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Understanding the Observer Effect and How to Leverage its Benefits

1 hours, 24 minutes
1.5 BACB

“Understanding how observing and collecting data impacts the observer can be very useful to behavior analysts because there are many situations in which it would be very practical for the observer to improve her or her own performance of the behavior that he or she is observing.”

Allison King, PhD, BCBA


Perhaps you work in a clinical setting, where you have provided reinforcement to a client for an appropriate behavior consistently in a group setting. Eventually, another client consistently included in the group begins to emit the same behavior in response to the client receiving reinforcement. An explanation for this could be the observer effect, where one’s performance improves following the observation of another performing the same task. In this course, subject matter expert Allison King discusses the observer effect, past research on the topic, and how a behavior analyst can use the observer effect to their benefit. 

Learning Objectives

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

  1. Define the Observer Effect and how the concept fits into the assumptions of Radical Behaviorism 
  2. Review the history on observational learning  
  3. Review recent literature on the observer effect applied 
  4. Learn tips on how to take advantage of the Observer effect in your professional practice 


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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