This charming photo is of Vicci Tucci, Developer of the Competent Learner Model (CLM), and Dr. Murray Sidman, and his wife Rita. Vicci was the President of CalABA in 2001 and she had nominated Dr. Sidman for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Sidman was sitting in the audience at an ABA Convention on the Competent Learner Model (CLM). At the end of Vicci’s presentation, he stood up and clapped. 

Dr. Sidman has made important contributions to the field and his story is described in Equivalence Relations and Behavior: A Research Story. He authored the book Coercion and Its Fallout.  This book is frequently required reading when discussing ethics and behavior analysis. Tactics of Scientific Research is Dr. Sidman’s third major published work. It has become a staple for research-based psychology. The book details the use of coercion and punishment in society, evidence about how it works and how it doesn’t work as well as ethical implications for a better world. 

As Vicci passed by him at the conference, Dr. Sidman invited her to be one of his doctoral students. Vicci graciously thanked him but turned down his offer. She told him that she was ‘too busy teaching some naive learners to become more competent learners!’

This is a true story of a long supportive friendship between two people who helped develop today’s modern ABA practices. 


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