Learn about human behavior through observation.
What does a Behavior Analyst do?
Behavior Analysts seek to research and find answers about why people behave a certain way. As a Behavior Analyst, you’ll monitor experiments and write reports on your findings, in pursuit of a greater understanding of how and why people or animals react to certain circumstances. Whatever your assignment, be it finding how those with disabilities learn best to predicting how a criminal will react in a given situation, you work with a team to create and observe tests on the subject.
The range of behaviors a Behavior Analyst might cover is quite large, yet your work all breaks down into simple day-to-day routines. You choose a behavioral issue to study, create situations or tests that will allow you to observe the behaviors, then monitor the tests and record your observations each day.
These tests help you search for clues and patterns that predict how an individual may react to a specific situation. This scientific field of work aims to better understand topics such as why criminals commit crimes and how children learn best.
While you collect information on the subjects, you are not responsible for administering any sort of punishment or reward related to the test- you are there to observe, not train. So you are like an invisible man behind a curtain, watching what’s going on without letting the test subjects know you’re there.
When your experiment is over, you complete a report of your findings and summarize your opinions on the behaviors you observed.
Often you work for the research department of a business or in a government institution. Wherever you choose to work, though, you can be proud knowing that your work is instrumental in helping society better understand how and why people act the way we do.