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Behaviorism (Post-1970s) Presentation by Julie Thomas

Behaviorism (Post-1970s) Presentation by Julie Thomas. If You Take A Mouse To School By Laura Numeroff (then he may not “behave”!). Definition of Behaviorism. Question: How are overt behaviors influenced by external factors in the environment?

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Behaviorism (Post-1970s) Presentation by Julie Thomas

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  1. Behaviorism (Post-1970s)Presentation by Julie Thomas If You Take A Mouse To School By Laura Numeroff (then he may not “behave”!)

  2. Definition of Behaviorism • Question: How are overt behaviors influenced by external factors in the environment? • Behaviorism is an objective science that studies behaviors without reference to mental processes. • Defining behavior (p. 13 in Behavior Management in K-6 Classrooms)

  3. Choice vs Determinism • Consequences of behaviors determine whether or not behaviors are repeated and at what level of intensity • Choice? Cause vs Effect, Generalization, Discrimination

  4. Choice vs Determinism • Reference CABAS (Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling) – article by Vincent K. Adkins • Truth (determinism) – Behaviorist does make causal determinations of behavior. • Truth (choice) – Having learned new behavior the client can make decisions about alternative forms of behavior.

  5. Beliefs and Structures • Four types of behavior learning theories • Contiguity – stimulus/response connected • Classical Conditioning (Pavlov) – associate two stimuli (no control over unless becomes a conditioned response/stimulus) • Operant Conditioning (Skinner) – relationship between responses and their consequences (behavior leads to result) • Observational Learning (Bandura) – modeling and imitating behaviors

  6. Beliefs and Structures:Operant Conditioning • Interview with Peter Harzem • Operant conditioning is the study of behavior as it operates upon, and interacts with, the environment of the individual. • Behavior can be affected by its results. • Objects have reinforcing properties under certain conditions and not under others.

  7. Beliefs and Structures:Operant Conditioning Applications of Operant Conditioning to Education: Our knowledge about operant conditioning has greatly influenced educational practices. Children at all ages exhibit behavior. Teachers and parents are, by definition, behavior modifiers (if a child is behaviorally the same at the end of the academic year, you will not have done your job as a teacher; children are supposed to learn (i.e., produce relatively permanent change in behavior or behavior potential) as a result of the experiences they have in the school/classroom setting.) http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/behsys/operant.html developed by W.Huitt and J. Hummel

  8. Beliefs and Structures:Operant Conditioning • B.F. Skinner insisted that external influences shape behavior, and he urged the use of operant conditioning principles to influence people’s behaviors at school, work, and home. (focus on rewards) • Use on self: 1.state goal in measurable terms 2.record how often behavior happens/events 3.reinforce desired behavior 4.reduce incentives as possible

  9. Causes of Personality:Unhealthy vs Healthy • In the educational setting… Why misbehave? 1. reinforced for misbehavior 2. skill deficits • In the societal context… The problem is the problem. Conditioned responses are learned from the environment.

  10. Characteristics of Personality:Unhealthy vs Healthy • “Behavior analysts attempt to understand everyday behavior by focusing on the act itself and on the situational events that surround it.” (p. 4 of The ABC’s of Behavior Change) • In educational and societal contexts… • Behavior is atypical, disturbing, maladaptive, and unjustifiable.

  11. Assessing Personality • Behavior Management – A-B-C Checklist • Define the behavior problem? Is it measurable? Is it observable? • Antecedents – What happens immediately before the behavior occurs? • Consequences – What happens immediately after the behavior occurs? • Does the child have a skill deficit? • Is the child being reinforced for the misbehavior? (Behavior Management in K-6 Classrooms)

  12. Assessing Personality • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) • Mandated by IDEA of 1997 • Foundations: • Human behavior is functional. (Behavior serves a purpose.) • Human behavior is predictable. (Environment can set up, set off, or maintain problem behaviors.) • Human behavior is changeable. (Goals of behavior intervention are to reduce problem behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors.)

  13. Assessing Personality • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) • Advantages: • Considers individual differences and environmental factors when developing behavioral support plans • Intervention strategies are directly linked to problem behaviors • Increase in treatment effectiveness

  14. Assessing Personality • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) • Levels: • Simple FBA – define problem behavior, interview teacher, make hypothesis, design BSP • Full FBA – Simple FBA plus direct observations in settings and more interviews • Functional Analysis – Full FBA plus more extensive information gathering and conducting “experiments” to test hypotheses (Taken from Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment)

  15. Interventions • “Behavior therapy applies well-established learning principles to eliminate unwanted behavior.” (p. 492 in Psychology) • Do Not try to get to the underlying, or inner, issues • Do try to replace problem thoughts and maladaptive behaviors with more constructive ways of thinking and acting

  16. Interventions • “One of the most difficult challenges in designing effective interventions for children with problem behavior is the highly variable, individual response to intervention.” (p. 4 in Building Positive Behavior…)

  17. Interventions • Classical Conditioning – conditions new response to stimuli • Counter-conditioning • Systematic desensitization – associate pleasant state with gradually increasing anxiety-producing stimuli • Aversive conditioning – pair unpleasant state with unwanted behavior

  18. Interventions • Operant Conditioning – shaping behaviors using rewards/punishers • Behavior Modification • Token economy • Contingency contracts • FBA – Behavior Support Plans

  19. Assets and Limitations • Assets: Applications to education • Limitations: Clients may “catch on”, behaviorists may use unethically, rewards may take away from intrinsic desires • Looking Ahead… • Nature and Nuture • Biological and Cognitive Traits • Radical Behaviorism?

  20. Case Studies • “Why is Your Homework Not Done? How Theories of Development Affect Your Approach in the Classroom” by Isabel Killoran • Who Moved My Cheese? - book and video by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

  21. References • Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment by Deanne A. Crone and Robert H. Horner. The Guilford Press. New York. 2003. • Behavioral Management in K-6 Classrooms by Karen Malm. A National Education Association Publication. 1992. • The ABC’s of Behavior Change by Frank J. Sparzo. Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. Indiana. 1999. • Psychology by David G. Myers. 5th Edition. Worth Publishers. New York. 1998. • “A Response to Some Current Misunderstandings About Behavioral Education” in Journal of Instructional Psychology. Sept. 1994. Vol.21. Issue 3. p203. • “Teaching Behavior Analysis and Psychology in Social Context: An Interview with Peter Harzem” in Teaching of Psychology. Spring 2000. Vol.27. Issue2. p149. • “Why is Your Homework Not Done? How Theories of Development Affect Your Approach in the Classroom” in Journal of Instructional Psychology. Dec2003. Vol.30. Issue4. p.309.

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