Adam Briggs

A photo of Adam Briggs

Assistant Professor


[email protected]


Dr. Briggs received his early training in behavior analysis at Western Michigan University (BS, 2007) and more specifically in applied behavior analysis and developmental disabilities at Auburn University (MS, 2009) with Drs. Jim Carr and Linda LeBlanc. Dr. Briggs earned his Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas under the mentorship of Dr. Claudia Dozier (2016). His dissertation evaluated the effects of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) without the use of extinction for treating dangerous instances of severe destructive behavior. This project received several accolades, including the 2017 APA Division 25 SEAB Applied Dissertation Award. In addition, during his tenure at the University of Kansas, Dr. Briggs received the Baer, Wolf, and Risley Outstanding Graduate Student Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Prior to joining the faculty at EMU, Dr. Briggs completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Munroe-Meyer Institute’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Wayne Fisher (2016-2018). Specifically, Dr. Briggs functioned as a case manager in the severe behavior clinic and assisted with the oversight and implementation of several lines of NIH grant-funded research focused on the integration of stimulus control technology with the quantitative predictions of behavioral momentum theory to promote the practicality, generality, and durability of function-based interventions for severe destructive behavior.

Interests and Expertise

Dr. Briggs is primarily interested in the assessment and treatment of severe destructive behavior. Generally, he is interested in (a) improving the safety, efficiency, and validity of functional assessment methods, (b) extending the functional assessment and treatment framework to unique behavioral issues, and (c) determining the variables that prevent relapse of destructive behavior and promote maintenance and generalization of treatment effects. For example, Dr. Briggs recently identified that reinforcement schedule thinning often produces resurgence of destructive behavior (i.e., approximately 76% of cases; Briggs, Fisher, Greer, & Kimball, 2018). Given the prevalence of this phenomenon, he is interested in investigating recent advances in stimulus-control technology, programming unpredictable S-delta intervals during schedule thinning, and teaching multiple response alternatives (i.e., serial DRA) as potential strategies for mitigating resurgence during reinforcement schedule thinning.

In addition, Dr. Briggs has secondary interests in (a) arranging group-oriented contingencies to promote behavior change at a class-wide level, (b) determining effective skill acquisition programming for teaching children receiving early intensive behavioral intervention services, and (c) evaluating the effects of his supervision, training, and teaching practices towards improving student and staff performance. For instance, he has developed several resources for students and practitioners that provide solutions for common challenges they may face (e.g., staying in contact with the scholarly literature; Carr & Briggs, 2010) and evaluated training tutorials for effectively teaching important researcher repertoires (e.g., using GraphPad Prism software; Mitteer, Greer, Randall, & Briggs, in prep).

Finally, Dr. Briggs is a board certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D) and enjoys serving as an ad-hoc reviewer for several scholarly journals and is currently on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Briggs is dedicated to supporting the Department of Psychology at EMU, contributing to the science of behavior analysis, and training effective scientist-practitioners to provide high-quality behavioral services for their clients.


  • PSY 365 Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis (Fall 2018)
  • PSY 374 Applied Behavior Analysis Field Experience (Fall 2018)

Publications and Presentations

Briggs, A. M., Dozier, C. L., Lessor, A. N., Kamana, B. U., & Jess, R. (accepted). Further investigation of DRA without extinction for escape-maintained destructive behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Greer, B. D., Fisher, W. W., Briggs, A. M., Lichtblau, K. L., Phillips, L. A., & Mitteer, D. R., (accepted). Using schedule-correlated stimuli during functional communication training to promote the rapid transfer of treatment effects. Behavioral Development.

Mitteer, D. R., Greer, B. D., Fisher, W. W., Briggs, A. M., & Wacker, D. P. (2018). A laboratory model for evaluating relapse of undesirable caregiver behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 110, 252-266.

Briggs, A. M., Fisher, W. W., Greer, B. D., & Kimball, R. T. (2018). Prevalence of resurgence of destructive behavior when thinning reinforcement schedules during functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 51, 620-633.

Phillips, L. A., Briggs, A. M., Fisher, W. W., & Greer, B. D. (2018). Assessing and treating elopement in a school setting. Teaching Exceptional Children, 50, 333-342.

Briggs, A. M., Akers, J. S., Fisher, W. W., Greer, B. D., & Retzlaff, B. J. (2018). Systematic changes in preference for schedule-thinning arrangements as a function of relative reinforcement density. Behavior Modification, 42, 472-497.

Dracobly, J. D., Dozier, C. L., Briggs, A. M., & Juanico, J. F. (2018). Reliability and validity of indirect assessment outcomes: Experts versus caregivers.  Learning and Motivation, 62, 77-90

Dracobly, J. D., Dozier, C. L., Briggs, A. M., & Juanico, J. F. (2017). An evaluation of procedures that affect response variability. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50, 600-621.

Payne, S. W., Dozier, C. L., Briggs, A. M., & Newquist, M. H. (2016). An analysis of group-oriented contingencies and associated side effects. Journal of Behavioral Education, 26, 27-52.

Franks, S. B., Mata, F. C., Wofford, E., Briggs, A. M., LeBlanc, L. A., Carr, J. E., & Lazarte, A. A. (2013). The effects of behavioral parent training on placement outcomes of biological families in a state child welfare system. Research on Social Work Practice, 23, 377-382.

Carr, J. E., & Briggs, A. M. (2011). A resource on behavioral terminology: An annotated bibliography of “On Terms” articles in the behavior analyst. The Behavior Analyst34, 93-101.

Carr, J. E., & Briggs, A. M. (2010). Strategies for making regular contact with the scholarly literature. Behavior Analysis in Practice3, 1-6.