In this presentation, we will guide attendees through the steps of designing a research study and will detail the various single-subject designs and why they are more powerful than group designs. We will use our own research into dog behavior, learning and welfare to demonstrate these designs. We will discuss why they are particularly well-suited to animal trainers who wish to contribute scientifically to their field. We will discuss each design's advantages and disadvantages, what each is best suited for, and how to mix-and-match these designs to make the strongest experimental design for your question. We will discuss and practice how to systematically observe and measure behavior, as well as which measures are best suited for different types of behavior. We will then delve into how to interpret results from your research, and how to make data-based decisions in terms of where to go next with your research ideas provided to them. One goal of the workshop is for attendees to leave with a research project they could implement. This session is appropriate for all trainers who want to ensure their intervention is having the desired outcome, and to enhance trainers' abilities to make effective training decisions based on accurate measures of behavior change -- that is, to train scientifically.
PhD, BCBA, CPDT-KA,
Assistant Professor of Anthrozoology,
Carroll College, Helena, MT.