Applied Behavior Analysis

Psychology 496

Instructor: Steve Meier, Ph.D.

Office No: Student Health 210

Office Hrs: 11-12 or by appt.

Phone:885-7679 e-mail

Course Objectives:

This course is designed to allow individuals to assess and modify behavior in applied or field settings. In addition, the course will demonstrate how experimental operant techniques can be applied to make behavioral changes.

Text: Kazdin, A.E., Behavior Modification in Applied Settings. Fifth Ed. Dorsey Press, (Required)

APA Writing and Style Manual. (Optional)

Bruning and Kintz. Computational Manual of Statistics (Optional)

Grading Requirements (100 Points)
There will be 3 exams in the course. Each exam will consist of multiple choice or essay questions.

Pick one of these options:
A second requirement for the course will be a term paper or a 40-50 minute presentation.


For the paper option, you will design an applied experiment, make a behavioral change,

analyze the data, and draw a conclusion regarding how your experiment relates to other studies in this area. The paper must be in APA style and have a minimum of 10 journal or reference citations (of which you will include a copy of the abstract page). Each paper will be graded on clarity, discussion of the topic area, review of the literature, analysis of the data, use of appropriate statistical techniques, etc.

The experiments may include single subject designs (ABAB), multiple subject designs, or multiple baseline designs, human or animal subjects, substance abuse problems, etc. You may work in a group to design and run the experiment, however, your literature review, analysis, and discussion section must be your own (methods can be the same). The write-up is not to be a group effort. If things are too similar between papers of group members, a punishment procedure will be implemented.

This paper will be set up as a journal article. If the idea and the experimental design are adequate to answer a question that no previous study has addressed, this experiment is a great way to get some pilot data for a master’s thesis and ultimately a publication.


For the presentation option, you will be required to give a 45 minute presentation on an

applied topic of your choice. The topic can be a literature review, an experiment you

conduct, etc. However, the topic and presentation must be clear, well delivered, and


In Class Discussions (100 Points)

Much of the class will be discussion of papers, review of experiments and other readings which I assign. If you do not participate or are not prepared, points will be reduced for this aspect of the class.


Your midterm grade will be based on the total number of points earned on the first exam only. The final grade will be based on the exams, paper or presentation and any extra credit points I might give. Minimal grading will be based on the following scale. However, I may curve class scores. If I do so, whichever is the higher grade is what you will receive.

A > 90%

B > 80%

C > 70%

D > 60%

Anything lower then 60% will receive an F regardless of any curve.

Other Information

I expect each person to have read the material before I present the material in class. Since you are Graduate students or 400 level students I expect you to be prepared to participate in the course. Thus, I often use the Socratic method of inquiry. This technique will also assist you in remembering the material and will assist you when taking the exams. You are also encouraged to ask questions and express your viewpoint although it may differ from the instructor's.

You also will be expected to be in class and on time unless an emergency exists. Too much of the material builds on other material. Missing one lecture because you decide to take a nap could be a disaster on your exam.

I reserve the right to drop any student from this class after discussion with the chairperson of the department.

This class, while providing information, should also make you think and analyze material.