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Roots of Applied Behavior Analysis. Explanations of Human Behavior. Why do people behave the way they do? Can we predict behavior? Why do people behave in socially inappropriate ways?. Useful theories. Inclusive: it must explain a substantial amount of behavior

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Roots of Applied Behavior Analysis

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explanations of human behavior
Explanations of Human Behavior
  • Why do people behave the way they do?
  • Can we predict behavior?
  • Why do people behave in socially inappropriate ways?
useful theories
Useful theories
  • Inclusive: it must explain a substantial amount of behavior
  • Verifiable: can we test it out?
  • Predictive utility: can we use the theory to predict what someone may do under similar conditions?
  • Parsimonious: is it the simplest explanation?
biophysical explanations
Biophysical Explanations
  • Genetic or hereditary factors
    • We are often predisposed to behave a certain way - “temperament” including activity level, adaptability, threshold of responsiveness, distractibility, persistence, etc.
  • Genetics may Increase the probability of certain behavioral characteristics
biochemical explanations
Biochemical explanations
  • Excesses or deficiencies of certain chemicals determine certain behaviors or disorders i.e., autism
  • No proof – the abnormalities exist but may not be the cause
  • Past belief that biochemical or physiological influences result in brain damage but this is unsubstantiated
developmental explanations
Developmental Explanations
  • Psychoanalytic theory – progression through certain stages as an explanation
  • Piaget – cognitive and moral stages of development
cognitive explanations
Cognitive Explanations
  • Discovery learning
  • Motivation is intrinsic
  • Teachers do not impart knowledge, they rearrange the environment to facilitate learning
  • Constructivism – students must construct their own knowledge
  • Concept development is the goal
behavioral explanations
Behavioral Explanations
  • Behavior is learned
  • Functional relationship between two environmental events: behavior and consequence (POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT)
  • NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT – a behavior increases when an unpleasant environmental condition is removed or reduced in intensity
behaviorism cont d
Behaviorism (cont’d)
  • EXTINCTION – When a previously reinforced behavior is no longer reinforced, the behavior decreases
  • ANTECEDENT CONTROL – discriminative stimulus – an antecedent that occurs right before the behavior (it occasions the behavior)
  • Stimulus control – the relationship between the behavior and the antecedent
antecedent stimulus
Antecedent Stimulus
  • Antecedent stimulus – serves as a signal or cue for the behavior
  • Setting events- influence behavior by temporarily changing the value or effectiveness of a reinforcer
  • Simple kind of setting event – satiation or deprivation
  • Kazdin: social, physiological, and environmental
setting events
Setting events
  • Bailey, Wolery, & Sugai – instructional dimensions, physical dimensions, social dimensions, and environmental changes
  • Issues of students’ ethnic or cultural heritage – Personalized Contextual Instruction (see box pg 14-15)
other learning principles
Other learning principles
  • Modeling – demonstration of the behavior
  • Shaping – reinforcement of successive approximations to a desired behavior
  • Must be able to see or hear or feel or smell the behavior
  • Observable
  • Quantifiable
  • Less concerned with explaining a behavior and more concerned with describing it
  • Which environmental factors increase, decrease, or maintain the behavior?
  • Pay attention to heredity, psychological problems, or developmental stages
  • Priority is on present environmental conditions that maintain behavior and the relationships between the conditions and the behavior
  • Manipulate the variables
historical development of behaviorism
Historical development of Behaviorism
  • Pavlov – Respondent conditioning with dogs

food – UCS tone – CS

Salivation - UR salivation – CR

Pairing stimuli so that an unconditioned stimulus elicits a response – respondent, Pavlovian, or classical conditioning

  • Edward Thorndike – work with cats
  • Law of Exercise – a response made in a particular situation becomes associated with that situation
  • Law of Effect – any act which in a given situation produces satisfaction becomes associated with that situation, so that when the situation recurs that act is more likely than before to recur also
  • Originated by Watson (1914-1925) – mind, instinct, thought, emotion – not useful in in understanding behavior
  • Albert and the white rat – conditioned a startle response in a baby by pairing with loud noise with a white rat
  • Fear is a conditioned response
operant conditioning
Operant conditioning
  • B.F. Skinner – (1904-1988) – distinguished operant from respondent conditioning
  • Respondent conditioning – reflexive
  • Operant conditioning – voluntary behavior
  • Concerned with consequences of behavior and the functional relationships between behaviors and consequences
  • Moved from the laboratory into applied settings Behavior modification
  • Much research – Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Baer for research to qualify as Applied Behavior Analysis, it must:
    • change socially important behavior
    • deal with observable and quantifiable behavior
    • be objectively defined
    • demonstrate clear evidence of a functional relationship between the behavior and the intervention
applied behavior analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis
  • More rigorously defined than behavior modification
  • Must have effective analysis of behavior change through documentation