Date Created


Publication Date

Spring 2-16-2016

Document Type





Empirical data helps us make powerful inferences about human behavior in any number of contexts. Companies like Google and Amazon analyze browsing data to create targeted advertisements. Actuaries crunch numbers to evaluate risk and determine insurance costs. Your friend incessantly brags about how many miles he ran yesterday while you sat on the couch eating chips and binge watching Game of Thrones. Of course, not all data is created equal. Sometimes individual-level data is the "target" of interest. For example, practitioners in School Psychology frequently integrate principles of single-case design (SCD) to empirically monitor and evaluate student functioning before, during, and after an intervention. These powerful methods hold great promise for answering both practical and experimental questions, yet are relatively unknown or misunderstood in many fields.

This lecture:

(a) outlines the fundamental principles of SCD,

(b) examines the use of SCD in practice and research contexts, and

(c) discusses how an emerging line of research in professional judgment and data-based decision making could help us better understand when SCD data is prone to or protects against bias.