PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Inter-Rater Reliability, Goniometer, Nocturnal Enuresis

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4 Feb 2013
Chapter 2: Identifying and Assessing Target Behaviours
Goals and Target Behaviours
You should always talk about specific behaviours that need to be changed (not broad
Ex. Al complains about his workload rather than finding solutions to these difficulties (behaviour
A target behaviour is objective and unambiguous so that it defines exactly what the person does
that constiutues the behavioral excess or deficit you want to change (ex. cuticle biting: a persons
finger and their mouth and thy are biting on the skin beside the nail)
Identifying and Defining Behavioural Goals
Two types of goals for applying a behaviour change are outcome goals and behaviour goals
Outcome goals are the broad or abstracted results we want to achieve (ex. For Al to become
more productive)
Outcome goals are usually straightforward, relating right to the broad characteristics of a person
(ex. Loosing weight)
A behaviour goal is the level of the target behaviour we hope to achieve in a program (more
directly tied to the specific behaviours)(ex. Increase jogging to three 1-hour sessions each week,
from the target behaviour of jogging) (ex. Reduce snacking to two servings per day)
Sometimes outcome and behavioural goals are the same, this happens when both goals simply
involve quitting a particular behaviour (ex. Such a twirling ones hair)
People that want students to improve their learning often focus on an outcome goal (ex. Get
better grades) however focusing on a behaviour goal and target behaviour would allow them to
focus on a specific behaviour which would allow them to achieve better grades (identify the
skills as the target behaviour)
Identify behavioural goal and some subgoals
Defining Operant Target Behaviours
Eating is am operant behaviour, and to change it you will need to alter its antecedents and
consequences (need to define the target behaviour specifically)
Someone can easily define overt behaviours
Cannot really define covert behaviours (because its internal behaviours no one else can see or
feel but yourself) it is subjective and we need self reports to measure it
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Sometimes the operant target behaviour we want to teach or improve involves a complex set of
responses (see what responses are and if they need to be performed in a sequence)
A motor activity that consists of a sequences of antecedents (stimuli) and responses is called
behavioural chain, and each antecedent-response pair making up the chain is called a link (ex.
Washing your hair)
Defining Respondent Target Behaviours
Respondent behaviours can be overt and covert
Can show external signs of fear or experience internal behaviours
To change a respondent behaviour, need to find out if have internal or external behaviours or
Prioritizing: Which Behaviour to Address First
Need to figure out how to sequence the changes of the behaviour (because often that target has
many behaviours that need to improve)
To make this decision, will use different questions…is the new or changed behaviour likely too:
lead to reinforcement in the target persons everyday environment? Be a perquisite for learning
a new skill that enables the person to function better? Affect in positive ways important
individuals in a client’s life? Be a behaviour cusp? Show response generalization? Take the place
of interfere with performing a problem behaviour?
How to Assess Target Behaviours
We need to be able to measure the target behaviour at different points in the process to
whether our efforts are working
When the problem involves a behavioural deficit we want the measure to show an increase, and
when the problem is a behavioural excess, we want the measure to decrease
This requires that we collect data that must measure the target behaviour and reflect any
progress that has been made towards the behavioral goal
Select the types of data that will best reflect how we want the target behaviour to change
Frequency: refers to the number of times the response was observed (appropriate measure
when the behavioural goal involves how often the behaviour occurs and each instance o the
target behaviour is discrete) (ex. Changing how often bedwetting occurred)
Duration: refers to the length of time each instance of the target behaviour lasts from start to
finish (appropriate for assessing instances of a target behaviour that lasts for varying periods of
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