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What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?

“Applied behavior analysis is the science in which tactic derived from the principles of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables that are responsible for behavior change.” (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, p. 20)

Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is the science of human behaviour. It is an objective field that focuses on evaluation and reliable measurement. Interventions are designed, implemented, and evaluated systematically to improve behaviours that are important to society.

The effectiveness of an individualised ABA-based intervention is implemented as follows:

  • a specific behaviour is targeted to increase or decrease;
  • goals that are measurable and objective are identified for the target behaviour;
  • method of measuring the target behaviour is set up;
  • current levels of the behaviour is measured; this called a baseline;
  • an intervention for the target behaviour is designed and then implemented;
  • effectiveness of intervention is determined by continuous measurement of the target behaviour; and
  • adjustments are made, as needed, to maintain and/or increase the effectiveness the intervention.
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logoCambridge Centre for Behavioral Studies



Behavioural Problems in Companion parrots
by Greg Glendell
From an article published as “Who’s a Naughty Parrot Then?” in Veterinary Times, (UK) 18th Feb 2008.

This article looks at the most common behavioural problems in companion parrots. Some of the apparent causes of these problems are discussed, as well as the ease with which animals with complex needs can be acquired. The use of applied behaviour analysis in behaviour modification is also discussed.

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Birds of a Feather: Applied Behavior Analysis and Quality of Life

  1. Eileen Gambrill, School of Social Welfare, Haviland Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
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Social Dimensions of the Human–Avian Bond: Parrots and Their Persons

Patricia K Anderson

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Reference Library

Behaviour and Environmental Enrichment

Review these articles, tips and websites to better understand your parrot.

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The Animal Behavior Center, llc USA


The Animal Behavior Center is new but not new to the world of animal behavior and behavior modification. We are an educational center located in NW Ohio for all people interested in animals and increasing their relationships and quality of care through positive reinforcement interaction. We promote and focus on force free training and interaction with animals not only through positive reinforcement training, but understandable approaches and applications in behavior analysis.

topBanner_4fm7Behavior Works USA

imagesDr. Susan Friedman is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from 22 different countries have participated in Susan’s online courses, Living and Learning with Animals for Professionals and Living and Learning with Parrots for Caregivers. She has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts (Behavior of Exotic Pets, Clinical Avian Medicine, and Manual of Parrot Behavior), and is a frequent contributor to popular magazines. Her articles appear around the world in eleven languages. Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world such as the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management program, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She has been nominated for the Media Award given by the International Association of Behavior Analysis for her efforts to disseminate to pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers and zookeepers the essential tools they need to empower and enrich the lives of the animals in their care.

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Guidelines to understanding Applied Behavior Analysis for Parrot People by Bev Penny

This is one of the most helpful ways of working with your birds. My flock and I have such a wonderful relationship due to using ABA. I would strongly encourage everyone who has birds to use these techniques when working with your angels. You will be amazed at the difference you will see in only a very short time. Keep in mind always that there is no such thing as a bad bird, only stupid humans who arent paying attention to body language. Learn, Live and Love ABA! Many Thanks to Bev Penny and Janet Howell for their very patient explanations and teachings of ABA


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