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Learning and Motivation Lab

Reseach Team Member Amin Duff LotfizadehAmin “Duff” Lotfizadeh, Ph.D.,BCBA-D



Dr. Amin “Duff” Lotfizadeh is the Vice President of Research at Easterseals Southern California (ESSC). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA, master’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in ABA from California State University, Los Angeles, and PhD in Psychology with focus in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University. Dr. Lotfizadeh’s clinical and research training is in the experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis. He conducted his dissertation in behavioral pharmacology. Dr. Lotfizadeh serves as an editorial reviewer for various journals including JEAB, JADD, and Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice and Guest Associate Editor for the Psychological Record. Dr. Lotfizadeh is an adjunct professor at California State University, Los Angeles.  

Research Interests

My main research interest is in understanding how variables that have historically been classified as motivating operations (MO) impact behavior and how current empirical findings can better shape the MO concept. In pursuing this line of research, my recent research has examined MOs in basic assays, in organizational behavior management, and most recently in clinical applications towards autism treatment. In addition, I am interested in experimentally analyzing variables that impact the behavior of interventionists, psychometrics, and organizational practices that impact treatment outcomes for autism (ABA, speech, and occupational therapy).


Edwards, T., Lotfizaeh, A., & Poling, A. (2019). Motivating operations and stimulus control. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. doi: 10.1002/jeab.516

Edwards, T., Lotfizaeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2019). Rethinking motivating operations: A reply to commentaries on Edwards, Lotfizadeh, and Poling (2019). Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 112(1), https://doi.org/10.1002/jeab.542

Edwards, T., Watkins, E., Lotfizadeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2012). Intervention research to benefit people with autism: How old are the participants? Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 996-999.

Herron, M., Lotfizadeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2018). Using Conditioned Reinforcers to Improve Behavior-Change Skills: Clicker Training for Practitioners. Journal of Organizational Behavior   Management, 38, 172-190.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Carter, C., Schroeder-MacKay, C., & Poling, A. (2020). Hiring Behavior Analysts: Free Gifts at a Booth Increase Verbal Contacts with a Recruiter, but Not Serious Job Inquiries.  Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/01608061.2020.1746473

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Edwards, T. L., & Poling, A. (2014). Motivating Operations in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management: Review and Discussion of Relevant Articles. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 34, 69-103.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Edwards, T., Redner, R., & Poling, A. (2012). Motivating operations affect stimulus control: A largely overlooked phenomenon in discrimination learning. The Behavior Analyst, 35, 89-100.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Herron, M. A., & Poling, A. (2019). Frequency of learning trials presented during trial- by-trial versus first-trial data recording. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/bar0000164

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Redner, R., Edwards, T., Quisenberry, A., Baker, L., & Poling, A. (2012). Effects of motivating operation in rats trained to discriminate between d-amphetamine and saline injections. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior, 103, 168-173.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Kazemi, E., Pompa-Craven, P., & Eldevik, S. (2018). Moderate effects of low-intensity behavioral interventions. Behavior Modification. doi: 10.1177/0145445518796204.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Zimmermann, Z. J., Watkins, E. E., Edwards, T. L., & Poling, A. (2014). Increasing food deprivation relative to baseline influences d-amphetamine dose–response gradients. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 125, 65-69.

Montallana, K., Gard, B., Lotfizadeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2019). Inter-rater agreement for the milestones and barriers assessments of the verbal behavior milestones assessment and    placement program (VB-MAPP). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49.          https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-03879-4

Poling, A., Lotfizadeh, A.D., & Edwards, T. (2017). Predicting reinforcement: Utility of the motivating operations concept. The Behavior Analyst, 40(1), 49-56.

Poling, A., Lotfizadeh, A.D., & Edwards (2019). Motivating operations and discriminative stimuli: Distinguishable but interactive variables. Behavior Analysis in Practice. doi: 10.1007/s40617-019-00400-2

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