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PSYB45H3 Lecture Notes - Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Practice, Edward Thorndike

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Zachariah Campbell

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Behaviour Modification: Origins and Applications
Chapter 1: Introduction
What is Behaviour?
Includes what people do and say
Things that we can we objectively and observe from a third person standpoint
Involves the activity of an organism at any level
Muscle contractions
Glandular activities
Electrical activities (activities within the nervous system)
It is NOT static; behaviour is a verb, its an activity
It involves “actions” and not “states” or “label”
Being angry (state)
Screaming at your sibling (associated activity)
It refers to the “process” and not the “product”
Getting an “A” in this course (product)
Studying effectively (process)
Characteristics of Behaviour
It can be observed, described, and recorded
Has an impact on the environment
Involves physical dimensions
Dimensions of Behaviour
Running on a treadmill for 45 minutes
Objectively measured
Running three times per week
Running at Level 8 on a treadmill
Characteristics of Behaviour
It is Lawful
Functional relationship between behaviour and the environment
There is a direct relationship that can be measure
Its quantifiable
May be Overt or Covert
Covert is not visible; it’s within us
Overt is visible to us
Characteristics of Behaviour
1. Involves actions not labels
2. Involves physical dimensions
3. Can be observed, described, and recorded
4. Has an impact on the environment (physical or social)
5. Behaviour is lawful
6. May be overt or covert
Behaviour Modification
Definition: is the field of psychology concerned with analyzing and modifying human behaviour
Analyzing being that we measure and understanding the behaviour that is taking place
Modifying is the implement principles and techniques to affect that behaviour whether to be behaviour excess
(behaviour that occurs too often, not necessarily a good behaviour. E.g., nail biting ) or behaviour deficits
(something we may want to improve. E.g., studying)
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Alternative definition: involves the systematic application of learning principles and techniques to assess and improve
individual’s covert and overt behaviours in order to enhance their functioning
Characteristics of Behaviour Modification
1. Focus on:
behavioural excesses or deficits
2. Based on basic behavioural principles
3. Emphasis on current environmental events
ABC phenomena
antecedents that preceded the behaviour
behaviour that takes place or do not take place
consequences that follow the behaviour or follow after that particular behaviour of an individual
in the current we can be accurate with our behaviour, be accurate with the implementation of a given intervention
if we rely on past events, we’re relying on memory which is faulty
4. Procedures are clearly described
5. Measurement of behaviour change
immediate and long term
6. No emphasis on the past
7. Rejection of underlying causes
explanatory fictions
medical model vs. behavioural model
8. Treatment implemented by people in everyday life
Common Misconceptions About Behaviour Modification
Relies on punishment
Uses bribes
Ignores the real causes of behaviour, just treats the symptoms
Leads to people controlling each other
Ruins intrinsic motivation
Doing something you want to
Makes people dependent on external incentives
Dehumanizes people
Behaviour modification only works with kids and developmentally challenged individuals
Historical Roots
Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)
Through experimentation he introduced:
Conditioned reflex
Respondant conditioning
Also known as classical conditioning
Historical Roots
Edward Thorndike (1874-1949)
Law of Effect: A behaviour that produces a favourable effect on the environment is more likely to be repeated in the future
Operant conditioning involves a consequences that’s implemented on the subject
Historical Roots
John Watson (1878-1958)
Behaviour: is only controlled by the environment
Stimulusresponse psychology
Little Albert experiments
Fear is not inherent, it’s not innate
Father of Behaviourism
Historical Roots
B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)
Advanced Behaviourism
Discriminated between Respondant and Operant conditioning
Basic principles of Operant Behaviour
Father of Behaviour Modification
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