My main research interest is behavior analytic perspectives on developmental psychology. Current diagnostics views disorders such as autism and ADHD as stable states (e.g. having the disease autism). However, as has been argued by authors such as Anette Karmiloff-Smith, Martha Pelaez and Geraldine Dawson, it may be more fruitful to regard the behavioral repertoires that define these syndromes as the outcome of a developing organism interacting with an environment.

(an introduction to this view of autism is this lecture by Ami Klin).

My PhD-project is about predicting outcome for children with autism who receive interventions based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Specifically, I look at how “reinforcability“, a fancy word for motivation, might be used to distinguish children who benefit more from interventions. For less motivated children, those for whom powerful reinforcers are hard to find, we need to develop techniques to find or establish more reinforcers.

However, my research interest also includes conceptual issues more generally, in behavior analysis, psychometrics and diagnostics, ethical issues in applied behavior analysis, and the application of behavioral science in politics.

Ongoing acronyms (i.e. studies):

  • SMARQ: Type and Controllability of Reinforcers as a predictor to outcome in EIBI (w Svein Eikeseth). PDF
  • ILSA: Interest Level Scoring for Autism (to be used with ADOS-T) – prediction of outcome in EIBI (w K. Chawarska). PDF
  • CHIRP: Measurement of social stimuli as reinforcers for infant behavior using android tablet. APK-file
  • EyeCatch: Using a tablet game to teach children with autism gaze-following (w Reut Pelaeg). APK-file
  • EVA: Teacher allegiance to EIBI as a predictor of child outcome (w Sven Bölte and Ulrika Långh). PDF