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Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis

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Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis

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  1. Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis Matt Habedank NCSS Ed Sbardellati, PhD. Washington County Mental Health August 16 , 2012

  2. Training Overview • What is Applied Behavior Analysis? • A Framework for Understanding Human Behavior • Data Collection • Basic Elements of Effective Interventions • Functions of Behavior


  4. What is ABA? • A discipline committed to the understanding and improvement of human behavior • Focuses on objectively defined, observable behaviors of social significance • Seeks to improve behavior while demonstrating reliability between applied interventions and the noted improvement

  5. What is ABA? • “The science in which procedures derived from the principles of behavior are systematically applied to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree” BAER, WOLF AND RISLEY (1968)

  6. ABA defined (cont.) • APPLIED • Refers to the social significance of the behavior (of immediate importance to the individual or society) • BEHAVIOR • Behavior is in need of improvement • Behavior must be observable and measurable

  7. ABA defined (cont.) • ANALYSIS • Believability • Demonstrates a functional relationship between behavior and intervention • controls the occurrence and nonoccurrence of a behavior

  8. Human Behavior

  9. Behavior • “is the movement of an organism or of its parts in a frame of reference provided by the organism or by various external objects or field” • (Cooper et al, 2008)

  10. Behavior • Human Behavior • Behavior is LEARNED • Behavior is a function of the environment

  11. Assumptions of ABA • BEHAVIOR IS LEARNED • B=(F)E • New behaviors can be taught • Old behaviors can be unlearned

  12. Assumptions of ABA • We change behavior by changing the ENVIRONMENT

  13. Behavior • Overt • An action that can be observed and recorded by a person other than the one engaging in the behavior • Must pass the Dead Man’s Test

  14. Behavior • Covert • An action that can NOT be observed and recorded by a person other than the one engaging in the behavior • Private events • ABA predominantly addresses overt behaviors • Cognitive-Behavior Modification addresses covert behaviors

  15. Key Terms & Concepts • Stimulus • An environmental event that can be detected by one of the senses • Is any condition, event, or change in the physical world

  16. Key Terms and Concepts • Response • One instance or occurrence of a particular behavior • A specific instance of a particular behavior • Are the focus of observation and measurement in behavioral studies • Is the measurable unit of analysis in the science of behavior

  17. Stimulus Control • Stimulus Control • Increased probability that a behavior will occur in the presence of certain environmental conditions • If a principal yells… • If a police officer approaches… • If a telephone rings…

  18. Consequence • Occurs after a behavior and • Effects only future behavior • --Results in an increase, decrease or no effect on behavior • -Alters the probability that similar responses will be emitted under similar stimulus conditions in the future

  19. Respondent Behavior • It is a reflex • Respond INVOLUNTARILY to certain stimuli

  20. RESPONDENT BEHAVIOR STIMULUS Flash of light High temperature ELICITS RESPONDENTS Pupil contraction Sweating

  21. Operant Behavior • Is VOLUNTARY • Influenced by the antecedents and consequences surrounding the behavior

  22. Three-term Contingency ANTECEDENTS BEHAVIOR CONSEQUENCES What happened immediately preceding the behavior What happened immediately after the behavior Operant Behavior

  23. Three Term Contingency Reinforcement Antecedent BehaviorConsequence Cue--------R--------C+ Reductive Procedures Cue--------R--------C-

  24. Reinforcement • When a stimulus change immediately follows a response and increases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar conditions • Positive Reinforcement- behavior is followed by a consequence that serves to increase the behavior • Negative Reinforcement- behavior is followed by avoidance of a consequence that serves to increase behavior

  25. Reductive Consequence • When a stimulus change immediately follows a response and decreases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar conditions • Positive punishment- a behavior is followed by a consequence which serves to reduce the behavior • Negative punishment- a behavior is followed by loss of a reinforcer which serves to reduce the behavior

  26. Complexity of Human Behavior • Huge range of behaviors • Competing contingencies • Go out on the town or Study for the exam? • Single event has multiple effects • Reduce behavior • Increase behavior • Escape • Response chains

  27. Complexity of Human Behavior • Complexity of Controlling Variables • Environmental constructs are complex • Multiple causation • Setting events

  28. Complexity of Human Behavior • Individual Differences • Different responses to the same environmental conditions • NO two people experience the world in the same way • Histories of reinforcement • Individual motor & sensory deficits

  29. Data Collection

  30. Data Collection Direct And Daily Data • Clearly define the behavior we are measuring • Operational Definition • a clear description of the behavior which is written in simple, lay terms such that anyone can determine if the behavior did or did not occur

  31. Quantitative Measures • Frequency • Tallies of the total number of behaviors which occurred or the number of incidents of behavior which occurred in a specified time period

  32. Quantitative Measures • Duration • The elapsed time a behavior occurred

  33. Quantitative Measures • Intensity • Descriptions or ratings of the severity of behavior • Can focus upon: • the number of behaviors within an incident and/or • the duration of the incident and/or • specific Likert-type scale or checklist

  34. Interval Recording • Coding the presence or absence of a specific behavior during a predetermined time period-i.e., whole, partial, momentary • May include frequencies of behavior within an interval or measures of the rate of the behavior

  35. Graphic Displays • Use of line, bar or pie graphs to describe the occurrence of a behavior over time or the proportions of behavior • Very helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of a treatment procedure and in determining when to change a procedure


  37. Interobserver Agreement (IOA) • A measure of validity • Multiple calculations • This is TOTAL COUNT IOA Total # of agreements ____________________________ X 100=% Total # of agreements + disagreements

  38. Observer 1 7 instances of swearing Observer 2 9 instances of swearing IOA Example-Swearing # of Agreements=7 # of Disagreements=2 IOA 7 > 7 > .77 X 100=77% 7+2 9

  39. PBISFramework for Treatment

  40. Basic Elements of Effective Interventions (PBIS) • PROACTIVE • Modify the environment • EDUCATIVE • Teach pro-social behaviors and social skills which are alternatives to challenging behaviors • FUNCTIONAL • Manage consequences of behavior

  41. Why Bother? • Strong theoretical and empirical support for behavioral procedures • 40+ years of research in behavior change with people behavioral and developmental disorders autism • Particularly in the areas of Functional Behavioral Assessment and positive approaches to behavior change

  42. Reactive Approaches PUNISHMENT • May teach what not to do, but not what to do • May punish the child, but may not actually reduce the behavior in the natural environment

  43. Reactive Approaches (cont.) EXCLUSION • May address an immediate need, but reduce’s the child’s opportunity to learn how to successfully interact with the natural environment

  44. So Let’s Talk About Some Positive Approaches

  45. Proactive • Modifying the environment to reduce the probability that the challenging behaviors will occur • Requires assessment to identify the mismatch between the child and the environment • Can involve a myriad of possible interventions

  46. May Involve a VARIETY of Interventions • Changes in settings and situations in which the behavior occurs • Alter or eliminate setting events associated with challenging behaviors • Identify and address precursor behaviors associated with challenging behaviors

  47. Proactive Interventions (cont.) • Make instructional or curricular changes • Establishing predictable routines or changing expectations • Increase opportunities for making choices, exerting personal control