June 5, 2018

Single subject design. Essay sample


To begin with, it is important to specify that such term as single subject design comes from the field of design of experiments. Thus, it is a kind of research design which is used in the areas of human behavior, education and psychology that are aimed at researching the subject which serves as their own control.

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There are specific requirements for single subject design which include the following aspects: baseline assessment, continuous assessment and variability of data. Speaking about the phases of single subject design, they are as follows: baseline, intervention, reversal.

One of the main reasons why single subject design is so popular and so widely-used is that it is highly flexible. In addition, it is also helps to show individual differences in response to intervention effects. In such a way, it becomes possible to reduce interpretation bias.

Obviously, single subject design is quite often criticized as well. The main aspects include such phenomena as carry-over effects, order effects, ethical problems and irreversibility. To specify, what the aspect of carry-over effects means is that the results from the previous phase may carry over into the next one. In regards to irreversibility, the dependent variable will be affected in case there is change in the independent variable but it typically only occurs in some withdrawal designs. What is interesting to highlight regarding the latter is that it cannot be undone once the independent variable is removed. Speaking about ethical problems, feasibility and ethical issues may occur when there is withdrawal of treatment in withdrawal design.

Taking everything into consideration, single subject design comes in handy for those researchers who are aimed at finding a flexible approach to highlighting individual differences.

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