Lecture Note For Chapter 23, come and see

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20 Jul 2010
Chapter 23: Doing Research in Behavior Modification
Minimal behavior modification program has 4 phases:
1) Screening phase: clarifying the problem and determining who should treat it
2) Baseline phase: determining the initial level of the behavior prior to the program
3) Treatment phase: intervention strategy is initiated
4) Follow- up phase: evaluating the persistence of the desirable behavioral changes following termination of
the program
! In any program in which a treatment phase is introduced for the purpose of modifying some behavior, it
is quite possible for an uncontrolled or interfering variable or condition to occur concurrently with the
treatment, such that the change in the behavior is due to the uncontrolled variable rather than the
treatment itself
! BM research project attempts to demonstrate that it was the treatment, rather than some uncontrolled
variables that was responsible for the change in the behavior in question
The reversal-replication (ABAB) research design
! Reversal: going from treatment back to baseline conditions
! Should be able to replicate both the original baseline and the original treatment effects
! Able to demonstrate cause-effect relationship between a particular behavior and treatment program
! Baseline= A and treatment= B
! Can also be called withdrawal design for the reason that during the B phases the treatment is withdrawn
! How long should the baseline last? the pattern of behavior should appear stable and predictable and the
trend observed should be in a direction opposite to the effect predicted for the independent variable acting
on the dependent variable.
! Other considerations to shorten or lengthen baseline
o Scientific considerations related to the newness of the independent and dependent variables being
studied; one might be more comfy conducting a shorter baseline in a new study of behavior that has
been already been well researched than in a study of a less explored area;
o Practical considerations might limit the length of baseline observations; available time of the
experimenter, the availability of observers, restrictions on students for completing projects on time and
any of a number of other factors might lead one to limit or extend the baseline for nonscientific
o Ethical considerations often affect baseline length
! How many reversals and replications are necessary? if one observes a very large effect when the
independent variable is introduced, and if the area is one that has been explored before, then one
replication may be sufficient
! Limitations: undesirable to reverse to baseline conditions following a treatment phase; impossible to
obtain a reversal due to behavioral trapping; other behaviors might be trapped by the individual’s
physical rather than social environment
Multiple-baseline Design
! Used to demonstrate the effectiveness of a particular treatment without reversing to baseline conditions
! Multiple-baseline-across behaviors: research design in which two or more behaviors are monitored
concurrently and, in a staggered fashion, the treatment is introduced sequentially to each of the behaviors
o Application of this design assumes that the behaviors are relatively independent
o If apply treatment to only one behavior but if improvement observed in all three behaviors
concurrently, then cannot confidently attribute the improvement to the treatment itself
o Limitation: may not be possible to find two or more suitable behaviors or sufficient observers to gather
the necessary data on several behaviors
! Multiple baseline across situations: a research design in which a single behavior is monitored in two or
more situations, and in a staggered fashion, the intervention is introduced sequentially to the behavior in
each of the situations
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