PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello
PSYB45 Chapter 24: Planning, Applying, and Evaluating a
Deciding Whether to Design a Program Following a Referral
Questions to ask during the screening or intake phase of behavioural assessment
1. Was the problem referred primarily for the benefit of the client?
a. If its accomplishment is for the benefit of others, it should at least be neutral for the
b. Ethical considerations may require that some referrals simply stop here
2. Is the problem important to the client or to others?
3. Can the problem and the goal be specified so that you are dealing with a specific behaviour or
set of behaviours that can be measured in some way?
a. If the problem is initially vague you must specify a component behaviour(s) that
a.i. Define the problem
a.ii. Can be measured or assessed objectively
4. Have you eliminated the possibility that the problem involves complications that would
necessitate referring it to another specialist?
a. Other words: Are you the appropriate person to deal with this problem?
5. Is the problem one that would appear to be easily manageable?
6. If the desired behaviour change is obtained, can it be readily generalized to and maintained in
the natural environment?
7. Can you identify significant individuals (relatives, friends, teachers) in the client’s natural
environment who might help record observations and manage controlling stimuli and
8. If there are individuals who might hinder the program, can you identify ways to minimize their
Selection and Implementation of a Preprogram Assessment Procedure
1. For a reliable baseline, define the problem in precise behavioural terms
2. Select an appropriate baseline procedure that will enable you to
a. Monitor the problem behaviour
b. Identify the current stimulus control of the problem behaviour
c. Identify the maintaining consequences of problem behaviour PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello
d. Monitor relevant medical/health/personal variables
e. Identify an alternative desirable behaviour
3. Design recording procedures that will enable you to log the amount of time devoted to the
project by professionals
4. Ensure that the observers have received appropriate training in identifying the critical aspects of
the behaviour, applying the recording procedures, and graphing the data
5. If the baseline is likely to be prolonged, selected a procedure for increasing and maintaining the
strength of the record-keeping behaviour of the people recording the data
6. After beginning to collect baseline data, analyze the data carefully to select an appropriate
treatment or intervention strategy and decide when to terminate the baseline phase and begin
Additional questions during the pretreatment assessment phase
1. What daily times can the mediator(s) schedule for this project?
2. Will others in the situation help or hinder data collection?
3. Will the surroundings make your assessment difficult?
4. How frequent is the problem behaviour?
5. How rapidly should the behaviour change?
6. Is the presenting problem a behavioural deficit or can it be reformulated as such?
Strategies of Program Design and Implementation
1. Identify the goals for target behaviours and their desired amount and stimulus control, then
answer these questions
a. Is the description precise?
b. On what grounds did you choose the goal, and how is it in the client’s best interest?
c. Has the client been given all possible information about the goal?
d. Have steps been taken to increase the client’s commitment to accomplish the goal?
e. What are potential side effects of accomplishing the goal for both the client and others?
f. Do the answers to the foregoing questions suggest that you should proceed?
2. Identify individuals (friends, relatives, teachers, others) who might help to manage controlling
stimuli and reinforcers
3. Examine the possibility of capitalizing on antecedent control; can you use
b. Goal setting PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello
d. Physical guidance
e. Situational inducement (rearrange the surroundings, move the activity to a new
location, relocate people, or change the time of the activity)
f. Motivating operations
4. If you’re developing a new behaviour, will you use shaping, fading, or chaining? What MEO will
5. IfDyou’re changing the stimulus control of an existing behaviour, can you select the controlling
S s so that they
a. Are different from other stimuli on more than one dimension
b. Are encountered mainly in situations in which the desired stimulus control should occur
c. Evoke attending behaviour
d. Do no evoke undesirable behaviour
6. If you’re decreasing a behavioural excess
a. Can you remove S s for the problem behaviour
b. Can you withhold reinforcers that are maintaining the problem behaviour or present
MAOs for those reinforcers
c. Can you apply DRL to reduce the rate of the behaviour to a low but acceptable rate
d. Can you apply DRO, DRI, or DRA
e. Should you use punishment? (Acceptable only as a last resort and under appropriate
professional supervision with appropriate ethical approval)
7. Specify the details of the reinforcement system by answering these questions
a. How will you select reinforcers?
b. What reinforcers will you use? Can you use the same reinforcers currently maintaining a
c. How will reinforcer effectiveness be continually monitored, and by whom?
d. How will reinforcers be stored and dispensed, and by whom?
e. If you use a token system or token economy what are the details of its implementation?
8. Specify the training setting
a. What environmental rearrangement will be