My name is Kenneth W. Jacobs and I am an operant behavior scientist. My interests include the various theories of reinforcement in behavior analysis, research methods and statistics in psychology, and language and cognition from a behavior analytic perspective.

My research involves the use of randomization tests and single-case experimental design (SCED) to make causal inferences about behavior-change. I also use the Python programming language to build experiments with PsychoPy. Go to my GitLab to find publicly available projects for the study of Free-Operant Behavior Online (FOBO).

My Flywheel

The "flywheel" is a metaphor for the behavioral momentum we build around our purposes, plans, and projects. If built right, your flywheel's momentum can keep you pursuing your chosen values in spite of any disruptions. The science, translation, and practice of behavior analysis constitute my metaphorical flywheel.



"a heavy revolving wheel in a machine that is used to increase the machine's momentum and thereby provide greater stability or a reserve of available power during interruptions in the delivery of power to the machine" (Apple Dictionary, New Oxford American Dictionary).

Getting started

My flywheel's first rotation begins with an interest like the disequilibrium theory of reinforcement.

Can we predict what will function as a reinforcer?

Making rotations

Researchers can predict what will function as a reinforcer, but what does this mean practically?

Translation calls for simplification and dissemination: Can we make those complex models of reinforcement sensible enough for use in practice (Jacobs, Morford, King, & Hayes, 2017)?

Compounding interest

Disequilibrium models of reinforcement are translatable, but are they applicable in real world settings? When a model works in practice, we can be more confident in its predictions and our claims about them (Dowdy & Jacobs, 2019).

When a flywheel starts it is hard to stop. Interests compound and it is difficult not to wonder: What do the disequilibrium models of reinforcement mean for motivation, stimulus generalization, and the maintenance of behavior over time (Jacobs, Morford, & King, 2019)?