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Changing Criterion Designs. Changing Criterion Design. Used to evaluate effects of a treatment that is applied in a graduated fashion to a single target behavior Baseline is followed by Treatment phase

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Changing Criterion Designs

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Changing criterion designs

Changing Criterion Designs

Changing criterion design

Changing Criterion Design

  • Used to evaluate effects of a treatment that is applied in a graduated fashion to a single target behavior

  • Baseline is followed by Treatment phase

  • Once stabilized, the treatment serves as a baseline for increased criterion of the next phase

  • Is a variation of the multiple baseline design

  • Shows repeated production of new rates of behavior as function of manipulations of independent variable

  • Is very flexible

Guidelines for use

Guidelines for Use

  • Requires careful manipulation of 3 design factors:

    • length of phases

    • magnitude of criterion changes

    • number of criterion changes

Length of phases

Length of Phases

  • Each treatment phase must be long enough to achieve stable responding

    • Acts as a baseline

  • Is slower to change target behaviors

    • May require longer treatment phases

    • Should vary phases considerably to increase validity

Magnitude of criterion changes

Magnitude of Criterion Changes

  • Varying size of changes gives more convincing demonstration of experimental control

  • Must be large enough to be detectable, but not so large as to be unachievable

    • Can get ratio strain

  • Smaller changes can be used with very stable levels of responding

  • Larger changes may be required to demonstrate behavior change

Number of criterion changes

Number of Criterion Changes

  • The more times the behavior changes to meet new level, the more convincing the experimental control

  • Interrelated with phase length and magnitude of criterion changes

  • If limited time for study, the greater the number of phases, the shorter each phase can be

Points to note

Points to note

  • Does not require reversal of improved behavior

  • Only one target behavior is required

  • Should only for use with behaviors that are in a subjects repertoire

  • Should lend themselves to stepwise modification and potential increase.

  • Not appropriate for shaping behaviors



  • Best suited for evaluating effects of instructional techniques on stepwise changes in rate, frequency, accuracy, duration, or latency of single target behavior

  • Is a good design for school settings

  • Final point. You can reach a level where you cannot go any higher or any faster due to subject limitations

    • >100% is hard to do

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