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Chapter 13

Applied Behaviour Analysis Chapter 13.docx

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Amanda A Uliaszek

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Applied Behaviour Analysis- Principles and Procedures for Modifying Behavior Chapter 13: Functional Assessment and Program Design “This chapter examines the procedure of functional assessment that behavior analysts apply to identify the antecedents and consequences of a target behavior” (Zimmerman and Zimmerman. 1962) 11-year-old boy with Tantrums  No organic disorder  Showed unusual disruptive classroom behavior o Speak baby talk, voice irrelevant comments and questions, and had several temper tantrums each week  Some teachers hypothesized that such behavior appeared after boy was teased or frustrated  Only observable behavior in situation: formation of group around boy while he had tantrums  Thus, 2 possible reasons for his tantrums: 1. The antecedents : being frustrated or teased 2. The consequences : receiving attentions  After staff was told not to tend to boys tantrums, his behavior decreased gradually over a few weeks  Therefore, tantrums = attention  Staff was rewarding the behavior unknowingly What is a Functional Assessment? CRITICAL PART OF DESIGN OF PROGRAM TO CHANGE BEHAVIOR:  “What functions does the behavior serve?”  Behavior is influences by its antecedents and consequences  To determine the functions of a behaviour it is necessary to know the situation: places and time; in which the behavior does or does not occur  And how the person benefits from their current behavior pattern  Conducting a functional assessment improves the success of behavior change programs Functional Assessment: A Definition  A set of procedures by which we can identify connections between a behavior and its antecedents and consequences o Highly rigorous, o detailed, o and complete in the way they are carried out  informal functional assessments in everyday life: o why people behave the way they do  Most interventions to change behavior in school settings o Moderately exact o Complete functional assessments o Assessments usually sufficient and have 3 outcomes: 1. Define the target behavior exactly and clearly 2. Determine which antecedents function to produce the behavioral excess or deficit 3. Reveal how the person’s behavior functions to produce reinforcement  Antecedents and Consequences are usually “OVERT”, o but can be “COVERT”  An antecedent is not necessarily a discrete event: o Can be a situation (time and place) o Or another person who is present when the target behavior does or does not occur. What Functions Can Behavior Serve?  Main purpose of conducting a Functional Assessment: o To identify the consequences of the target behavior  Operant behavior: is learned and maintained because of its consequences o The reason people learn and persist in a behavior is that it results in reinforcement.  If behavior leads to positive reinforcement: individual gets something they want  If it leads to negative reinforcement: they get out of something they don’t want o Thus, function of behavior:  To get something or get out of something.  Researchers assessed 12 problem behaviors o Ex. Self injury, aggression, disruption and noncompliance o All 12 behaviors, were behavior excesses-undirable behavioru u do a lot. o Over studies identified 4 types of reinforcement as maintaining the problem behaviors  Escape  Attention  Automatic  Tangible o Reinforcers can co-work in problem behaviors Escape as Reinforcement  Form of negative reinforcement  Gets us out of something we don’t want Example:  Commonly disliked situation for children with developmental disabilities is being in training o Children have difficulty in facing teachers demands of attentions and keeping on task o Children get out by:  Self injury, aggression, disruptions, and noncompliance  Training stops after this behavior for a little while  This, that behavior is negatively reinforced Attentions as Reinforcement  Receiving attention is often an effective positive reinforce  Type of attention which falls under reinforcers: o Compliments/praises o Reprimand – sometimes serves as a social reinforce, particularly for a problem behavior  Occurs when individual normally receives too little attention o Or lacks the desirable behaviors that would receive praise Automatic Reinforcement  Behavior produces a reinforce directly o Ex. When massaging an aching muscle to feel better.  Can be either a positive or negative reinforce o Positive:  Behavior directly leads to a reinforcing stimulus being introduced or added o Negative:  Behavior directly leads to the reduction or removal of an aversive situation  Reinforcement is not provided by someone else o Thus, ruling out all other sources of reinforcement, especially social reinforcement o If behavior persists even when individual is alone, it is evident that the reinforcement is automatic  Can also maintain problem behaviors o Example:  Individuals with binge eating problems are likely to east excessively when they feel these emotions, and binging relieves these feelings for a while. Tangible Reinforcement  Material objects, such as toys or clothing  If receiving tangible item for performing a behavior, strengthens the behavior = item is a tangible reinforce  Sometimes problem behaviors produce tangible reinforcers o Ex. Soothers for children to distract them after performing problem behavior.  If problem behaviors consistently lead to tangible reinforcers, those behaviors are likely to occur in the future in similar situations Performing a Functional Assessment  A “Target Behavior” can be one of 2 types: 1. Behavioral Excess: a. Undesirable behavior the person performs too frequently, too strongly, or for too long 2. Behavioral Deficit: a. Desirable behavior the person does not perform often enough , long enough, well enough, or strongly enough  The distinction is important when we design and conduct a functional assessment o If assessment involves a behavioral excess: we focus on instances of the behavior occurring too much and try to determine its antecedents and consequences o If the assessment deals with a behavioral deficit, we focus on instances when the behavior could have or should have occurred, but didn’t.  A functional assessment can apply any or all of 3 approaches that differ in how rigorously the assessments are made 1. Indirect method: a. Which uses questionnaires and interviews 2. Direct method: a. In which instances of the behavior are carefully observed in their natural settings 3. Experimental methods (or functional analysis) a. In which behavior analysts manipulate antecedents and consequences to see their effects on the behavior Indirect Methods: Interviews and Questionnaires  Information about the behavior and its antecedents and consequences is obtained from the target person or from other people who know the client well, by means of interviews or questionnaires o Ex. Family, friends, teachers, etc  These means are routinely done as part of therapy processes and behavior change interventions  These means try to identify and define the target behavior and determine its antecedent conditions and consequences  Interviews often use a published structured set of questions to provide a standard format for collecting relevant data, which is about the following: o A detailed description of target behavior:-  Frequency, duration and intensity. o Factors in the persons general life  Diet and sleep o Antecedent conditions (situation) when behaviour is most likely to occur o What individual gets or gets out of by performing or not performing the behavior o Items or experiences individual likes (reinforcers) o What efforts have been tried in past to change behavior  Answers can assess antecedents and consequences for behavioral excess or deficits o Because questions are of individuals non/performances of target behaviors  Questionnaires can be used to collect similar information o Some are more specific in the scope of questions o Can be
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