Non-linear analysis

Have you ever had a situation where a person or animal’s behavior just didn’t seem to make sense, based on the immediate consequence that you observed following the behavior? To make sense of some of these situations, we need to use what Dr. Israel Goldiamond termed “non-linear analysis.” That is, we need to look at the individual’s alternative contingencies (A-B-C relations) and, in particular, what would happen if the learner did not engage in this behavior. In this topic, we’ll discuss the basics of non-linear analysis. This concept can expand your understanding of behavior and help you see new solutions for perplexing problems. 

For the curious minds

  • Goldiamond, I., 1974. Toward a constructional approach to social problems: ethical and constitutional issues raised by applied behavior analysis. Behaviorism, 2(1), pp.1-84.
  • Goldiamond, I., 1975. Alternative sets as a framework for behavioral formulations and research. Behaviorism, 3(1), pp.49-86.
  • Layng, T.J. and Andronis, P.T., 1984. Toward a functional analysis of delusional speech and hallucinatory behavior. The Behavior Analyst, 7(2), pp.139-156.
  • Layng, T.J., 2009. The search for an effective clinical behavior analysis: The nonlinear thinking of Israel Goldiamond. The Behavior Analyst, 32(1), pp.163-184.
  • Goldiamond, I., 2004. The Blue Books: Goldiamond & Thompson's Functional Analysis of Behavior. Andronis, editor. Cambridge Center for Behavior Analysis.

The Blue Books are an excellent resource and easily available as ebook or CD at the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.