Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #134
CE Offered: BACB — 
In Consideration of Social Validity: Do Others Like What We Do, and Does It Matter?
Saturday, May 28, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 255
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Meka McCammon, Ph.D.
Chair: Meka McCammon (University of South Florida)
JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (University of Georgia)
AMY GRAVINO (A.S.C.O.T Consulting)

The social validity of an intervention encompasses (a) whether consumers/stakeholders believe that the intended outcome of the intervention is desirable, (b) the extent to which consumers/stakeholders consider the procedures for changing behavior to be acceptable in terms of ethics, cost, and feasibility, and (c) whether consumers/stakeholders are satisfied with the outcomes produced by these procedures. Behavior analysts typically assess social validity, at the conclusion of the intervention, by interviewing or asking care providers (e.g., parents, teachers) questions the research team generated for that purpose. This approach limits input to primary care providers, the input of the recipient of the intervention is not gathered, nor is input from the broader community (e.g., other autistic people). In addition, whether the intervention was viewed as acceptable or needed at the start of the intervention (or during intervention) is not known. In this panel we will explore whether typical methods of evaluating social validity are appropriate and if our field should broaden its conceptualization of social validity to include input from others and/or occur at multiple timepoints.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: (1) Participants will describe the significance of assessing social validity; (2) State various tools and methods for assessing social validity; (3) Account for the contextual variables that might inform when and how to assess social validity; and (4) State the implications failing to assess social validity throughout service delivery



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Modifed by Eddie Soh