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Chapter 21

Chapter 21: Direct Behavioral Assessment: What to Record and How

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Jessica Dere

Chapter 21: Direct Behavioural Assessment: What to Record and How In measuring behaviour directly, 6 general characteristics should be considered: topography, amount, intensity, stimulus control, latency, and quality Characteristics of Behaviour to be Recorded Topography of Behaviour  Topography: the specific movements involved in making a response.  Eg) if a teacher wants to shape arm raising by a child w/ dev disabilities as a means of getting attention in a class, the teacher might 1 ID the measurable lvls of arm raising described in Table 21-1 Amount of Behaviour 1. Frequency (or rate) of behaviour: the number of instances a behaviour occurs in a given time.  3 ways to track frequency w/ minimal time (using an observer is time consuming):  Golf counter: counter that counts to 99 by pressing a button for each instant the b occurs  Electronic calculator: you press +1 for each instance the B occurs, and it tracks the total.  Hand-held computers: record more than one behaviour; or records the # of one behaviour done by multiple people  Frequency graph: each data point represents the total number of elements completed during each session.  Con: difficult to see differences b/w conditions when the occurrences are inconsistent and small. So use cumulative graph.  Cumulative graph: each response for a condition during a session is added to the total response of all previous sessions for that condition.  Eg) if there were no responses in sessions 1,2, and 3, then you have a cumulative total of zero (horizontal slop). If there you have a 3 responses on session 4, you have a cumulative total of 3 plotted for session 4. If you have 2 responses on session 5, you add that to the # responses in session 4. So for session 5, you have a cumulative total of 5, so you plot your point at 5.  Slope of the line represents the rate of response. It can never decrease. o Steep line = high response rate; flat line = no response.  Usually preferred over f graph when comparing 2< behaviours or conditions and when the diffs are small. 2. Duration of behaviour  Relative duration of behaviour: the length of time that it occurs w/in some period (sum of its duration ÷ total time)  Used when applying frequency leads to ambiguous data  Eg) for temper tantrums, should each response be separate (each cry, scream, kick)? Or should we count each tantrum episode?  Other examples to use this are listening attentively, sitting in one’s seat, watch TV, talking on phone, taking coffee breaks. Intensity of behaviour: the intensity, magnitude, or force of a response  Usually uses instruments to measure intensity  Eg) voice loudness, use voice meter; grip pressure, use dynamometer.  Measures of force are common in sports.  Machines assess how hard a pitcher can throw a baseball, or a hockey player can shoot a hockey puck  The speed of an obj is used to infer the force with which it was propelled (physics!) Stimulus control of behaviour  Stimulus control: the degree of correlation b/w a stimulus and a response  Eg) Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA) by Nancy Kerr and Lee Meyerson: assesses the ease w/ which persons w/intellectual disabilities are able to learn 6 stimulus-discrimination levels  Lvl 1: imitation: tester puts an obj into a container and asks the client to do so  2: position discrimination: tester reps red box and yellow can in fixed Left-Right (L-R) positions and req. a client to place an object in the L-container.  3: visual discrimination: client must place a neutral nonmatching obj in the Y-can independent of it’s position when the teacher says, “put it in”  4: visual match-to-sample: client must voluntarily place a Y- cylinder into the Y-can, and a R-cube into the R- box, when the can and cube are randomized in L-R positions  5: auditory discrimination: When in fixed L-R positions, a client is under the control of auditory cues when consistently placing a nonmatching obj in the right container when tester randomly says “red box” or Yellow can”  6: auditory-visual combined discrimination: client correctly puts nonmatching obj into Y-can or R-box when the positions of co
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