Chapter Three - Graphing Behavior and Measuring Change
X-axis (abscissa) = time. Y-axis (ordinate) = level of behavior
What are the 6 components necessary for a graph to be complete?
1) x/y axis
2) The labels for x/y axis ex, x (unit of time behavior is recorded ex days) and y (behavior and
dimension being recorded ex hours of study)
3) Numbers on the y/x axis ex, x (units of measurement of time) and y (units of measurement of
4) Data Points plotted - to indicate level of behavior t hat occurred at each time period. Points
taken from data sheet or other behavior recording instrument. Points are connected.
5) Phase Lines - Separates phases, data points are not connected across phase lines.
6) Phase Labels - Each phase is labeled at the top ex baseline and behavioral contract.
What will change wit h dif ferent dimensions of behavior are the y axis label and the numbering
on the y axis. Ex, cor rect answers to a student’s math problems. Label: percentage of cor rect
math problems and number 0- 100 percent.
Research Designs = Purpose of a research design is to determine whether the treatment
(independent variable) was responsible for the observed change in target behavior (dependent
variable). Independent variable is what the researcher manipulates to produce a change in target
behavior. Extraneous variable also called confounding variable is any event t hat the researcher
did not plan that may have affec ted the behavior. For the client it is enough that the problem
changed, but for the researcher the research design shows that the behavior modification
procedure is what cause the behavior change, and when the procedure is replicated or repeated it
is called functional relationship.
A-B Design: a=baseline b=treatment. Does not show functional relationship because treatment is
not implemented a second time. Therefore it does not rule out the possibility of confounding
variables being responsible for behavior change. U sually used for research situations such as self
management to show only t hat behavior has changed for some reason and not just to prove that it
was because of the behavior mod procedure treatment.
A-B-A-B Reversal Designs: extension of a-b design. It is called a reversal because after the first
treatment phase the researcher removes it and turns back to baseline. That fact t hat behavior
changed only when phase change, is evidence that the treatment changed the behavior and not a
confounding variable. Some considerations to take, firstly it may not be ethical to take away