ABA 1 final

Three levels of understanding in science

1) Description

2) Prediction


collection of facts about observed events that be quantified, classified and examined or possible relation with other known facts (hypothesis)
Highest level of scientific understanidng from which funtional relations can be derived (change in dependent variable predicts independent variable without confouding variables
events do not just occur, but happen in a systematic way, all phenomena occur as result of other events
scientific objective observation of phenomena of interest
repetition of experiments to determine the reliability and usefulness of findings
the simplest explanations must be ruled out before more complex explanations are considered
philosophic doubt
the continuous questioning of the truthfulness and validity of all scientific theory and knowledge
experimental analysis vs. applied behavior analysis of behavior
basic research vs. development of technology for improving behavior
7 characteristics of applied behavior analysis (Baer, Wolf & Risley)

1) generality

2) effective


4) applied

5) conceptual systems

6) analytic

7) behavioral

an energy change that affects an organism through its receptor cells
Operant Conditioning
conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement or punishment contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response
Four Fold Contingency Table
positive reinforcement
targeted response increases when stimulus is added to environment
negative reinforcement
behavior increases because stimulus is contigently removed from environment
positive punishment
behavior decreases when stimulus is contingently added to environment
negative punishment
behavior decreases because stimulus contingently removed from environment
3-term contingency

basic unit of analysis in the analysis of operant behavior,

antecedent- behavior- consequence

degree to which a person’s behavior repertoire maximizes short and long term reinforcers and minimizes short and long term punishers, asesses meaningfulness of behavior change
behavioral cusp
beahaviors that open a person’s world to new opportunities, socially valid, generativeness
Target Behavior Definitions

accurate, complete, concise, inclusions, exclusions


objective, clear, complete

the process of applying quantitative labels to observed properties of events using a standard set of rules
measurable dimensions of behavior

1) Repeatability (countability)

2) temporal extent (every instance the behavior occurs in some amount of time)

3) temporal locus (every instance of behavior occurs at a certain point in time with respect to other events

rate/frequency measurement
 ratio of (number of responses per unit of time) count per observation period, more meaningful than count alond
measure of how rates of responses change over time (accelaration/decelaration)
duration measurement
the amount of time in which a behavior occurs
response latency measurement
measure of the elapsed time between the onset of a stimulus and the initiation of a subsequent response
interresponse time measurement
the amount of time that elapses between two consecutive instances of a response class (temporal locus)
per-opportunity measurement
response magnitude
the force or intensity with which a response is emitted
whole interval recording measurement
the observation period is divided into a series of brief time intervals.

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  At the end of each interval the observer records whether the behavior occured for the WHOLE interval

partial interval recording
the observer records if the behavior occured at any time during the interval
momentary time sampling
records whether the target behavior is occuring at the moment that each time interval ends
permanent product measurement
measuring a behavior after it has occured by measuring the effects it had on the environment
measurement validity
when the data produced are directly relevant to the phenomenon measured and to the reasons for meauring it (Was a relevant dimension of the behavior that is the focus of the investigation measured directly and legitimately?)
measurement accuracy
the extent to which the quantitative label produced by measuring an event matches the true value of the thing measured
measurement reliability
the extent to which a measurement procedure yields the same value when brought into repeated contact with the same state of nature (consistancy)
direct measurement
the phenomenon that is the focus of the experiement is exactly the same as the phenomenon being measured (actually seeing target behavior)
indirect measurement
when phenomena measured is in some way different from target behavior of interest (using questionairre about behavior)
interobserver agreement
the degree to which two or ore independent observers report the same observed values after measuring the same events
IOA for rate/frequency
Higher number/lower number x 100
IOA for duration data
(shorter duration/longer duration) x 100
IOA for time sampling
level (in a data series)
value on vertical axis around which a series of data points converge
trend (in a data series)
overall direction taken by data path (increasing, decreasing, zero trend)
variablity (in a data series)
frequency to which mulitiple measures of behavior yield different outcomes (if variability is high ther is little or no control over factors influencing behavior)
construct a split-middle line of progress
A line drawn through a series of graphed data points that shows the overall trend in the data; drawn through the intersections of the vertical and horizontal middles of each half of the charted data and then adjusted up or down so that half of all data points fall on or above and half fall on or below the line. (pg153 in book)
construct an equal interval graph
Identify behavior change in graphed data
functional relationships in graphed data
indepdendent variable
the variable systematically manipulated by the researcher (in ABA sometimes called intervantion or treatment variable)
dependent variable
the variable measured in an experiment to see if it changes depending on the independent variable (in ABA measure of socially significant behavior)
three elements of baseline logic

1) Prediction

2) Verification

3) Replication

Reversal designs (repeated measures, at least A-B-A) should be used when:
alternating treatments experimental design
the rapid alternation of two or more distinct treatments while their effects on the target behavior are measured
Alternating treatment designs are appropriate when:
multiple baseline experiemental design
an experimental design that begins with the concurrent measurement of two or more behaviors in a baseline condition, followed by the application of the treatment variable to one fot he behaviors while baseline contidions remain in effect for the other behaviors.  After maximum change has been noted for the first behavior, the treatment variable is applied in sequential fashion to each of the other behaviors in the design.
changing criterion experimental design
an experimental design in which an initial baseline phase is followed by a series of treatment phases consisting of successive and gradually changing criteria for reinforcement or puishment.
internal validity
the extent to which an experiment shows convincingly that changes in behavior are a function of the independent variable and not the result of uncontrolled or unknown variables.
confounding variable
an uncontrolled factor known or suspected to exert influence on the dependent variable
treatment integrity (procedural validity)
the extent to which the independent variable is applied exactly as planned and described and no other unplanned variables are administered inadvertantly along with the planned treatment
Three ways of assessing social validity

1) social significance of target behavior

2) appropraiteness of procedures

3) social importance of results

external validitiy
the degree to which a study’s findings have generality to other subjects, settings and/or behaviors
positive reinforcement
establishing operation
a motivating operation that establishes the effectiveness of some stimulus, object or event as a reinfocer (food when hungry)
unconditioned reinforcer
a stimulus change that increases the frequency of any behavior that immediately precedes it irrespective of the organism’s learning history with the stimulus (product of evolutionary development, primary or unlearned reinfocers)
conditioned reinforcer
a stimulus change that functions as a reinforcer because of prior pairing with one or more other reinfocers (learned reinforcer)
stimulus preference assessment
a variety of procedures used to determine the stimuli that a person prefers, the relative preference of those stimuli and their presumed value as reinforcers
avoidance contingency
(escape contingency) a contingency in which a response prevents or postpones the presentation of a stimulus
continuous reinfocement
reinforcement for each occurance of the target behavior
intermitant reinfocement
some, but not all, occurances of a behavior produce reinforcement
fixed ratio schedule

a fixed number of responses must occur before reinforcement

– produces “break and run” step pattern

variable ratio schedule

varying number of responses required for reinforcement

– no post reinforcement pause, consistant steady rate of responding

fixed interval schedule

reinforcement delivered for the first response emitted following the passage of a fixed duration of time since the last response was reinforced

– produces scalloped data (post reinforcement pause, increase in response rate as interval increases)

variable interval schedule

reinforcement provided for the first correct response following the elapse of variable surations of time occuring in random order

– produces slow to moderate consistant responding

limited hold
reinforcement is only available during a finite time following the elapse of an FI or VI interval, if there is no response reinforcement is withheld and a new interval begins
DRL schedules
differnetial reinforcement of low rates of responding- responses reinforced only when they are lower than criterion
compound schedules
combined elements of of continous reinforcement, the four intermittent schedules of reinforcement, differential reinforcement of various rates of responding and extinction
matching law
rate of responding typically is proportional to the rate of reinforcement received from each choice alternative
a stimulus change that immediately follows the occurance of a behavior and reduces the future frequency of that type of behavior
conditions when punishment is more effective
– immediacy, intensity, schedule, reinforcement for the target behavior, reinforcement for alternative behaviors
guidelines for using punishment effectively

select effective and appropriate punishers

use the least intensity of punishment that is effective

experience the punishment personally

deliver the punishment immediately

deliver the punishment at the beginning of the response chain

deliver the punishment unemotionally

punish each instance of the behavior

watch for possible side effects of punishment

record, graph and evaluate daily data

examples of positive punishment
contingent excersize, overcorrection (resitutional, positive practice), contingent electric stimulation
a form of negative punishment- the contingent withdrawel of the opportunity to earn positive reinforcement or the loss of access to positive reinforcers for a specified time
guidelines for using time-out effectively

– reinforcing and enriching time-in environment

– defining behaviors leading to time-out

– defining procedures for the duration of time-out

– defining exit criteria

– deciding on non-exclusion or exlusion time-out

– explaining time-out rules

– obtaining permission

– applying time-out consistantly

– evaluating effectiveness

-considering other options

– legal and ethical time-out issues

response cost
loss of specific amount of reinforcement contingent upon inappropriate behavior and results in decreased future probability of that behavior
guidelines for using response cost effectively
determine immediacy of the fine, decide whether bonus respose cost is preferred option, ensure reinforcer reserve, recognize the potential for unplanned or unexpected outcomes, avoid overusing, keep good record on effects
side-effects of negative punishment
may increase aggression, avoidance responses, affect collateral reductions of desired behaviors, call attention to punished behavior, effects can be unpredictable

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ABA 1 final. (2017, Dec 20). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-aba-1-final/

ABA 1 final
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