Don Baer

Don Baer is one of the “fathers of generalization.”  In 1999, he wrote:

“Learning one aspect of anything never means that you know the rest of it.  Doing something skillfully now never means that you will always do it well.  Resisting one temptation consistently never means that you now have character, strength, and discipline.  Thus, it is not the learner who is dull, learning disabled, or immature, because all learners are alike in this regard: no one learns a generalized lesson unless a generalized lesson is taught.”

He also established the effectiveness of “withdrawal of positive reinforcement” as a means of reducing behavior.


Adkins, V. (2002). In Memoriam: Don Baer, 1931-2002. Behavior and Social Issues, 12(9), 9. (available online here)

Cataldo, M. (2002). A tribute to Don Baer. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 3, 319-321. (available online here)

Degen Horowitz, F. (2002). Donald M. Baer remembered. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 313-314. (available online here)

Poulson, C. L. (2002). In Memoriam: Donald M. Baer (1931-2002): A man of intelligence, integrity, courtesy, and humor. The Behavior Analyst, 25(2), 129-134. (available online here)

Wesolowski, M. D. (2002). Pioneer Profiles: An interview with Don Baer. The Behavior Analyst, 25(2), 135-150. (available online here)

Published Papers

Baer, D.M. (1960). Escape and avoidance response of preschool children to two schedules of reinforcement withdrawal. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 3, 155-159. (available online here)

Baer, D. M. (1961). The effect withdrawal of positive reinforcement on an extinguishing response in young children. Child Development, 32, 67-74.

Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 91-97. (available online here)

Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1987). Some still-current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 313-327. (available online here)

Morris, E. K., Baer, D. M., Favell, J. E., Glenn, S. S., Hineline, P. N., Malott, M. E., & Michael, J. (2001). Some reflections on 25 years of The Association for Behavior Analysis: Past, present, and future. The Behavior Analyst, 24(2), 125-146. (available online here)

Stokes, T. F. & Baer, D. M. (1977). An implicit technology of generalization. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 349-367. (available online here)


Jesús Rosales-Ruiz

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