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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Paper Session #427
CE Offered: BACB
Measurement Issues in Psychology and Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2022
9:00 AM–9:25 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156B
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Michael D. Hixson, Ph.D.
Measurement Issues in Psychology and Behavior Analysis
Domain: Theory
MICHAEL D. HIXSON (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: Measurement is a critical but often overlooked issue in psychology, but understanding the dependent variables in any area of study is a basic requirement. Psychology has emphasized the use of self-report and introspection, perhaps limiting its scientific contributions and separating itself from the natural sciences. Although behavior analysts often advocate for direct measures of behavior, even in behavior analysis indirect measures are easy to find and often common. The logic for using indirect measures is often that, in certain circumstances, direct measures are impossible or too difficult to obtain. But what is the nature of what is obtained in place of direct measures? These issues also relate to psychology’s predilection for constructs, but what are constructs and can they be measured? How is what is measured related to quantification and what do those quantities mean? This presentation will explore these issues across measurement methods and areas of study, such as emotion, and conscious and unconscious behavior.
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and others with some knowledge of measurement in behavior analysis and psychology

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe direct and indirect measurement (2) Discuss critical issues related to indirect measurement, especially self-report (3) Describe research on the relationship between indirect and direct measures



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