human Behavior: Moving from Colonial to Participatory Research Practices
The science of Applied Behaviour Analysis is driven by a steadfast orientation towards the enhancement of human life and the amelioration of suffering. An examination of our research practices is critical because the researcher’s main responsibility is the protection of human research subjects. However, inherent tensions between the scientific agenda of the academy and the use of vulnerable human research subjects establish competing contingencies which threaten equality and collaboration.
It is important to examine to what extent applied behaviour analytic research has been reflective of 1) the applied spirit of the science as described by Baer et al. (1968), 2) the ethical principles for behavioural research involving human subjects as outlined in the Belmont Report, and 3) the collaborative versus colonial research practices as described by Fawcett (1991). Thoughtful recommendations on research methodologies are presented to promote the progression of the science through the neutralization of power imbalances and diffusion of power. These methods are rooted in collaboration and cultural humility.
Read Dr Pritchett's here