Research has indicated that better outcomes are obtained when treatment is informed by a functional assessment process that includes a functional analysis. It is important to recognize, however, that even clear functional analysis outcomes require interpretation of the controlling variables within the analysis and inference as to whether those variables are controlling problem behavior in the myriad conditions in which problem behavior has been reported to occur. It is also important to recognize that there are always aspects of controlling contingencies that are not known even when functional analysis results are clear. The important question for the behavior analytic practitioner is: What are you willing to not know prior to treating problem behavior? In this 50-minute video, Dr. Hanley describes that which he is willing to not know, that which he is willing to merely infer, and that which is essential for him to know prior to treating problem behavior.
The articles cited in the presentation are listed here.