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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB45H3
Professor
Amanda Uliaszek
Semester
Winter

Description
Behaviour Analysis: Chapter two Identifying and Assessing Target Behaviours 1) Goals and Target Behaviours  A good definition of the target behaviour is objective and unambiguous o Identifies what the person does that contributes to behv deficit or excess  Example of a behv with an objective & unambiguous definition: o Whining: person expressing a complaint verbally in a high and wavering pitch  Definition must incld active verbs to describe the specific acts  Once target behvs are clear, can identify specific goals Identifying and defining behavioural goals:  Two types of goals behv analysts want to achieve: o 1. Outcome goals o 2. Behavioural goals  Outcome goals  broad or abstracted results we want to achieve o Very obvious and straight forward o Ex: get higher grades  Behavioural goal  level of the target behaviour we hope to achieve in a program o Ex: increase study time to 3 times a week for at least 4 hours  Sometimes outcome & behv goals are the same o Happens when both goals involve quitting a particular behv o Often goals are different though  Problem with addressing just outcome goal: o May try to increase grades unethically (cheating on tests)  Once e/ target behv & behavioural goal for an intervention have been identified, we need to define them very clearly and in measurable terms  Defining the behavioural goal is also impt o By the end of the prog, reduce coming to work late from about 10 times to less than 3/ month & each instance of lateness should be by less than 10 mins  Good idea to identify behavioural subgoals  intermediate levels of the behv to be achieved by specific dates during the prog  To tell whether a prog to change behv worked, it’s necessary to measure the target behv and compare it against a specified behv goal Defining Operant Target Behaviours:  Crucial to define target behaviours clearly & in measurable terms  Ex: decided to change young girl’s diet & defined target behv as “to eat healthier” (vague) o What does “eat healthier” mean? o Eating = operant behv, to change it, you’ll need to alt its antecedents & consequences o Definition must match goal  ig behv goal states specific snacks she can/can’t eat, your definition of the target behv has to reflect those details Overt & Covert Behaviours:  Can easily define/measure overt behaviours  Defining/ measuring covert behvs (thoughts/feelings) problematic b/s so subjective o Can use some physiological markers to help such as measuring pulse by counting <3 beats Complex Behaviours:  Sometimes, target behv involves a complex set of responses  Motor activity that consists of a sequence of antecedents (stimuli) and responses is called a behavioural chain o Must be done in a particular order o Ex: see shampoo bottle [antecedent (stimuli)]  reach & grasp bottle (response)  Once component links are identified, can be trained to perform e/ component & put all the links together Defining Respondent Target Behaviours:  Respondent behaviours can be overt or covert (oft. Both) o Ex: fear (overt facial expressions & covert negative thoughts)  When designing a program to change a respondent behaviour, need to define the behv in terms of internal or external responses (or both) Prioritizing: which behaviour to address first:  Target person  many behvs that need to improve  Decide how to sequence the changes  To make these decisions, must answer following questions beginning with “Is the new behv likely to..” : o Lead to reinforcement in the target person’s everyday environment o Replace the occurrence of harm or damage? o Be a prereq for a learning skill that enables the person to function better? o Affect in positive ways individuals in the clients life? o Be a behavioural cusp?  Behavioural cusp: behv that has benefits beyond its direct effects because it exposes the person to a new and richer environment o Show response generalization?  Altering one behv leads to similar changes in a/o behv o Take the place of or interfere with performing a problem behaviour?  Two factors behv analysts consider: o 1. Degree of success o 2. How much money or resources the change will cost 2) How to assess Target Behaviours:  Reqs collection of data  Several types of data we can use Types of Data:  Measure the target behaviour and reflect any progress  Behv can change in diff ways: how oft, how long, & how strongly  Measure of time expressed as rate per unit of time Frequency:  Number of times the response was observed  Behv goal involves changing how oft  e/ instance of target behv is discrete (has a clear start and end) & takes the same amount of time to perform Duration:  length of time target behv lasts  instances of behv that last for varying periods of time & behv goal that involves increasing or decreasing that time o ex: tantrum Magnitude:  changing the intensity, degree, or size of an action &U if that measure can or does vary o ex: anger  magnitude measure = impt when changing emotional behvs such as overt & covert expressions of anger, fear, jealousy etc.  common measure = rating scale o ex: 10 pt scale o grip strength/ noise intensity  mechanical/ electronic measurement scales Data of other types:  1. Latency: the amount of time a person takes to initiate the appropriate response to an antecedent o Ex: getting to sleep after going to bed  2. Quality: behv goal involves improving how well o Assessed w/ rating scale  3. Trials-to-criterion: tallying the number of trials the target person needed to achieve a specific level of performance o Ex: teaching a child to pronounce the “th” sound  count # of trials until said correctly to a predetermined criterion (ex: twice in a row)  4. Percentage: proportion of behvs that meet some criterion multiplied by 100 o Useful when ppl have many opportunities to respond or when opportunities to meet a behv criterion vary across time/ circumstances  Ex: child’s compliance  divide # of compliant behvs with # of requests & multiply by 100  Two factors to rmb: o Necessary to collect more than 1 type of data to reflect changes
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