Behavioral analysis is the study of behavior as a natural science and focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Behavior analysts recognize that both nature and nurture shape behavior. We study behavior seeking explanations in terms of how relationships between individuals and their environment influence their behavior. Although behavior analysts recognize that biological processes are important, we assert that environmental factors play a key role and strive to clarify the ways in which they do so. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning, skill building, relationship development, or community integration.
Behavior analysis has practical applications in mental health treatment, work, and classroom settings, particularly when focused on helping children and adults learn new skills and reduce problematic behaviors. Applied behavior analysis is the use of techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.