One thought has kept

Us pulled towards each other,

One question, one purpose,

Making two otherwise

Very different variables

Become somehow connected.

I, the stubborn one,

Thinking I was independent,

Continued to behave

In the shape and the form

that I have such a long history with.

But you were persistent

And reliable,

Showing up randomly

When I was most comfortable

In familiar settings,

Making me change

In quantifiable measurements

That were “dynamic and ongoing.” 1

I resisted your influence

As much as I could

With giant bursts of activity,

Wanting to behave in familiar ways.

But over time, I relented

And began to show stability,

And when you finally decided to

Remain with me everyday,

I became even more



And invariable.

I became dependent.

Now it is clear.

There is a connection between us.

A functional relation

That makes me react to you.

People come together

And try to analyze

Our relationship

And when they look at the bigger picture

It is clear that you’ve changed me; Because

I am controlled.

I am dependent.

I am predictable,

As if our correlation to each other

Was somehow determined.

1 Cooper, J., Heron, T., Heward, W. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis. Upper Saddle

River, N.J.: Pearson Education, Inc., p. 127.

You should see from this poem, that there is a functional relation between the independent variable and the dependent variable, and that the change can only be seen over time, through measure and analytic display. Research must begin with a question and a purpose, but as a practitioner, I must think carefully about the ethical considerations of manipulating the dependent variable and the social validity of making this change.


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