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Women’s History Month: Women in Behavior Analysis

By March 10, 2022No Comments

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re featuring 3 notable women who have made major contributions to the world of behavior analysis. These women paved the way for women from all walks of life to work in the behavior analysis field and have made a difference in so many people’s lives.

Mary Whiton Calkins 

Photo credit: https://psychology.fas.harvard.edu/

Mary Calkins earned her PdD under the pseudonym, “William James” at Harvard University. Harvard refused to issue the degree to Calkins on the grounds that Harvard did not accept women at that time. This didn’t slow Calkins down, she is now considered one of the most important first-generation American psychologists. She established one of the first psychological laboratories in the country at Wellesley College, published four books and over a hundred papers in psychology and philosophy, and she was ranked 12th in a list of the 50 most eminent psychologists in the United States in 1903. 

 

Marian Breland Bailey 

Photo credit: https://www3.uca.edu/

Marian worked closely with BF Skinner and others to become one of the most beloved behaviorists. She was essential in spreading the word of scientific and humane training techniques to many disciplines. In the 1960s, Marian consulted with Gerard Bensberg to develop behavior modification techniques for training people with mental disabilities. Through this, she was one of the first psychologists to use positive reinforcement to teach self-help skills to people with mental disabilities. Positive reinforcement is one of the many skills widely practiced through ABA therapy today!

 

Abigail Calkin

Photo credit: https://www.washburn.edu/

Abigail Calkin is a school psychologist and educator who specializes in behavioral science, inner behavior, and precision teaching research. She holds a Ph.D. in educational administration and school psychology from the University of Kansas under Ogden R. Lindsley. She has written 45 articles in the educational and behavior analytic fields of precision teaching and precision inner behavior. Calkin has completed major research in military-related suicides and PTSD. 

 

It’s no secret that women face unique challenges in the workplace, but at Bierman Autism Centers, we view our diverse team as one of our greatest strengths. Bierman Autism Centers was founded by a womanin 2006 and has since employed hundreds of women to help children diagnosed with autism reach new milestones and unlock life-changing skills. We are committed to empowering women and giving them equal respect and opportunities as men.

 

Sources:

http://faculty.webster.edu/woolflm/bailey2.html

https://psychology.fas.harvard.edu/people/mary-whiton-calkins

http://abigailbcalkin.com/bio.htm