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Chapter 9

PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Cumbersome, Internal Validity, Dependent And Independent Variables

Course Code
Jessica Dere

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Week 9
Chapter 20, 21, 22
Chapter 20: Behavioral Assessment: Initial Considerations
Minimal Phases of a Programs
1. Screening/intake phase
Client completes an intake form
One function of the screening phase is to determine whether a particular agency, behavior
therapist or applied behavior analyst is appropriate to deal with the client’s behavior
A second function is to inform the client about the agency’s or practitioner’s policies and
procedures related to service provision
A third function is to screen for the presence of a crisis condition
A fourth function is to gather sufficient info through the client interview and
psychological test
A fifth function is to provide specific info about which behaviors should be assessed
2. Preprogram Assessment or Baseline Phase
During the assessment or baseline phase, the behavior modifier assesses the target
behavior to determine its level prior to the intro of the program or treatment and analyzes
the individual’s current environment to identify possible controlling variables of the
behavior to be changed
3. Treatment Phase
Frequent observation and monitoring of the target behavior during training or treatment
Client assessment at various intervals
4. Follow-up phase
Conducted to determine whether the improvements achieved during the treatment are
maintained after the program’s termination
Sources of Info for Preprogram Assessment
Indirect Assessment Procedures
Have the advantages of being convenient, not requiring an inordinate amount of time and
potentially providing info about covert behaviors
Disadvantage those providing info might not remember relevant observations
accurately or have biases
Interviews w/ the client & significant others want to establish rapport
o Describe the types of problems they are working with and the general approach
that they take
o Questions involving the client’s background or might ask the client to complete a
simple demographic referral form
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o Life history questionnaires
o Self-report problem checklists
o Survey schedules
o Third-party behavioral checklists or rating scales
Info from consulting professionals
Client self-monitoring
Direct Assessment Procedures
Main advantage is that they are more accurate than indirect assessment
Disadvantages time consuming, requires that observers be appropriately trained and
cannot be used to monitor covert behaviors
Experimental assessment procedures
o Are used to clearly reveal the antecedent and consequent events that control and
maintain problem behavior
o Such procedures are referred to as experimental functional analyses or functional
o They are used to demonstrate that the occurrence of a behavior is a function of
certain controlling variables
Computer-assisted data collection
An accurate behavioral preprogram assessment helps the behavior modifier to decide
whether they are the appropriate one to design a treatment program
A second reason is that an accurate baseline will sometimes indicate that what someone
thought to be a problem is actually not one
A third reason is that data collected during the preprogram assessment phase often helps
the behavior modifier identify both the causes of a behavior and the best treatment
A 4th reason for collecting accurate data is that is provides a means for clearly
determining whether the program is producing the desired change in behavior
Without accurate data, one might also make the opposite type of error. One might
conclude that a procedure is working and continue it when in fact it is ineffective and
should be abandoned or modified
A 5th reason for accurately recording behavior is that publicly posted results in a graph
or chart can prompt of reinforce behavior modifiers for carrying out a program
A final reason is that the displayed data might lead to improvements by the learner
separately from any further treatment program. This is called reactivity: when people
know that their behavior is being observed either by others or by self-recording, their
observed behaviors might change
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Behavioral Assessment vs. Traditional Assessment
Chapter 21: Direct Behavioral Assessment: What to Record and How
Characteristics of Behavior to be Recorded
Topography of behavior specific movements involved in making the response. Include
picture prompts
Amount of behavior
o Frequency or rate of behavior
Could be measured on frequency graph or cumulative graph
On a cumulative graph, the average slope of the line over an interval
indicates how many responses occurred during that period of time. The
slope of the line in a cumulative graph indicates the rate of response
The line can never decrease.
A steep line = high rate of responding, flat line = zero responding
A cumulative graph is usually preferred when comparing two or more
behaviors or conditions and when the differences are small
Each instance of a behavior that is recorded in terms of frequency is a
separate, individually distinct behavior that is easy to tally in a given
period of time
Relative duration of behavior
o Sum of durations divided by total time. This is the length of time that behavior
occurs within some period
Intensity of behavior usually use instruments
Stimulus control of behavior
o Typically concerned w/ preverbal and verbal skills
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