What are the Seven Dimensions of ABA?

What are the Seven Dimensions of ABA?

What are the Seven Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis?

The seven dimensions of ABA are important to consider when implementing behavior change procedures. One way to remember these is “BatCage.”


This dimension of ABA emphasizes the importance of behavior being observable and measurable. It is important when identifying a behavior needed for change, that we are selecting a behavior that can be observed and measured. 

 According to Cooper et al. (2019), “the behavior must be measurable; the precise and reliable measurement of behavior is just as critical in applied research as it is in basic research” (p. 16).


We want to ask ourselves, “How is this behavior socially significant for our client?” Why are we teaching this and how does it improve the life of our client? 

According to Cooper et al. (2019), “The applied in applied behavior analysis signals ABA’s commitment to effecting improvements in behaviors that enhance and improve people’s lives” (p. 16).

This is the most important dimension of ABA in my opinion since we are focused on the needs of our client. How will targeting this behavior improve the life of my client? We want to avoid targeting behaviors to appease others. This includes behaviors that might be disruptive or especially self stimulatory behaviors. Since these behaviors are often not harmful, we would not want to target these behaviors in intervention. Instead, ask yourself, how can we set up the environment to benefit my client? If they are engaging in a loud vocalization that another student in their classroom expresses is too loud for them, we want to try and position those students in a way that might be more comfortable. Our primary focus is the best interest of our client. There might be headphones that the other student can wear, or if the behavior is disruptive to the point that our client cannot complete basic tasks or learn in their environment, we can weigh our options and consider targeting the behavior at that point. This paragraph is not meant to give advice on specific cases, but rather to provide an example of how to assess the applied aspect of goals. 

If we are creating skill acquisition goals, we want to be sure to select targets that are directly applicable to our client’s daily life. For example, if we are working on visual perception skills with a 15 year old male, we want to consider having them matching and sorting laundry rather than matching and sorting colored shapes. Although colored shapes still work on the goal, it is not as applied as using laundry. Using laundry is more socially significant since this client will be able to apply this skill. 

When we discuss social significance, this does not mean what is best for social peers. That is important to recognize! Instead, how is this significant for our client? 


This states that behavior plans and definitions should be written clearly and concisely like a recipe. This is so these plans can be implemented by many others to keep consistency across environments. How many of you have read a plan and still had many questions? It is not uncommon to need to reread sections of the plan and ask questions before working with a client. However, this behavior intervention plan and skill acquisition plan should be written in a clear and concise way that can be easily replicated and understood by others. When training caregivers on the plan, it should be written in nontechnical language so they can understand how to implement the strategies. Considering technological as a dimension of ABA is also important for accurate data collection and measuring effectiveness. We want to be sure that all caregivers, teachers, therapists, and family members are being consistent to help with the success of our clients.

Cooper et al. (2019) states, “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 17).

Conceptually Systematic:

Research based interventions should be utilized. As we know, ABA is a science based on evidence and research. We want to be sure we are only using interventions that are evidence based and not recommending interventions that are heard. Continuing education is required to stay current and understand the most up to date interventions available. It is great to seek mentorship if you are unsure how to proceed when making decisions for a client. 

Cooper et al. (2019), “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 17).


Review data when making behavior decisions. It is important to make decisions based on data when reviewing progress. Of course, we consider all aspects of benefits to the client and review data to guide our decision making. Is there a reliable change based on the intervention? Is there a functional relationships?

Cooper et al. says, “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 16).


Can the skill be performed with a variety of people in a variety of different settings? We want to be sure we are setting our clients up for success by generalizing the skills to other environments. There are many ways to promote generalization including using a variety of materials, people, and settings while teaching a new skill. 

According to Cooper et al. (2019) “A behavior change has generality if it lasts over time, appears in environments other than the one in which the intervention that initially produced it was implemented, and/or spreads to other behaviors not directly treated by the intervention” (p. 18).


Ask yourself, has the intervention been successful? How can we review progress over time and in a variety of settings to ensure generalization and maintenance of skills.

Cooper et al. states, “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 17).

Use ethics to guide decision making and always consider the benefits and costs of an intervention before selecting a behavior change procedure. We also want to consider how we will fade these interventions when necessary. Especially for reinforcement! 

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd Edition). Pearson Education (US). https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/books/9780134798769

Let’s Learn Together!

Fill out the form below to get more details about getting supervision or tutoring with ReadySetABA. 

Upcoming BACB Changes for BCBA® and BCaBA® Certifications

Upcoming BACB Changes for BCBA® and BCaBA® Certifications

What do I need to know regarding the BCBA® and BCaBA® certification requirements in 2026?

This blog summarizes the upcoming changes to the BACB regarding eligibility to BCBA® and BCaBA® certification.

No More BACB Task List! Now Test Content Outline (TCO)

Starting in 2025, the 6th edition Test Content Outline will be released. You can find it already available on the BACB website here.  In the BACB’s February 2022 newsletter, they describe the process of reconsidering the task list and creating this TCO title. Since the prior task list was designed to be essentially a study guide for the examination, the board feels that a test content outline is a better name for the document. These reasons make sense since this information on the task list/ TCO isn’t everything you need to know to practice as a BCBA/BCaBA. Additionally, this task list is not what universities base their curriculum on either. Of course, these task list items have been included in the courses through, but this document was created to be used to study for the examination. 

BCBA® Certification Eligibility

In 2026, there are slight changes to BCBA certification eligibility regarding coursework requirements, degree, and supervision.

There is a new 10 year rolling limit for coursework. The BACB has decided to remove pathways 3 & 4 for certification eligibility due to the low numbers of candidates applying under these pathways. Starting 2026, only pathways 1 and 2 will be options for candidates. Here is the chart directly from the BACB regarding these pathways.


BCBA® Supervised Fieldwork Requirements

There are only a few changes for the supervised fieldwork requirements in 2026. The BACB decided to keep the same 2,000-hour requirements for BCBA and 1300 for BCBA. The BACB did however increase the maximum hour limit from 130 to 160 per month which aligns better with full-time employment. This will make it possibly quicker for some candidates to obtain their supervision rather than drawing it out. It seems like supervisees who seek full-time employment as an RBT or ABA therapist have the best shot at obtaining the full 160 hours per month. There is still the 60% unrestricted and no more than 40% restricted hour requirement. See our blog on the difference between unrestricted and restricted ours for more information on this.

The number of supervisory contacts was eliminated but the 5% supervised hour requirements remain a requirement. Additionally, client observation requires 60 minute duration for regular individualized supervised fieldwork.

BCBA® Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork

This is all for the basic individualized supervised fieldwork requirements. For concentrated supervised fieldwork, there is a requirement of 1500 hours per month with 7.5% of hours needing supervision. Additionally, instead of the 60-minute client observation requirement, it is bumped up to 990 minutes, which makes sense. The other element that is the same for both types of fieldwork experience is that no more than 50% of these supervised hours can be group hours.

Here is the visual from the BACB website.


    I hope this information helped you prepare for the BACB changes in the future. This information can be found in the newsletter on the BACB website. As always, refer to the BACB website for the most up-to-date information. I highly recommend creating a gateway account to subscribe to their updates!


    Feel free to reach out with any questions.




    Let’s Learn Together!

    Fill out the form below to get more details about getting supervision, consulting, or tutoring with ReadySetABA. 

    What is BCBA®/BCaBA® Supervision Like with Us?

    What is BCBA®/BCaBA® Supervision Like with Us?

    What is BCBA®/BCaBA® Supervision Like with Us

    At ReadySetABA, you will receive individualized supervision that includes monthly goals, assignments for unrestricted activities, performance monitoring and feedback, study preparation, and real-life experiences. We strive to provide supervision based on the following guidelines: 

    1. Establish clear communication
    2. Create individual monthly goals
    3. Deliver positive reinforcement and feedback
    4. Provide examples of templates, assignments, and other documentation
    5. Prepare supervisee for exam

    Establish Clear Communication

    We refer to the Supervision Training Outline from the BACB website to structure our supervision. 

    Individual Monthly Goals

    Just how we individualize goals for our clients, we individualize goals for our supervisees. We allow for our students to collaborate with us as supervisors to help set personal goals each month to reach the terminal goal of learning about each of the items of the task list and of course, being a competent behavior analyst. 

    Deliver Positive Reinforcement and Feedback

    Similar to how we individualize monthly goals, we individualize our feedback to our students. We believe that preference assessments are good for everyone, not just our clients. We strive to provide our students with actual reinforcement for their hard work. We want the future frequency of their responses of completing their supervision hours with us to increase in the future. We provide positive reinforcement for our students and encourage them to take control of their supervision time with us. 

    Provide Real-Life Examples

    Here at ReadySetABA, we believe in pairing what we are teaching and supervising to real-life examples that we all experience every day. We believe in making our supervision as hands-on as possible. We want our students to get a real understanding of the “why” behind the analytical decisions that they are making, and in order to do that, we believe that we must help them generalize the science from their fieldwork setting to their worlds. 

    Prepare for Exam

    Instead of cramming for the exam after completing supervision hours, we encourage our students to study for their exams as they move through supervision. We provide students with slides, flashcards, a study plan, and practice questions along the way so they can feel well prepared by the time the test rolls around. 

    Templates for ABA Library

    We provide our students with a number of templates that you can practice using and save for future usage. These include but are not limited to BIP, toilet training, evaluation reports, assessment forms, FBA forms, graphs, and more.

    Contact Information

    Here at ReadySetABA, we KNOW that the best part about supervision is YOU! Please feel free to contact us with any questions and to sign up today! We look forward to supervising you! 

    RSABA Team


    Finding Quality Supervision for BCBA BCBA

    Finding Quality Supervision for BCBA BCBA

    How to Find the Supervisor that is Right for You: 

    Finding a supervisor that is the right fit for you can be challenging. You may have questions such as, “How will supervision be structured? Does my job offer supervision? How long will it take? Will this supervision prepare me for the test and the ABA world?”

    There are a few questions to ask yourself when searching for the right supervisor. 

    Does my current job offer supervision?

    • If you are working in an ABA clinic, your job might include supervision as a part of your benefits. If they do, make sure you ask the right questions about supervision to ensure you are getting quality supervision.
    • If you are working for the school system, you may not have access to a supervisor. In this case, you may need to search for a local or remote supervisor.

    Remote or in person-supervision?

    • Remote supervision is a convenient way to obtain supervision hours while working in your current job. 
    • Remote supervision includes videos, weekly video calls, and sharing documents.
    • In-person supervision can be great if you can find a local supervision near you. Here is where to search for local supervision: BACB Supervision Search
    • Check out this link if you are interested in remote supervision to see if I have openings and to see if we are a good match: Remote Supervision

    How will supervision be structured?

    • The supervision structure is determined by your supervisor. Ultimately, they can choose how to set up meetings and work through concepts. I recommend establishing goals each month to stay on track and ensure you are getting the most out of your supervision.
    • Here is a sample of goals you and your supervisor could write together:


    Month Topic Goal Met Theory Practice
    1 ABA overview; 7 dimensions; 6 attitudes of science; ABC data

    Assignments: ABC data collection, pairing protocol, preference assessment


    The Student will understand the foundational knowledge of ABA to begin to apply these concepts to the clinic/school setting.
    2 Functions of behavior: Assignments: FBA, ABC data continued, QAFB, measurement, data recording, what problem behaviors to consider?



    The student will identify the functions of behavior based on ABC data collection and determine which plans would be appropriate to track in a behavior intervention plan.




    Now, let’s talk about quality supervision

    Here are a few things that define quality supervision:
    • Quality supervision should incorporate applied experiences, task list examples, and ethical considerations that prepare you to pass the test and prepare for the field.
    • This supervision should include goals, expectations, and clear guidelines
    • You should have the opportunity to practice behavior analytic procedures
    • Your supervisor should provide you with unrestricted tasks that fill your unrestricted hour requirement. These include podcasts, assignments, research articles, etc.
    • I highly recommend study prep included in your supervision so you don’t have to cram!
    • Here are some topics that are not limited to but should absolutely be included in supervision:
      • BIP writing
      • VBMAPP assessment
      • Graphing
      • Writing evaluations 
      • FBA practice (ABC data collection, QAFB, FAST etc.)
      • Parent training information 
      • Writing reauthorization reports
      • Protocols (potty training, token economy system etc)
      • Intake process 
      • Ethics
      • Test prep!!!

    I wrote this blog to help others find the applied experience they need in order to be successful BCBA/BCaBA’s in the future and pass the test in order to get there!  I wish someone would have guided me through the process. Email me with questions!

    Katherine Kellogg, M.Ed., BCBA


    Pin It on Pinterest