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Jacob Gewirtz

Professor Emeritus



Specialty: Developmental Science

Research Areas

In an extraordinary career spanning over 50 years, the depth and breadth of Dr. Jacob (Jack) Gewirtz is research and professional accomplishments are likely to be unmatched in the area of developmental psychology and, in particular, the role of behavior analysis in understanding child development and parenting. He was a pioneering researcher in this area with more than 100 publications, yet he maintains his scholarly momentum by continuing to publish numerous research papers, review articles, and books. He has trained some of the most eminent figures in behavioral development. He has been recognized for his substantial contributions by his selection as an American Psychological Association Fellow in six different divisions, his membership in Society for Research in Child Development and the Psychonomic Society, as Chairperson and Program Chair of the ABA International Behavioral Development SIG. Dr. Gewirtz's areas of research interest include developmental behavior analysis, adaptive and social learning, diagnosis/modification of problem behaviors.

Selected Publications

Gewirtz, J. L. (2005). Book review: A small matter of proof: The legacy of donald M. baer. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 41(2), 188-190.

Gewirtz, J. L., & Peláez-Nogueras, M. (2000). Infant emotions under the positive-reinforcer control of caregiver attention and touch. Reno, NV, US: Context Press.

Gewirtz, J. L. (1997). The response-stimulus contingency and reinforcement learning as a context for considering two non-behavior-analytic views of contingency learning. Behavior Analyst, 20(2), 121-128.

Gewirtz, J. L., & Peláez-Nogueras, M. (1993). "Expectancy": Sleight-of-hand mentalism, not mechanism or process. American Psychologist, 48(11), 1156-1157

Gewirtz, J. L., & Peláez-Nogueras, M. (1992). B. F. skinner's legacy in human infant behavior and development. American Psychologist.Special Issue: Reflections on B.F.Skinner and Psychology, 47(11), 1411-1422.

Gewirtz, J. L., & Boyd, E. F. (1977). Does maternal responding imply reduced infant crying? A critique of the 1972 bell and ainsworth report. Child Development, 48(4), 1200-1207.

Gewirtz, J. L., & Boyd, E. F. (1977). In reply to the rejoinder to our critique of the 1972 bell and ainsworth report. Child Development, 48(4), 1217-1218.

Gewirtz, J. L. (1976). The attachment acquisition process as evidenced in the maternal conditioning of cued infant responding (particularly crying). Human Development, 19(3), 143-155.

Gewirtz, J. L. (1969). Levels of conceptual analysis in environment-infant interaction research. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 15(1), 7-47.

Gewirtz, J. L. (1969). Potency of a social reinforcer as a function of satiation and recovery. Developmental Psychology, 1(1), 2-13.

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Experimental Psychology (Lecture and Lab)
  • Advanced Behavior Analysis (Lecture and Lab)
  • Child Psychology
  • Advanced Methods of Behavior Change
  • Children's Learning
  • Behavior Analysis in Life Settings
  • Current Experimental Theories
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Developmental Behavior Analysis
  • Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Intro. to the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Methods of Developmental Research
  • Learning and Motivation
  • Principles of Behavior Modification
  • Seminar in Social Psychology
  • Single-case Research Methods


  • PhD in Developmental & Experimental Psychology, University of Iowa - Ames, Iowa
  • MA in Child Psychology, University of Iowa - Ames, Iowa
  • BA, CUNY Brooklyn College - Brooklyn, New York