10 Pages

Single-Subject Designs: Procedures that Allow School Psychologists to Contribute to the Intervention Evaluation and Validation Process

Like many undergraduate psychology students, I received training in traditional social science research (i.e., group-design and analysis procedures) and was required to conduct a scientific study using such procedures. I conducted an experiment in a laboratory setting where I manipulated tones and measured the effects on time perception of undergraduate students. The laboratory setting made it easy to control confounding variables, and technical equipment allowed for precise manipulation of the independent variable and measurement of the dependent variable. This experience was invaluable in that it allowed me, the researcher, to gain experience in the scientific process of evaluating cause-and-effect relationships. However, the same cannot be said for the undergraduate students who served as subjects for my experiment.

While I cannot be certain, I would venture that none of my participants ever engaged in any life experiences that were enhanced because of their participation in this study. Even had I targeted a useful or functional behavior, the participants would have derived little benefit from the study as the goal was not to evaluate the effects of an intervention design to enhance their skills or ability in estimating time.