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David Cosottile

Applied Behavior Analysis, College of Education, Special Education


Dr. David Cosottile, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a Lecturer in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences department. Dr. Cosottile received his Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis under Dr. Anthony DeFulio at Western Michigan University. Dr. Cosottile received further postdoctoral training under Dr. Stephanie Gerow at Baylor University.

Dr. Cosottile started his professional work in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through an internship at the Center for Learning and Health (CLH). The researchers at CLH evaluate the use of contingency management to treat people with substance use disorders and medication adherence problems. Dr. Cosottile went on to gain further expertise in ABA, implementing Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), designing problem behavior reduction plans for adults with developmental disabilities, and training parents to implement behavior plans for adolescents with ASD. Dr. Cosottile has published in journals such as Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, and Preventive Medicine Reports. Dr. Cosottile has previously taught and supervised master’s and doctoral students in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University, Baylor University, and Pepperdine University.

Dr. Cosottile is a core faculty member in the Applied Behavior Analysis program. Dr. Cosottile’s maintains a broad interest in the treatment of health behavior using ABA, including sleep problems, substance use disorder, and medication adherence. He is also interested in the determinants of risky choice and how to influence them.


2020      Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Academic Advisor: Anthony DeFulio

2018     M.A. in Behavior Analysis
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Academic Advisor: Anthony DeFulio

2015    B.S. in Psychology, Concentration in Biopsychology
University of Maryland Baltimore County, Catonsville MD

Honors and Awards

2019    Regional Semi-finalist in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Three Minute Thesis Competition

2018    1st Place in Western Michigan University’s Three Minute Thesis Competition

2017    Graduate Student Research Grant, Western Michigan University’s Graduate College


Davis, T. N., Gerow, S., Wicker, M. , Cosottile, D., Exline, E., Swensson, R., & Lively, P. (2022). Utilizing telehealth to coach parents to implement trial-based functional analysis and treatment. Journal of Behavioral Education. Advance online publication.

Gerow, S., Radhakrishnan, S., Davis, T. N., Zambrano, J., Avery, S., Cosottile, D. W., & Exline, E. (2021). Parent-implemented brief functional analysis and treatment with coaching via telehealth. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 54(1), 54-69.

Defulio, A., Devoto, A., Traxler, H., Cosottile, D., Fingerhood, M., Nuzzo, P., & Dallery, J (2021). Smartphone-based incentives for promoting adherence to antiretroviral therapy: A randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine Reports, 21, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101318

Cosottile, D. W., & DeFulio, A. (2020). The compatibility of employment-based contingency management and vocational services at the Veterans Administration. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 34(1), 111-116. doi: 10.1037/adb0000479

Sottile, D. W. (2018). The ethical dilemma of blowing the whistle: Research misconduct and its reporters. The Hilltop Review, 10(2), 50-55.


Dr. Cosottile is currently conducting applied research in the treatment of sleep disorders for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Gerow at Baylor University’s Caregiver Coaching program. Dr. Cosottile is also currently conducting laboratory research on parametric analyses of risky choice and the determinants of loss chasing using a laboratory task called the Prize Wheel. Dr. Cosottile has previously published and maintains an interest in contingency management for the treatment of substance use disorder, medication adherence, and other health-related behaviors.