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Chapter 3

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Amanda Uliaszek

Chapter 3: USING DATA AND RESEARCH METHODS IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS USING DATA TO MEASURE CHANGES HOW WE USE DATA: intervention is a chronological time or when more than one program or period of time in which action is technique was applied. Types of graph: graphs taken to alter an existing situation such as target can take various forms and each graph contains a behaviour. Baseline refers to data collected horizontal axis or “abscissa” and vertical axis or before intervention or period of time during “ordinate”. The vertical axis represents some which data was collected. Data tells us the measure of behavior such as frequency or current status and history of variables- duration and horizontal represents another characteristics of people, objects, or events that variable usually chronological time. Line can vary or change. Behavior is a variable, and graphs use straight line to connect successive its antecedents and consequences are variables, data points that represent intersect of plotted too. Data collected on variables can clarify values for the variables scaled along the issues or concerns at different points in planning horizontal and vertical axes. They are the most and conducting a program to change target common types of graph used in applied behavior behaviour. Baseline data gives the representative analysis, and the horizontal axis typically scales picture of the extent or severity of the problem chronological time spanning baseline and behaviour before the intervention begins. The intervention phases of a program. That axis is main role of baseline is to give a reference point divided into and labeled to indicate periods in for comparison during intervention phase. By which the intervention period was used and not comparing both data, we can tell how well the used. Bar graphs use vertical arranged behaviour change program is working. More rectangles to represent points scaled along the visual reference go to fig 3.1 pg 39. vertical axis. The bars usually scaled along and extend up from the horizontal axis to the ORGANIZING DATA: Using arithmetic appropriate point represented on the vertical calculations: when data like 21, 24,25,5,9,39 axis. Each bar gives data for a separate set of etc. varies with a great deal, calculating the data that cannot be scaled on the horizontal axis. mean makes a clearer picture. Calculating the The bars are arranged horizontally instead of mean smoothes out the record and gives the general level of the behavior. Grouping data by vertically. If so, the axes are switched and the measure of behavior runs along the horizontal weeks is the most common approach in behavior axis (fig 3.2 pg 40). Cumulative graphs or analysis because many behaviors fluctuate by cumulative records are lines in which the day of the week. Using tables: a table is a measure of behavior accumulates across scaled systematic arrangement of data or other along the horizontal axis. Because the data information is columns and rows for easy accumulates, the graph is smoother and the line examination. It organizes the data visually, can never turn downward. If the number of allowing us to see patterns and make responses declines, the graph must go up by a comparisons in the data plainly and quickly. smaller amount. If no response occurs, the graph Rows and columns can be divided on the basis doesn’t go up at all- its parallels the horizontal of variables to be examined such as different axis. The steeper the slope of the line in a periods of times, antecedents or behaviours. cumulative graph, the higher the response rate. Tables always have a descriptive title and it’s More visual reference, go to fig 3.3 pg 41. been referred to by its number in a text material. GRAPHING DATA: a graph is a drawing that PREPARING GRAPHS: five components of a behavior analysis; axes: there will be a displays variations within a set of data, typically horizontal and vertical axis which meets at the showing how one variable changed with changes bottom left of the drawing. Horizontal axis is in another variable. A well-constructed data usually longer than vertical. Axis scaling and gives the clearest picture of any changes that labels: labels each axis clearly with occurred in the target behavior over measurement units and a name of what the axis implemented. There is no widely accepted represents. The vertical axis shows the behavior criterion for deciding whether graphed data do measure. The horizontal axis shows the or no reflect “substantial”, the agreement that is chronological time in line and cumulative standard should be rigorous. It should provide graphs, in bar graphs, it gives the separate clear marks for a conclusion to be drawn why conditions. Data points: correctly plotted data the intervention was successful. An initial points are drawn at intersects of the scaled graphic analysis: we wonder if a behavior is values of the vertical and horizontal axes. In changing once we start an intervention phase of lines and cumulative graphs, the adjacent data a program to change a behavior. We do find out points are connected by a straight line. The line a week by drawing a graph and inspecting the connecting a set of data points create a path data. Judging whether a program is working depicting the level of behavior and its trend over after a week of an intervention involves time. Phase lines and labels: lines and assessing 2 trends. 1 trend reflects whether the cumulative graphs are divided into two or more behavior improved from baseline to intervention, phase, separated with vertical lines (usually and second trend reflects whether the behavior dashed). This represents treatment and non- has continued to improve across the time during treatment periods, which corresponds to the intervention. More visual go to fig 3.4 pg 44. “intervention” and “baseline”. Caption: it An initial analysis is useful- if the program is begins with a figure number, which refers the working, no changes need to be made to the order in which the graph is referred to in the text intervention methods; but if it’s working as we material of the report or book. Example, figure 1 wanted, we would like to know why and revise presents…. in text. This creates an easy to read, the method. Later analysis will be performed to clear and fair picture of what data indicate, using know whether improvements continued and distinct geometric forms, such as circles or behavioral goal was achieved. Clarifying a squares for data points. Never use color to graphic analysis: 3 steps procedure that makes distinguish different sets of data. For behavioral a graphic analysis clearer by using a feature excess, the target behavior should decline called trend lines in the graph: 1) calculate the noticeably in the intervention; for behavior means for the baseline and intervention data we deficit, the behavior should increase. want to compare. 2) Place a data point on the graph for each mean halfway across the USING GRAPHS AND BASIC RESEARCH corresponding time period, using geometric form METHODS that is different from any other forms we’ve used in the graph. 3) For each time period we’re When Behavior analysts evaluate the success of comparing, draw a trend line a straight line that a program to change behavior, they have 2 purposes in mind; first, they want to know best “fits” or represents all of the data points in whether the behavior changed which can be time period- through or very near the data point for corresponding mean. Three issues about determined from a graph. Secondly, if it did trend lines; first, if positioned correctly, each change, they want to know why it did. To find looks like it carves the corresponding data in out why, they use research methods that half, with same number of point above and demonstrate changes in a target behavior below. Secondly, if there’s a scale break on resulting from an intervention rather than from some factor. GRAPHIC ANALYSIS: graphs vertical axis, do not have a trend line that can be used to assess the effectiveness of an includes the breaks because the slope will be affected. Third, more complex procedures are intervention as well as to provide feedback as available for constructing and interpreting trend reinforcement for a target person during lines if higher precision is needed. Another way intervention, thus increasing his/her motivation. to clarify a graphic analysis is to check the Graphic analysis is a procedure in which behavior analysts inspect graphed data to amount of overlap in the data points for baseline evaluate whether the behavior changed and intervention. The lower the overlap, the substantially when intervention techniques were greater the intervention’s effect, there’s no overlap in an ideal condition. For behavior excess, the lower data point in baseline would allow us to rule out other factors in a person’s have a higher value than the highest data point life that may actually be responsible for the in intervention. For a behavioural deficit, the behavior changes observed. AB design may be highest data point in baseline would be lower useful when the purpose of research is to than the lowest data point in intervention. More determine the extent to which a behavior has visual on fig3.4 pg 44 changed, but less than ideal when isolating the cause of change. Example it was sufficient to Data problems in graphic analyses: trends in the data from programs to change behavior can show that parent training in behavioral methods may aid treatment programs for children who are present problem, making graphic analysis more hyperactive. difficult to interpret. These can be present in 3 types: 1) excessive variability 2) decreasing Reversal, ABA or ABAB, designs: reversal baseline trend*behavioral excess* 3) increasing designs have series of phases in which an baseline trend *behavioral deficit*. More intervention is alternately absent and present, graphic figure 3.5 a,b,c on pg 45 to illustrate the usually with either 3/4 phases. ABA design has three types. 3 phases; baseline, intervention, and reversal- that is the last phase withdraws the intervention, BASIC RESEARCH DESIGNS: research in reinstating the baseline conditions. The reversal applied behavior analysis uses single-subject phase allows us to see whether the behavioral designs/single case designs which examine the changes that occurred during intervention revert target behavior of a person across time, while an toward baseline when the intervention was intervention is either in effect or absent. Single – absent. ABAB design contains 4 phases; subject designs test more than one participant, but the data collected for the target behaviors are baseline, intervention, reversal (baseline), intervention. Restating the intervention in the usually evaluated for each participant separately, last phase, we can see whether the behavior using graphic analysis methods. Most research responds again to the programs’ techniques. includes 2 types of variables: independent Reversal designs have an advantage over the AB variable used to test for its potential or designs- they can demonstrate an increase or suspected influence, and dependent variable is decrease in the behavior that corresponds to the assessed to see if its value corresponds to variations in the independent. In applied presence and absence of intervention. They provide strong evidence for a functional behavior analysis research, the presence or relationship. The intervention caused the absence of an intervention is independent behavior to change, as a result, the reversal variable, target behavior is the dependent. design show both that the behavior changed and Examining why a behavior changed, we seek for
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