Descriptive and Normative Ethical Behavior Appear to be Functionally Distinct | Journal Club Series

by Dr. Nicole Bank, BCBA, LBA-TX | Available for 3 Learning BACB Ethics CEUs
This installment in our Journal Club Series will cover the article, “Descriptive and normative ethical behavior appear to be functionally distinct” authored by David Cox and published in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. CEUs are provided for reading the article, participating in an online discussion, and completing an article content quiz.

A scientific approach to ethics is an ongoing venture. This paper describes two approaches to ethics: descriptive ethics and normative ethics. This is a report of two experiments investigating ethical behaviors in a within-subject arrangement.

This is an interactive live online journal club. Participants will receive 3 Learning BACB® CEUs for completing all journal club activities. Participants are required to have read the entire article before attending the scheduled one-hour live online journal club discussion. Journal club discussions will include article details, article results, and implications for practice. Active participation is required. CEUs will be provided after completing an article content quiz on the BDS learning platform. Only those who read the article and actively participate in the live online discussion will be invited to take the content quiz. BDS is interested in increasing scholarly activities and discussion among BCBAs and BCaBAs. Stay tuned for future CE events in the BDS Journal Club Series!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchase the journal club meeting you would like to attend.
  2. Follow instructions for downloading a copy of the article.
  3. Add the following emails to your contacts in order to avoid important emails going to spam: AND

  1. Receive an email for instructions on scheduling your online discussion. Once the online discussion is scheduled, you will receive a link for the online discussion.
  2. Read the article in its entirety.
  3. Join the journal club meeting at the scheduled time. Please mute your microphone upon entry.
  4. Stay online and involved for the 1-hour journal club meeting.
  5. Receive a link to the content quiz.
  6. Complete the content quiz to 80% accuracy.
  7. Receive 3 CEUs.


  1. Define descriptive and normative ethics
  2. Describe the purpose of this study
  3. Summarize the method and results of Experiment 1
  4. Summarize the method and results of Experiment 2
  5. Describe the proposed model of a functional approach to descriptive and normative ethical behavior