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Evolving Ethics in Practice

3 hours, 25 minutes
4.0 BACB, can also be used for BACB ethics

“Our overarching goal, as behavior analysts, is to teach people how to get the things they want, the things they value, more effectively while living fuller, more enriched lives—and to do so without ever having to hurt themselves or other people.”

Thomas Freeman, MS, BCBA


Team Processes, Communication, and Coordination of Services.

Thomas Freeman begins this course by describing the history of the treatment of individuals with intellectual disabilities and how the eugenics movement influenced legislature and research in the early 20th century. Next, Freeman discusses how ethical standards have evolved over time, emphasizing the difference between ethics and morals. Freeman then describes the importance of coordinating services with other providers and caregivers and references the ten characteristics of a good interdisciplinary team according to Nancarrow et al. (2013). Evidence-based practice is then defined, and the benefits and components of evidence-based interventions are discussed in comparison to alternative treatments, such as positive behavioral support. Freeman continues the discussion on ethics by describing the risks associated with using social media in clinical settings. This course concludes with an analysis of the effects of behavior analytic language when communicating with other providers and caregivers and how technical jargon affects the dissemination of the field.

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. Describe the history of ethical treatment for persons with developmental disabilities.
    • Describe how the eugenics movement contributed to the treatment of persons with developmental disabilities.
    • Reference the contributions of early proponents of eugenics, including Fernald, Galton, and Goddard.
  2. State “what is ethical” according to a behavior analytic perspective.
  3. Compare and contrast ethics and morals.
  4. List the effects of collaboration with interdisciplinary team members on client outcomes.
    • List the ten characteristics of a good interdisciplinary team according to Nancarrow et al. (2013).
  5. List and describe the three components of evidence-based practice, according to Slocum et al. (2014).
  6. List examples of alternative treatments commonly utilized in the treatment of autism.
    • Explain the problems with utilizing these treatments, according to research.
  7. List the six guidelines for social media use by behavior analysts, according to O’Leary et al. (2017).
  8. List behavior analytic words that have been problematic for the dissemination of behavior analysis, according to Foxx (1996).
  9. List three mainstream misconceptions regarding behavior analysis.
    • Provide a correct explanation for these misconceptions.


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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