In order for an ABA study to be considered valid it must have all of the following components. 

At least 1 subject

An experiment must have at least one subject. This can be either an individual or group. It can also have multiple participants. 


An experiment must have at least one setting or place in which the experiment takes place. although there could be more than one if using a multiple baseline across settings experimental design.


An experiment must have at least behavior or dependent variable, although there could be more than one if using a multiple baseline across behaviors experimental design.


An experiment must have at least treatment or independent variable, although there could be more than one if comparing the effects of multiple interventions on behavior such as in an alternating treatment design. 

Experimental design 

An experiment must have a formal method in which it is conducted known as an experimental design. This could be a withdrawal design, a multiple baseline design, alternating treatment design, changing criterion design or a variation of any of these. 

System for Measuring 

An experiment must also have a system for measuring data and a way to visually analyze the date which is usually in the form of a graph. 


Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd Edition). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson Education.

Let’s Study Together

Our 5th ed. Task List Crash Course is designed to prepare you for the BCBA® exam. We created the ultimate “Task-List Take-Over” by systematically breaking down the components that comprise the 5th ed. Task. This course is equipped with a vast collection of informational content videos presented by Dr. Katherine May, Ed.D., BCBA and Jessica Leichtweisz, BCBA. This course is pre-recorded for the accessibility of downloading and watching at your own convenience. We tactically tailored the 5th ed. Task List Crash Course to fit comfortably into your own individualized study schedule and routine. The course videos are strategically designed to promote self-paced instruction equipped with data sheets to self-monitor your progress. In addition to the videos, practice exams, and preparation resources are included which are not only informative but also challenging to ensure sufficient preparation for the “real” exam. We are confident that completion of this course and included mock exams and resources will certify that you’re thoroughly prepared for the exam.