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Psychology (9,697)
PSYB45H3 (1,081)
Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Notes

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Zachariah Campbell

Chapter 13: Understanding Problem Behaviors through Functional Assessment This section of the text describes behavioral procedures for understanding problem behaviors and increasing or decreasing existing behaviors. When using behaviour modification procedures to help a person increase a desirable behaviour or decrease or eliminate an undesirable behaviour, the first step is to understand why the person engages in the behaviour. To do so, you must conduct an assessment of the three-term contingency to determine the antecedent events that evoke the behaviour and the reinforcing consequences that maintain it. Identifying these variables before treating a problem behaviour is called functional assessment. Example of Functional Assessment Jacob, a 2 year old boy was engaged in problem behaviors involving throwing objects, banging his head on the ground and whining. His mother was concerned about his problems and agreed for a psychology student named Rich, to try to decrease Jacobs problem behavior. The first step to Rich took was to conduct a functional assessment to determine why Jacob was engaging in these behaviors. First, Rich interviewed Jacobs mother and asked her questions about the problem behaviors, the setting and the day care routines, the antecedent circumstances, the consequences when Jacob engaged in the problem behaviors, other behaviors that Jacob engaged in, and previous treatments that she had tried with Jacob. After the interview, Rich observed Jacob in the day care setting and recorded information on the antecedents, behavior and consequences each time Jacob engaged in the problem behaviors. Using the information from the interview and observations, Rich developed a hypothesis about the function of the problem behaviors. He determined that Jacob was more likely to engage in the problem behaviors when other children in day care took his toys or tried to play with his toys. When Jacob engaged in the head-banging, whining, or toy-throwing, the other children were likely to stop playing with his toys and give the toys back to him. Rich hypothesized that the reinforcer for the problem behaviors was that the other children gave Jacob gave back his toys. www.notesolution.com
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