[Episode 162] Joe Layng - 'The secret to happiness; Part 1'

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    Joe Layng Bio

    V. Joe Layng has 50 years of experience in the experimental and applied analysis of behavior with a particular focus on the design of teaching/learning environments. Joe earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science (biopsychology) at the University of Chicago. 

    At Chicago, working with pigeons, he investigated animal models of psychopathology, specifically the recurrence of pathological patterns (head-banging) as a function of normal behavioral processes. While at Chicago he also contributed to the discovery and characterization of the behavioral process known as contingency adduction. Joe also has extensive clinical behavior analysis experience with a focus on ambulatory schizophrenia, especially the systemic as well as topical treatment of delusional speech and hallucinatory behavior. 

    In 1971 he founded the Center for Innovative Design and Programed Instruction at Western Illinois University. A few years later Joe established a research/treatment program, the Personal Effectiveness Group, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical Center. He went on in 1984 to found Enabling Technologies, a software firm which was one of the first to use gamification to teach business software, as well as an array of business products and advanced 3D modeling software. 

    In the 1990s, Joe was Director of Academic Support and then Dean at Malcolm X College in Chicago where he founded the award winning Personalized Curriculum Institute. In 1999, he co-founded Headsprout where Joe led the scientific team that developed the technology that formed the basis of the company’s patented Early Reading and Reading Comprehension online reading programs, for which he was the chief architect. The reading programs have helped millions of children learn to read and have been awarded the software industry’s most prestigious acknowledgment, the CODiE Award, for best instructional solution. 

    He is currently a partner in Generategy, LLC, which publishes the patented Music Learning Lab. Joe has spent the last several years mentoring students, and interested investigators and practitioners in nonlinear contingency analysis. He has published over 50 articles or chapters, a range of software applications, and a book on Signal Detection Theory for behavior analysts. 

    His new book Nonlinear Contingency Analysis: Going Beyond Cognition and Behavior in Clinical Practice will be available fall 2021. Joe is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and Chair, Board of Trustees, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.