PHBA8110 Research methods in behavior analysis Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Research methods in behavior analysis
PhD Programme in Behavior Analysis
10 stp.


General admission requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Behavior Analysis


Students will be able to:

  • give a general description of methods relevant to the collection and interpretation of data in research in behavior analysis and learning in complex systems
  • discuss specific methods of data collection and their appropriateness for answering different kinds of research questions
  • describe and discuss various statistical methods appropriate to the collection and interpretation of data in research in learning in complex systems
  • describe and discuss criteria for validity and reliability, and of methods of assessing them
  • describe and discuss criteria for ESTs
  • describe and discuss the rationale for single-case research designs
  • describe and discuss the interpretation and application of descriptive and inferential statistical techniques required for an understanding of data presentations in psychological research
  • describe, discuss and apply the necessary operations for extracting measures of central tendency, variability and frequency distributions from a data set
  • produce graphical presentations of data
  • describe and discuss the normal curve
  • describe and discuss basics of probability theory, and show how it applies to their own research and that of others
  • describe and apply general principles for hypothesis formulation and testing
  • describe and discuss the application of the t-test; analysis of variance (ANOVA); multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA); multiple regression; and correlation
  • apply the relevant statistical tools and concepts to their own research


Scientific method; statistical concepts and tools - theory and application; functional analysis; internal and external validity; single-case experimental designs; Empirically Supported Treatments

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The course consists of 1 introductory meeting, and 6 - 12 seminars of 4 x 45 minutes, and time for discussion and a final seminar (4 x 45 minutes). The introductory meeting takes place 2 weeks ahead of the main part of the course. At this meeting, the structure, content and purpose of the course are presented. The students are asked to give short presentations of their Ph.D. projects, and describe how the course is relevant to it. The main purpose of this early session is to help the students to start systematic work with the course readings.

The seminars target central themes from the course readings for discussion and reflection. A high level of student participation is expected. During this time, students will produce several reaction papers (3 - 4 pages double spaced), and a final presentation of one central theme from the course. Themes are assigned by the lecturers.

The final seminar consists of a discussion of the presentations, which are distributed in advance as papers not to exceed 10 pages double spaced, and introduced by each candidate in a short (3 minute) session. Course teachers mediate the discussions.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

  • All papers approved,
  • attendance in at least 80 % of the seminars, and
  • approved paper presentation in final seminar.

Vurdering og eksamen


Portfolio requirements: 4 reaction papers

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen



Pass / Fail