How contextual behavioral scientists measure and report about behavior: A review of JCBS (Pages 347-354)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 347-354

Donny Newsome, Kendra Newsome, Timothy C. Fuller, Staheli Meyer

This paper presents data from a review of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS) with a focus on the ways contextual behavioral scientists measure and report about behavior. The results indicate that a majority of empirical papers in JCBS utilize only one type of measurement: self-report. This finding is considered with respect to the stated scientific aims of the Contextual Behavior Science (CBS) community, and to the merits and risks of a science of self-report. Specifically, we question whether such a heavy reliance on self-report is sufficient to produce a comprehensive, reticulated science capable of “prediction and influence of behavior, with precision scope and depth…. that is more adequate to the challenge of the human condition” (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Wilson, 2012) without increased utilization of behavioral dependent variables. Moreover, we offer that the use of self-report as the primary research paradigm and correspondent disuse of behavioral measures is discordant with the guidance of CBS's claimed intellectual fore-bearers, Darwin, Skinner, and Sidman. We conclude with suggestions for how CBS researchers can incorporate a greater diversity of measurement tools in their research agendas such that the contents of JCBS align more closely with its stated mission and scientific roots.

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