Detailed Textbook Notes

22 views6 pages
Published on 5 Apr 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB45H3
Chapter 2: Observing and Recording Behavior
Behavioral assessment is the measurement of the target behavior in behavioral modification.
Its important for the following reasons
Measuring the behavior before treatment provides information that can help you determine
whether treatment is necessary.
Behavioral assessment can provide information that helps you choose the best treatment.
Measuring the target behavior before and after treatment allows you to determine whether the
behavior has changed after the treatment was implemented.
Direct and Indirect Assessment
Indirect assessment involves using interviews, questionnaires, and rating scales to obtain
information on the target behavior from the person exhibiting the behavior or from others.
Direct assessment , a person observes and records the target behavior as it occurs. To observe the
target behavior, the observer must be in close proximity to the person exhibiting the behavior so
the target behavior can be seen or heard. The observer must register the occurrence of the
behavior when it is observed.
Direct assessment usually is more accurate than indirect assessment. In indirect assessment,
information on the target behavior depends on peoples memories.
Steps To Recording Behavior
1.Defining the Target Behavior
You must identify exactly what the person says or does that constitutes the behavioral
excess or deficit targeted for change.
A label is not used to define the behavior because labels do not identify the persons
actions.
Labels for behaviors are ambiguous; they can mean different things to different people.
An example is to one person, unsportsmanlike behavior might mean fighting with a
member of other team, whereas another person considers it to mean cursing, throwing a
bat etc.
The main value of labels is that they may be used as convenient shorthand when referring
to a target behavior.
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A good characteristic of a good behavioral definition is Interobserver reliability or
interobserver agreement which is when two people independently observe the same
behavior and both record that the behavior occurred.
You must develop a specific behavioral definition that fits the target behavior of the
person you are observing.
2. The observer
In a behavior modification program, the target behavior typically is observed and
recorded by a person other than the one exhibiting the target behavior.
The observer may be a professional, such as a psychologist, or a person routinely
associated with the client in the clients natural environment (teacher, parent, staff
member or supervisor)
The observer must have proximity to the client to observe the target behavior when it
occurs. The exception would be when the target behavior is observed via video.
In some cases, the observer is the person exhibiting the target behavior. When the client
observes and records his or her own target behavior, it is called self monitoring.
Self monitoring is valuable when it is not possible for another observer to record the
target behavior as when the target behavior occurs infrequently or when it occurs only
when no one else is present.
3. When and Where to Record
The observer records the target behavior in a specific period called the observation
period.
Choose an observation period at the time when the target behavior is likely to occur.
The consent of the client or the clients parent or guardian before you observe and record
behavior is particularly important when observation occurs without the clients
knowledge.
Observation and recording of behavior take place natural settings or in contrived settings.
Natural settings consists of the places in which the target behavior typically occurs.
Example: Classroom & is more likely to provide a more representative sample of target
behavior than a contrived setting.
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Document Summary

Behavioral assessment is the measurement of the target behavior in behavioral modification. To observe the target behavior, the observer must be in close proximity to the person exhibiting the behavior so the target behavior can be seen or heard. The observer must register the occurrence of the behavior when it is observed: direct assessment usually is more accurate than indirect assessment. In indirect assessment, information on the target behavior depends on people"s memories. The exception would be when the target behavior is observed via video. In some cases, the observer is the person exhibiting the target behavior. When the client observes and records his or her own target behavior, it is called self monitoring. Self monitoring is valuable when it is not possible for another observer to record the target behavior as when the target behavior occurs infrequently or when it occurs only when no one else is present.