Rational skepticism: A scientific review of Witts' (2018) criticisms of the PEAK relational training system
Witts' review of the peer-reviewed research on the PEAK-Direct Training Module yielded a divergent conclusion from that of previous reviews. Witts advocates for skepticism of this research due to methodological shortcomings, hyperclaiming of results, and inappropriate statistical testing procedures. We identified 30 criticisms in Witts' review, respond to each, and argue that all but 2 (7%) contain untrue assumptions (7, 23%), are not novel (5, 17%), are logically invalid (7, 23%), or are more appropriately framed as criticisms of applied behavior analytic research more generally (9, 30%). The two criticisms that support Witts' purpose in writing his review are minor and not fatal. We discuss all of Witts' criticisms both specifically and broadly to illustrate that most of his suggestions about applied behavior analytic research may actually serve to hinder progress in a discipline moving toward larger-scale research.
assessment, group-design research, language training, PEAK, skepticism
Belisle, Jordan, and Mark R. Dixon. "Rational skepticism: A scientific review of Witts' (2018) criticisms of the PEAK relational training system." Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 53, no. 2 (2020): 620-634.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis