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Determinism = Love in Behavior Analysis

I'm probably not supposed to pick favorites, but determinism is easily my favorite philosophical assumption of applied behavior analysis (ABA). In fact, if determinism was a religion, I might even call myself a determinist.

Determinism (noun)


The presumption that the universe is a lawful and orderly place in which all phenomena occur as a result of other events.

It's truly a profound concept, when you think about the implications. Determinism is the logic that tells us that there are no bad kids (and also no free will, but that's a topic for another day!) Determinism shows us to look beyond the flower, and into its surroundings, to help it flourish.

Determinism is the frame that allows you to view your parents (and yourself!) as people that did their best with what they had. It pushes you to shift the lens from your own, biased, perspective of the world to one that is objective.

Determinism asks you to have compassion– a compassion that, by definition, must extend to every living thing. To believe in determinism is to believe in love.

And I think that's beautiful!

A black hoodie with flowers on it and the words "change the environment not the flower" on the back of the hoodie


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