Adam Briggs

A photo of Adam Briggs

Associate Professor


301K Mark Jefferson Science Complex


[email protected]


Dr. Briggs received his early training in behavior analysis at Western Michigan University (B.S., 2007) and, more specifically, in applied behavior analysis and developmental disabilities at Auburn University (M.S., 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 (20162018). 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 directs EMU’s Behavior Analysis Research Lab. The lab is generally interested in improving behavior of societal importance by applying behavioral principles and evaluating their influence through rigorous experimental methodology. Specifically, our lab is currently working on projects related to (a) improving the safety, efficiency, and validity of functional assessment methods, (b) determining the variables that prevent relapse of challenging behavior and promote maintenance and generalization of treatment effects, and (c) developing effective training strategies for efficiently teaching caregivers and professionals to implement behavioral interventions with high procedural integrity.  Dr. Briggs was the recipient of the 2022 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty: Research I Award, which is the highest honor EMU presents to an individual faculty member.

Dr. Briggs is a board certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D) and a licensed behavior analyst (LBA) in the state of Michigan. He enjoys serving on the Board of Directors for the Mid-American Association of Behavior Analysis Executive Council and as an ad-hoc reviewer for several scholarly journals.  In addition, he serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and Behavior Analysis in Practice (BHAP), has served as a Guest AE for JABA, BHAP, and currently serves as a standing AE for Education and Treatment of Children. 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
  • PSY 372: Ethical Conduct, Personnel Supervision, and Professionalism for Behavior Analysts
  • PSY 625: Clinical Behavior Analysis
  • PSY 701: Supervision and Performance Management in Human Service Settings

Publications and Presentations

(* indicates EMU student collaborator)

Briggs, A. M., *Zohr, S. J., & *Harvey, O. B. (accepted). Training individuals to implement discrete-trial teaching procedures: A systematic review of behavioral skills training components. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

*DeWitt, S., *Stephens, A. M., & Briggs, A. M. (2023). Applied behavior analysis: Conceptual foundations, defining characteristics, and behavior-change elements. In J. L. Matson (Ed.), Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology: Theory to Practice (pp. 375–388). Springer.

*Stephens, A. M., *Pachis, J., *Rinna, K., *Sunde, E., & Briggs, A. M. (2023). Tangible reinforcers: Conceptual overview and considerations for practice. In J. L. Matson (Ed.), Applied Behavior Analysis: A Comprehensive Handbook (pp. 61–77). Springer.

Briggs, A. M., Mitteer, D. R., Bergmann, S., & Greer, B. D. (2023). Reinforcer thinning: General approaches and considerations for maintaining skills and mitigating relapse. In J. L. Matson (Ed.), Applied Behavior Analysis: A Comprehensive Handbook (pp. 105–122). Springer.

Briggs, A. M., & *Peterson, A. M. (2022, Summer). Prevalence of delays to receiving behavioral therapy in Michigan: A summary of survey data describing caregiver needs during this time. MiNavigator Newsletter, Issue 65, 13. Retrieved from

*Sunde, E., Briggs, A. M., & Mitteer, D. R. (2022). Employing modified visual-inspection criteria to interpret latency-based functional analysis outcomes. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 55(3), 871890.

Dozier, C. L., Briggs, A. M., Holehan, K. M., Kanaman, N. A., & Juanico, J. F. (2022). Functional Analysis methodology: Best practices and considerations. In J. Leaf, J. Cihon, J. Ferguson, and M. J. Weiss (Eds.) Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions for Autism (pp. 417442).

Briggs, A. M., & Mitteer, D. R. (2021). Updated strategies for making regular contact with the scholarly literature. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 15, 541552.

Harper Briggs, A. M., Dozier, C. L., Briggs, A. M., & Ackerlund Brandt, J. A. (2021). The effects of different types of attention on responding in young children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 54(3), 882902.

Briggs, A. M., & Greer, B. D. (2021). Intensive Behavioral Intervention Units. In A. Maragakis, C. Drossel, & T. J. Waltz (Eds.), Applications of Behavior Analysis to Healthcare and Beyond.

Greer, B. D., Mitteer, D. R., Briggs, A. M., Fisher, W. W., & Sodawasser, A. J. (2020). Comparisons of standardized and interview-informed synthesized reinforcement contingencies relative to functional analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 53(1), 82101.

Kimball, R. T., Greer, B. D., Randall, K. R., & Briggs, A. M. (2020). Investigations of operant ABA renewal during differential reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 113(1), 187205.

Mitteer, D. R., Greer, B. D., Randall, K. R., & Briggs, A. M. (2020). Further evaluation of teaching behavior technicians to input data and graph using GraphPad Prism. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, 20(2), 8193.

Briggs, A. M., Dozier, C. L., Lessor, A. N., Kamana, B. U., & Jess, R. (2019). Further investigation of DRA without extinction for escape-maintained destructive behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 52(4), 956973.

Mitteer, D. R., Fisher, W. W., Briggs, A. M. Greer, B. D., & Hardee, A. M. (2019). Evaluation of an omnibus mand in the treatment of multiply controlled destructive behavior. Behavioral Development, 24(2), 7488.

Greer, B. D., Fisher, W. W., Briggs, A. M., Lichtblau, K. L., Phillips, L. A., & Mitteer, D. R., (2019). Using schedule-correlated stimuli during functional communication training to promote the rapid transfer of treatment effects. Behavioral Development, 24(2), 100119.

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(2), 252266.

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(3), 620633.

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(6), 333342.

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, 7790.

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(4), 472497.

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(3), 600621.

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(1), 2752.

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(4), 377382.

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(1), 93101.

Carr, J. E., & Briggs, A. M. (2010). Strategies for making regular contact with the scholarly literature. Behavior Analysis in Practice3(2), 1318.