Hannah Goike

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Adam M. Briggs, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

Second Advisor

Heather Janisse, PhD

Third Advisor

Natalie Dove, PhD


Previous research has indicated that college students consistently endorse misconceptions about behavior analysis (e.g., use of physical punishment, Applied Behavior Analysis [ABA] is only intended for people with autism). This study aims to assess college students’ knowledge of behavior analysis and identify the extent to which participants are likely to endorse common misconceptions. This study replicated Artzen et al. (2010) and extended it by adding questions related to the recent trends and reported misunderstandings in the field of ABA that stem from public misconceptions. The current study also evaluated the effects of a brief intervention for improving participant knowledge of ABA. Overall, most participants increased their correct responses following the intervention for both the applications and foundations sections, suggesting that the intervention was effective on items assessing the application and foundational principles of behavior analysis. Future research should focus on improving the intervention stage (e.g., layman's term written facts for non-experts) and further research is required with a larger and more diverse sample.

Keywords: applied behavior analysis, behavior analysis, misconceptions

Included in

Psychology Commons