Social validity refers to the degree that behavior-change e€orts impact
favorably upon consumers. The assessment of social validity has been an
important component of applied behavior-analytic methodology for over two
decades. During this time, researchers have employed a variety of social validity
methods in their studies and there have been numerous debates on the status and
role of social validity in behavioral methodology. Kazdin (1977) and Wolf (1978)
were the ®rst to propose a need for the systematic assessment of social validity.
Wolf delineated three primary focuses of social validity assessment: (a) the social
importance of treatment goals, (b) the acceptability of treatments to relevant
consumers and (c) the social importance of treatment e€ects. This three-part
conceptualization has been the primary guide for the development of social
validity methods in the research literature.

 

REFERENCES
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Evaluation of client preference for function-based treatment packages. Journal of Applied
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Kazdin, A. E. (1977). Assessing the clinical or applied importance of behavior change through
social validation. Behavior Modi®cation, 1, 427±452.
Kennedy, C. H. (1992). Trends in the measurement of social validity. The Behavior Analyst, 15,
147±156.
Schwartz, I. S., & Baer, D. M. (1991). Social validity assessments: Is current practice state of the
art? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 189±204.
Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how behavior
analysis is ®nding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 203±214.

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