2.10 Accuracy and Precision in Behavior Analysis

In behavior analysis, one is using technical terminology when accurate and precise. To be precise would be to provide a standard definition or explanation of a term, principle, or concept, no more and no less (often referred to as parsimony). 

Let’s consider the principle of reinforcement.  An accurate explanation of reinforcement would be, “reinforcement involves providing consequences that strengthen the behavior.” An explanation of reinforcement becomes precise when we say it is, “a process in which a specific behavior is followed by some consequence, and in the future, the frequency of that behavior increases.” This explanation advances to the status of technical because you are stating a standard definition that includes each of the key elements of the principle, no more and no less.

Precision - A dart hitting the bullseye of a dartboard with accuracy.
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