Jack Michael

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Jack Michael is a researcher, professor and author in the field of the experimental analysis of behavior best known for his elucidations of the motivating operation (MO), comprising establishing operation (EO) and abolishing operations (AO).


Michael was born on January 16, 1926 in Los Angeles, California.[1] He has no siblings. His father was an automobile mechanic, His mother did not work outside of the home. He lived in a lower-middle-class neighborhood near downtown L.A. from the time he was 5 years old until he was drafted into the army at 18.[1]

He attended elementary school from 1931-1937, Junior High School from 1938-1940, and High School from 1941-1943. He was in the Boy Scouts for about 3 years, took drum lessons, and played in a youth orchestra/marching band.[1]

Michael entered UCLA as a chemistry major in Fall 1943, completed one semester, then was drafted into the army in June 1944 (in the middle of his second semester). He did not do very well at UCLA—although he was a very good student in high school, when he got to UCLA he was only average or less than average in terms of college skills. He made a C average his first semester and about the same during second semester.[2]


He has published over 70 articles and 1 book, Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis.[3] Probably his most influential publication was in 1959 which helped to set behavior modification in motion. This, in turn, led to the establishment of the discipline of applied behavior analysis and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis(JABA).[4] ,[5] Jack Michael is also the past editor of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (TAVB), which publishes theoretical and experimental work related to extensions of Skinner's analysis of Verbal Behavior.

Present day[edit]

He is currently an emeritus professor at Western Michigan University. He began teaching at WMU in 1967 and retired from the University in April 2003, teaching for a total of 36 years at WMU.[1] He is married to Alyce Dickinson, former chairman of the I/O department at Western Michigan University.


  1. ^ a b c d http://jackmichael.org/about/index4.html
  2. ^ http://jackmichael.org/about/index4.html
  3. ^ http://jackmichael.org/about/index4.html
  4. ^ According to www.jackmichael.org
  5. ^ Ayllon, T. & Michael, J. (1959). The psychiatric nurse as a behavioral engineer. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. 2,323–334. [1]