His main academic and research activities have been developed at the National University of Colombia, at the University of the Andes and at the Saint Thomas University. He has also been a visiting professor in several countries: Germany, USA, , Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil and Spain.
His main fields of work and research are experimental psychology, history of psychology, social issues. He has carried out research in fields such as: the influence of early experiences on animal behavior, the evolution of behavior, patterns of child rearing, the psychological impact of the nuclear war threat, the human rights, the effects of unemployement, reinforcement schedules, etc. One of his most recent research publication is the social perception of science and the psychology of scientists; the name of the book is Science and the Scientists: A Psychological Perspective.
Rubén Ardila proposed an integrating paradigm for psychology which he named, Experimental synthesis of behavior. His aim is to find a unifying paradigm for psychology, beyond schools and psychological systems. It is not an “eclectic” proposal, but a paradigm derived from the experimental analysis of behavior (hence it’s name). Said unifying paradigm has had great influence in psychology at the international level. There are several groups in different countries around the world which study and investigate the paradigm of the experimental synthesis of behavior.