Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Webinar Series

Should Behavior Analysts Use Inferential Statistics?


Mikhail Koffarnus (Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kentucky)



Date: February 23, 2023
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern


Abstract: Behavior analysis has a strong tradition of establishing intervention effects in individual experimental subjects or participants instead of establishing the mean effect of an intervention in a group. This is often the best approach when assessing whether a treatment was successful for an individual subject in an applied setting. However, this approach can make it difficult to compare treatment approaches to one another or establish which treatment features are likely to provide the most benefit when implemented in a large number of patients. In this presentation, I will not delve into the details of specific statistical tests or the specifics on conducting them. Instead, I will make the case that inferential statistics can provide valuable information for behavior analysts in many situations. I will cover the types of experimental questions that are best addressed with an inferential statistical test and the benefits of calculating standardized effect sizes. Attendees should be able to identify experiments that would benefit from the addition of inferential statistics, describe the features of a experimental design that maximize the interpretive value of inferential statistics, and discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate conclusions that can be drawn from inferential statistical results.


Instruction Level: Basic

1 BACB CEU available.


Koffarnus Mikhail _2022 Smaller

Biography: Dr. Koffarnus is Director of the Healthier Futures Lab and an Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky. He received his BA degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and completed both his MS and PhD degrees in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Koffarnus also completed an internship and Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institute on Drug Abuse before completing his Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Koffarnus researches behavioral economic factors that contribute to substance use disorders and the use of contingency management for decreasing substance use. Dr. Koffarnus is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has served on the editorial board for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.


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