Tony Biglan

The behavioral sciences have tremendous power to solve most of the
problems that our country and the world face. I am working to help
organizations, communities, states, and nations evolve effective ways
to nurture the wellbeing of every person.

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Latest Articles

Book Review of The Nurture Effect

Famed behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner, my mentor in graduate school, died a happy man. From his hospital bed, he motioned to his daughter to pass him a glass of water, took a sip and said, “Marvelous”—his last word on earth. He had led a long, fulfilling life, and his impact on the behavioral sciences […]

Radio Interview with Tony Biglan

A radio show with Dr Michelle Skeen, from Tuesday March 10, 2015 Find the original by clicking this link to This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Anthony Biglan, PhD author of The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World.

A Book Review of The Nurture Effect

“Kudos to Dr. Biglan for daring to write this book, and let’s hope for all of our sakes that policy makers adopt some of the principles.” It’s a brave new world when a man titles a book with nurture in it. I can just hear the testosterone set griping about the feminization of society; however, Biglan does […]

Evolving the Prevention System That We Need

The ultimate value of the behavioral sciences is that they could improve human wellbeing (Biglan & Embry, 2003). Careful consideration of the gap between our knowledge of the factors influencing human wellbeing and current practices highlights some simple but radical steps that could accelerate societies’ efforts to improve wellbeing.

Perhaps We Can Prevent Terrorism

Does it seem like we are winning the “war” on terror? Events in Paris, Syria, Iraq, and Libya in recent weeks make it hard to be optimistic. We should not be surprised. Our pursuit of this “war” conflicts with scientific understanding of human behavior. When people are attacked, their biologically driven response is to counterattack. […]

Reducing Stress On Our Children Improves Their Health

In addition to helping families and schools create environments where children eat nutritious food, get lots of exercise, limit screen time, and get plenty of sleep, there’s another not-so-obvious way we can protect our children’s health: reduce their stress. I found out that there are direct and powerful effects of stress in childhood that lead […]

CBTRadio Interview with Tony Biglan

Listen to the Nurture Effect on CBTRadio by clicking the link below: Episode # 37 Running time: 1:01:37 Podcast relevance: Professionals and Consumers In this episode, Trent Codd interviews Anthony Biglan, Ph.D. the author of The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World.

Boys Become Criminals by Talking About It First

“So what would you do if your girlfriend got pregnant? Shoot her?” “No, punch her in the stomach, real hard.” This conversation occurred in an observation room at Oregon Social Learning Center. Tom Dishion and his colleagues were trying to learn more about why some kids become delinquent. He and many other behavioral scientists knew that […]

An Interview with Anthony Biglan

Listen to an interview with Tony Biglan on Functionally Speaking by clicking the link below.

Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong

Terrorism is increasing. According to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, groups connected with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State committed close to 200 attacks per year between 2007 and 2010, a number that grew by more than 200 percent, to about 600 attacks, in 2013. Since 9/11, the study of terrorism […]

The Nurture Effect: A Q&A with Anthony Biglan

In his new book The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World, Psychologist Anthony Biglan, a senior scientist at the Oregon Research Institute, describes how interventions aimed at creating nurturing environments could help solve some of society’s most stubborn, harmful, and costly issues. Crime, delinquency, depression, and heart […]

The Healthy Society in Fifty Years

One of the things that is only recently being recognized is how inter-connected psychological, behavioral and physical health are. As recognition of this fact and the fact that non-nurturing environments influence all of these problems we are beginning to evolve a health care system that is appropriate to these facts. It might be useful to […]

Selection By Consequences: Recovering Skinner’s Key Insight About Learning As An Evolutionary Process

Until recently, evolutionary psychologists considered behavioristic accounts of human behavior incompatible with evolutionary theory. They characterized B.F. Skinner’s work merely as part of the “standard social science model” and gave it scant attention.

Behavioral Science May Prove to Be Our Most Important Science

Science has changed our world. We take for granted the impact of the physical and biological sciences on our world, forgetting that it once took months to get from the East coast to the West coast or to communicate with someone across the ocean. Science has dramatically improved our health too. In nineteenth century England […]

A Fist Fight at the New York Times?

Jonathon Chait seems to be trying to get a fist fight going at the New York Times. He claims in New York Magazine that a recent column by Paul Krugman was actually an attack on David Brooks. Brooks claimed that we have spent huge sums on anti-poverty efforts with no success and that the problem […]

Evolving a More Nurturing Capitalism: A New Powell Memo

Is it possible that evolutionary theory can explain how the U.S. came to have the highest levels of child poverty and economic inequality of any developed nation? I think it can. It also can help us evolve a more nurturing form of capitalism, one in which people are more caring and productive, and they place […]

Collaboration, Not Arguments, Needed to Fight Poverty

Public discussion about poverty frequently asks us to decide between the view that poverty is the result of cultural factors and individual shortcomings or that the poor are victims of an avaricious marketplace and harmful economic policy. However, rather than illuminating key issues, these debates too often end up as a distraction.

About Tony

Dr. Biglan is an award-winning leader of worldwide efforts to evolve more nurturing societies. His work on the book, The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World , earned him the Award for Scientific Translation from the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Analysis in recognition of his contribution to public understanding of the power of behavioral science. The book documents what we have learned about what humans need to thrive in families, schools, communities, and workplaces. Dr. Biglan’s expertise is based on nearly 40 years of research on the treatment and prevention of psychological and behavioral problems. As a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute, he has helped to identify effective family, school, and community interventions to prevent the most common and costly problems of childhood and adolescence.

He is currently helping Accountable Care Organizations and Hospitals around the world implement tested and effective preventative care policies.

The Nurture Effect

The Nurture Effect has inspired a worldwide movement to make our families, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities more nurturing. The book describes the tremendous progress that behavioral science has made in the past fifty years. Behavioral scientists have shown what people need to thrive. They have created tested and effective programs for families, schools, workplaces, and communities that prevent multiple problems and nurture caring and compassionate living. Thanks in part to The Nurture Effect, thousands of people around the world are promoting the evolution of more nurturing societies.