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Chapter 9. Overview of Alternating Treatments Designs. Background/Overview. Alternating Treatments Designs (ATD) requires the “rapid alternation of two or more distinct treatments while their effects on a single target behavior are noted.”

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chapter 9
Chapter 9

Overview of Alternating Treatments Designs

background overview
  • Alternating Treatments Designs (ATD) requires the “rapid alternation of two or more distinct treatments while their effects on a single target behavior are noted.”
  • ATD does not require the collection of baseline data. However, when possible it should be collected.
background overview1
  • Two important points
    • The presentation of the treatments should be counterbalanced (presented the same number of times).
    • The subjects should be able to discriminate between or among the treatment conditions.
three types of atd
Three types of ATD
  • Alternating treatments without baseline
  • Baseline followed by alternating treatments
  • Baseline followed by alternating treatments with a final treatment phase.
alternating treatments w o baseline
Alternating Treatments w/o Baseline
  • This treatment can be implemented immediately.
  • This design should actually include a type of baseline data by having a no-treatment phase as one of the alternating treatments (Alternating treatments with a control condition design).
baseline followed by atd
Baseline Followed by ATD
  • Two situations when gathering a baseline should not continue.
    • When the nature of the target behavior is severely ethical (Self-abusive behaviors).
    • When the data trend is moving in a countertherapeutic direction.
baseline followed by atd1
Baseline Followed by ATD
  • Four steps to follow:
    • Carefully define the independent and dependent variables.
    • Determine a schedule for counterbalancing the presentation of the treatments.
    • Collect baseline data for the dependent variable for a number of sessions (baseline phase does not have to be stable before introducing the treatment).
    • Introduce treatments in their predetermined order.
baseline followed by atd and a final treatment phase
Baseline Followed by ATD and a Final Treatment Phase
  • It is important to continue the most effective treatment.
  • Therefore, one would collect baseline, introduce alternating treatments, then continue the study using the most effective treatment.
prediction verification and replication
Prediction, Verification, and Replication
  • There are some concerns:
  • The determination of a functional relationship b/w the DV and the IV is weak compared to reversal and multiple baseline designs.
  • The possibility of multiple treatment interference might produce carryover effects that obscure the relationship of the DV to IV.
  • External Validity must be addressed by replicating with different subjects and/or conditions.
prediction verification and replication1
Prediction, Verification, and Replication
  • Cooper et al. argued that ATD addresses each of the preceding issues:
  • Prediction: each data point serves as a predictor of future behavior under the same treatment.
  • Verification: Each successive data point serves to verify previous predictions of performance under the same treatment.
  • Replication: Successive data points replicates the differential effects produced by the other treatments.
prediction verification and replication2
Prediction, Verification, and Replication
  • Neuman (1995) points out thatATD may have good internal validity for two reasons.
  • The patterns of response vary with the alternating treatment conditions, so there is minimal overlap among data in the conditions.
  • If one treatment is consistently associated with an improved level of responding, then the design demonstrates good experimental control.
  • The choice to use ATD, or any other design, should be based on a careful match of the dependent and the independent variables.
advantages of atd
Advantages of ATD
  • When you want to determine the relative effectiveness of more than one treatment on a given behavior.
  • When baseline data are either unavailable or unstable.
  • When the treatments are sufficiently different from each other.
  • When the subjects can discriminate the treatment conditions.
  • When the effects of sequencing the interventions might obscure the results.
disadvantages of atd
Disadvantages of ATD
  • When the treatments might interact and obscure results.
  • When the subjects cannot discriminate the treatment conditions.
  • When the treatments typically produce slow behavior changes.
  • When the treatments need to be administered over a continuous period of time to be effective.
  • When it becomes difficult to counterbalance the various aspects of the study.
adaptations of atd
Adaptations of ATD
  • Simultaneous Treatment Design
  • This is rare in professional literature
  • Treatment conditions are presented at the same time.
  • Requires more skill, planning, and organization that the use of other designs.
  • It is difficult to systematically analyze the effects of several interventions presented at the same time.
adaptations of atd1
Adaptations of ATD
  • Adapted Alternating Treatments Design
  • Each intervention is applied to different behaviors that are considered to be of equal response difficulty but functionally independent.
  • The process of equating behaviors can be time consuming and problematic.