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Single-case research designs are fundamental methods to study or change the behavior of individual animal subjects or human participants. These designs have their origin in research by Ivan Pavlov, B. F. Skinner, and E. L. Thorndike, who studied learning abilities in individual animals in the first few decades of the 1900s. This early research fostered a new science at the level of the individual organism. Single-case research is often contrasted with between-group research, in which groups of participants are exposed to different conditions. This type of design generates no knowledge regarding how an individual participant reacts to the different conditions. Single-case research designs have provided the foundation for what is now called applied behavior analysis. Children with a variety of developmental disabilities can be ...

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