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The Codes We Follow Create Infinite Possibilities, Not Limitations (PART 1)

Michael Kraus

Blogger, Vlogger, Podcast-Connoisseur, Marketing & Advertising, Content Manager at CBA

CBA Blog Volume #5

Where exactly would we, the human race, be if it weren’t for rules, laws and guidelines. This is an interesting concept that I’ve pondered many times before. Are rules and laws always necessary? Where exactly did they come from, and why exactly were they put into place? No matter what facet of human nature we are operating in, we all know that rules, laws and guidelines are utilized so that order is preserved. But this further begs the question as to why order must be preserved in the first place. Are we incapable of intrinsically following the rules for the sake of what is right, or are rules there to deter antisocial behavior from the minority of the group as a whole?

If you get down to the essence of the questioning of the origins of rules, ethics and laws, one would see that they are put into place to best benefit everyone who happen to be involved in a certain situation. More times than not, this is how they are utilized. In an ideal world, these rules are put into place to enforce fairness amongst a group of people. When it comes to Behavior Analysis, there are numerous amounts of ethics that ensure security and fairness amongst participants, organizations and clinicians alike. Without stringently articulated guidelines, there leaves a lot of gray areas, which can unfortunately lead to violations.

In a more positive light, these rules and ethics can uniquely serve as tools in a way that guides creativity, and allows one to open their mind to the possibilities of thinking outside the box, within the actual box itself! When we take into account the fairness of others, and what would be the ideal circumstance for everyone involved, we are left a with balanced dichotomy which allows a positive creativity to flow. As discussed in our previous blog post, we hit on the ethereal nature of energy and creativity. Fairness is a haven for creativity to flow, in a sense that there are minimal egoic forces that are blocking the forward momentum of creative energy. This can be an extremely beautiful state in which the content ultimately creates itself.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board is responsible for mandating the ethics within Behavior Analysis. In section 8 “Public Statements” of the “Compliance Code” the opening statement reads:

“Behavior analysts comply with this Code in public statements relating to their professional services, products, or publications, or to the profession of behavior analysis. Public statements include, but are not limited to, paid or unpaid advertising, brochures, printed matter, directory listings, personal resumes or curriculum vitae, interviews or comments for use in media, statements in legal proceedings, lectures and public presentations, social media, and published materials.”

Since we have been increasing our social media and online presence at CBA, we have to make sure that we follow these guidelines very carefully to ensure fairness to our participants and staff alike. Section 8.04 titled, “Media Presentations and Media-Based Services”, clearly outlines the guidelines which it comes to Behavior Analysts utilizing electronic media. In the modern world of the internet, we must adhere to these codes in a strict manner, because if we don’t there is hard evidence that the codes were disobeyed. This can not only lead to uneasiness amongst staff and participants, but could possibly lead to legal action down the line. Nobody wants this, so let’s just sticks to codes that are already in place!

(a) Behavior analysts using electronic media (e.g., video, e-learning, social media, electronic transmission of information) obtain and maintain knowledge regarding the security and limitations of electronic media in order to adhere to this Code.”

This section serves as a basic grounding force in a way that reiterates that the fact that these guidelines must be followed to fall under the legitimacies of this code.

(b) Behavior analysts making public statements or delivering presentations using electronic media do not disclose personally identifiable information concerning their clients, supervisees, students, research participants, or other recipients of their services that they obtained during the course of their work, unless written consent has been obtained.

When it comes to content creation within the field of ABA, this section has been extremely pivotal in terms of what we can and cannot put out. We are extremely careful in not disclosing the names or identities of any participants. We not only do this to follow these code, but we also do this as a mark of respect. Everyone deserves the right to their individual privacy, and that is what we plan to uphold as a standard at CBA. Because of this, we have drafted a social media consent form to not only get permission of those who may be mentioned, but also to protect those who may not want their identity disclosed. Helping those who may be experiencing difficulties in their lives is our #1 goal, and we would never want to be a burden by not respecting their right to privacy.

(c) Behavior analysts delivering presentations using electronic media disguise confidential information concerning participants, whenever possible, so that they are not individually identifiable to others and so that discussions do not cause harm to identifiable participants.

This section very much ties into the section above, and therefore our reasoning remains the same. Once again, the protection of our participants is at the forefront of our creative endeavors.

(d) When behavior analysts provide public statements, advice, or comments by means of public lectures, demonstrations, radio or television programs, electronic media, articles, mailed material, or other media, they take reasonable precautions to ensure that (1) the statements are based on appropriate behavior-analytic literature and practice, (2) the statements are otherwise consistent with this Code, and (3) the advice or comment does not create an agreement for service with the recipient.

We find this section of the code to be extremely relevant in terms in terms of the content that we create and publish. We always want to stay on target to the goals and mission to CBA, and that means staying true to delivering quality behavior-analytic content. We also make sure that all of our content is consistent with this code, and also make sure that no agreements are made with recipients base upon the published media. At CBA, we care about upholding moral integrity within the field of Behavior Analysis, and by taking these precautions, we are steering clear of any issues that would go against this code.

Be on the lookout for Part 2 of this blog, where we further break down the remaining sections of this code!