Dr. Robert Koegel is currently a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University.
Robert Koegel is also a Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Education and Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara, where he worked from 1971 to 2017.
He taught courses in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology and in the Special Education, Disabilities and Risk Studies research focus area. His primary teaching was in the area of childhood autism, experimental designs suited for clinical intervention research, and principles of behavior management for psychologists. Dr. Koegel was also the Founding Director of the UCSB Koegel Autism Center, a national center for clinical, home, and school intervention research. Some of the research projects that have resulted in significant gains for individuals with autism include development of treatment techniques focused on “pivotal behaviors” such as improved communication, self-management, and motivation, so that such individuals can reach their full potential, experience maximal community and school integration, and enhance the overall quality of their lives, and the lives of their family.
Dr. Koegel’s Bachelor’s degree was awarded in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison; his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees were awarded in developmental and clinical psychology from UCLA. His advisor was Dr. Ivar Lovaas, who first interested him in the treatment of children with autism. At UCSB, Dr. Koegel focused his research on the identification of pivotal behaviors that result in efficient, intensive interventions for individuals with autism. These interventions do not rely on aversives (previously used frequently with this population), and promote intervention in least restrictive environments in school, home and community settings.
He is the Editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. The Journal has the following major missions: to meaningfully translate research to practice; to report successful and replicable demonstrations in family, school, and community environments; and to report significant empirical advances in intervention development.
Koegel is currently a Senior Researcher, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Child Development at Stanford University.