BBehavior analysis as a natural science approach to the study of behavior is closely related to technology. Technology, understood as the use and knowledge of tools, techniques, systems or methods in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose (Twyman, 2011), is and always has been an integral part of behavior analysis. Some of this technology is developed within behavior analysis. Iconic tools like operant chambers and teaching machines are only two examples of such endogenous technology (see Lattal, 2008). The development of techniques, systems and methods, or the technology of the process (Layng & Twyman, 2014), is essential to applied behavior analysis. Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) noted that applied behavior analysis should be, by definition, technological. Therefore, every paper in which tools or processes developed within the discipline are used, is an example of the relation between behavior analysis and technology.
There is, however, another relation to exogenous technology that is not developed within the field but that comes from other disciplines (see Lattal, 2008). The advances in such exogenous technology (hereafter technology) offer a unique opportunity for the development of behavior analysis. Integrating technology into applied and experimental analysis of behavior could have a profound effect on the development and expansion of the field. As noted by Johnson (2014) in this issue, this opportunity was the impetus for creating the Behavior Analysis and Technology SIG (a Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International) and this special issue.
Technology has reached almost every facet of human activity. In the last 50 years technological advances have changed radically the way we work, learn, communicate with others and spend free time. For millions, it is even difficult to imagine daily life before computers, smartphones, and internet. Increased processing capacities and data transmission, miniaturization, reduction of costs, and development of userfriendly software are elements responsible for the massive spread of technology. Computers with high-speed internet access are in millions of homes and schools around the world. Wireless and powerful devices capable of handling data from a variety of sensors of touch, location, tilt, height, and the capacity to present stimuli such as lights, sounds, and vibration are in the pockets of billions of users. The opportunities for precise recording of a variety of dimensions of behavior and presentation of stimuli are countless.
The papers in this special issue are examples of the efforts to identify areas and strategies that could be used by behavior analysts to capitalize upon technology. The papers cover the interaction between behavior analysis and technology in education, training, health, and research. It is our hope that these articles will serve to encourage those interested in using new technologies for the advancement of behavior analysis.