Deutsch: Basislinie / Español: Línea Base / Português: Linha de Base / Français: Ligne de Base / Italiano: Linea di Base /

Baseline refers to a measured rate of a Behavior before introduction of an Intervention that allows comparison and Assessment of the effects of the intervention.

So the baseline is the period in which a participant is observed prior to being given treatment, the purpose being to document the frequency of the target behavior.


In psychology, a baseline refers to the initial measurement or observation taken before any interventions are introduced. It serves as a point of reference for comparison during an experiment or treatment. Baselines are used to establish a starting point for assessing changes or progress over time. They provide a standard against which future data can be evaluated. Baselines are crucial for researchers and clinicians to track developments and determine the effectiveness of their interventions. Without a baseline, it would be challenging to measure the impact of any psychological intervention accurately.

Application Areas

  • Clinical psychology
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Psychological assessments
  • Research studies
  • Educational psychology

Treatment and Risks

  • Using a baseline helps in developing appropriate treatment plans for individuals.
  • However, not establishing an accurate baseline may result in incorrect conclusions about the effectiveness of interventions.


  • Measuring anxiety levels before and after a therapy session to determine its efficacy.
  • Recording the frequency of certain behaviors in a child with ADHD before implementing a behavior management plan.
  • Assessing memory performance in older adults before and after a memory training program.

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Reference point
  • Pre-intervention measurement
  • Control condition
  • Baseline assessment


Articles with 'Baseline' in the title

  • Multiple baseline approach: Multiple baseline approach is a term in behavioral research which is defined as the observation of different dependent variables in a person over the course of treatment, or observing the behavior as it occurs under different conditions
  • Multiple baseline design: Multiple baseline design is defined as a single-case experimental design in which measures are taken on two (2) or more behaviors or on a single behavior in two (2) or more situations
  • Multiple-baseline design: Multiple-baseline design refers to a type of single-subject design that begins with two (2) simultaneous Baseline phases, then initiates a treatment for one baseline, and at a later t- ime, initiates the treatment for the second baseline- a . . .
  • Multiple-Baseline Design: Multiple-Baseline Design refers to a single-case experimental design in which the effect of a treatment is shown by demonstrating that behaviors in more than one baseline change as a result of the institution of a treatment


A baseline in psychology provides a crucial starting point for measuring change or progress in various psychological contexts. It is a fundamental concept used in research, clinical practice, and therapeutic interventions to establish a reference point for comparison. Without a baseline, it would be challenging to determine the effectiveness of treatments or interventions accurately. By establishing a baseline measurement, psychologists can track developments over time and make informed decisions about the best course of action for their clients or research subjects.