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Best ABA Quotes

We're here to share our favorite ABA quotes all in one list!

This is a mix of funny, historic, and modern quotes that have to do with applied behavior analysis.


B.F. Skinner, The Father of Applied Behavior Analysis

B.F. Skinner, a luminary in the field of psychology, left an indelible mark on the principles of behaviorism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Also known as the Father of ABA, his profound insights, often encapsulated in thought-provoking ABA quotes, continue to shape the core of behavioral science. Skinner's emphasis on observable behaviors and the environmental factors influencing them laid the foundation for ABA methodologies.



"We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. Knowing the contents of a few works of literature is a trivial achievement. Being inclined to go on reading is a great achievement."

- B.F. Skinner


"A person who has been punished is not thereby simply less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment."

- B.F. Skinner


"The major difference between rats and people is that rats learn from experience."

- B.F. Skinner


"It is a mistake to suppose that the whole issue is how to free man. The issue is to improve the way in which he is controlled."

- B.F. Skinner


"Give me a child and I'll shape him into anything."

- B.F. Skinner

ABA BF Skinner quote historic

Skinner's impact on ABA extends to the development of operant conditioning, a fundamental concept in behavior analysis. His legacy endures through the practical applications of ABA, where his theories guide interventions that foster positive behavioral changes in diverse settings, from education to therapy.


"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten."

- B.F. Skinner


"The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount."

- B.F. Skinner


"The consequences of an act affect the probability of its occurring again."

- B.F. Skinner


"That's all teaching is; arranging contingencies which bring changes in behavior."

- B.F. Skinner

Skinner's ABA quotes resonate as guiding principles, encapsulating the essence of ABA's commitment to understanding, modifying, and improving behavior through systematic analysis and reinforcement.



"I did not direct my life. I didn't design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That's what life is."

- B.F. Skinner


"What is love except another name for the use of positive reinforcement? Or vice versa."

- B.F. Skinner


"Science is a willingness to accept facts even when they are opposed to wishes."

- B.F. Skinner


"A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying."

- B.F. Skinner


"No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn't die out, it's wiped out."

- B.F. Skinner


"Teachers must learn how to teach ... they need only to be taught more effective ways of teaching."

- B.F. Skinner



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