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BEHP1166: A Behavioral Approach to Consciousness

Time limit: 60 days
1.5 credits

$19.50 Enroll

Full course description

Time: 1 hour, 17 minutes 
Credit: 1.5 Learning BACB CEs

Presenter: Henry D. Schlinger Jr., Ph.D., BCBA-D

Course Description: Presents a behavior-analytic perspective on consciousness. Begins by tracing the concept in psychology from Wundt to James to Watson, and then to modern studies of consciousness, mostly by philosophers and neuroscientists. Rather than debating the meaning or definition of consciousness, the course follows Skinner’s (1945) operational analysis of psychological terms by looking at the circumstances that cause someone to report that he or she or someone else is conscious and the history of reinforcement responsible for such behaviors.


  • List some of the major figures in the history of consciousness studies and briefly describe their contributions.
  • Describe the present story, that is, why “consciousness is a hot ticket . . . these days.”
  • List the first problem with modern consciousness studies called neuroreductionism.
  • State the second problem with modern consciousness studies of nonscientific descriptions and why they are a problem.
  • State the third related problem with modern consciousness studies, which is definitional.
  • Distinguish between the easy and hard problems of consciousness, including stating what qualia are.
  • Describe a behavioral approach to consciousness, including a functional analysis of the term.
  • List several possible answers to the question, “What is someone doing when we say he or she is conscious?”
  • Learn Skinner’s solution to the subjectivity problem—privacy—including what subjective terms are.
  • Describe, as Skinner (1945) said, how “Being conscious, as a form of reacting to one’s own behavior, is a social product.”
  • Understand how we learn to become conscious of our environment, our overt behavior and our private events, and then how our verbal descriptions recede to the private, unobserved level.

Keywords: Applied behavior analysis, consciousness, private events, Skinner

Rating: This course is recommended for certified practitioners in the field of behavior analysis (BCBAs and BCaBAs) and professionals with background knowledge of the concepts and principles of behavior analysis. 

Access: 60 days from the date and time of registration

Important notes:  Your access begins at the time of purchase, not the time of log in.  Effective July 1, 2022, Florida Tech no longer offers extensions for CE courses; if you do not finish your course and need to repurchase, please contact us.  If you are taking this course to maintain your BACB certification, you will need to write your certification number on your certificate of completion, as the BACB requires that your certificate of completion includes your certification number.


For more information, if you experience problems when registering, or if you need to repurchase a CE please email us at


Refund Policy

No refunds are provided once the course is accessed.

These workshops are presented in partnership between the Florida Tech ABA Online program and ABA Technologies, Inc. ABA Technologies, Inc., is a BACB-approved provider of type-2 continuing education hours (provider number: OP-02-0023)