The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis has named West Virginia University professor Andy Lattal, Ph.D., as the recipient of its Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis Award.

Lattal will receive the award at a ceremony in May 2013 held in conjunction with the convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in Minneapolis, Minn.

“Dr. Lattal is one of the leading basic researchers in the field of behavior analysis, and it is an honor to have him as a member of our faculty,” said Tracy Morris, chair of the Department of Psychology. “He has molded and served the program here at WVU since it was founded and is an essential cornerstone in our success.”

The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis is a nonprofit organization that provides financial aid and recognizes significant contributions to behavior analysis through awards. The Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a sustained, valuable contribution to behavior analysis over several years in teaching, research, or practice.

“Some of the past recipients I consider my scholarly heroes,” Lattal said. “It is a true honor to be among this group of award recipients.”

Lattal has been a professor of psychology at WVU since 1972. He is currently the Eberly College Centennial Professor of Psychology and is an internationally recognized leader in the experimental analysis of behavior. His area of research involves understanding basic mechanisms of learning and behavior change. His research has been conducted on rats, pigeons, fish, and pet animals, but the principles developed with those species have broad applications across the animal kingdom, including to humans. He has applied his findings by serving for 20 years as Morgantown’s only applied animal behaviorist, working with a local veterinarian to help pet owners resolve behavior problems. For 30 years, he was the coordinator of the Department’s Behavior Analysis doctoral training program.

Lattal was a founding member of the Behavior Analysis program and has played a major role in its curriculum development, training of doctoral students, mentoring of faculty, and curriculum development. In recent years, he has focused on the international development of behavior analysis. He was instrumental in developing a cooperative educational agreement between the University of Lille, where he spent a sabbatical year in 2004-05, and WVU. He also has taught at universities in England, Japan, Jordan, and Mexico, and will return to both France and Brazil during the coming year.

Lattal received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in 1969, served as a research psychologist in the U.S. Army for two years, and then completed postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Diego before coming to WVU. He has published more than 125 scientific articles, co-edited three major books, and trained 37 doctoral students.

He has served on the editorial boards of seven journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and The Behavior Analyst, and as associate editor (1982–1986) and editor (1999–2003) of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has served on the Executive Council of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and was president of the Association in 1994. He also was president of the American Psychological Association’s Division for Behavior Analysis and has served twice on the board of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, of which he was president in 2001-2003. WVU recognized him in 1986 with a University Outstanding Teacher Award, in 1989 with the Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award, and again in 1995 with his appointment to the Eberly College Centennial Professorship.

For more information, contact Andy Lattal, at 304-293-1705 or



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