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Principles of Behavior Modification. Note Set 2 Gary L. Cates, Ph.D., N.C.S.P. Applied Research Methods. Single Case Designs. Terms. Independent Variable : What is manipulated Dependent Variable : What is measured (Always Y Axis)

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principles of behavior modification

Principles of Behavior Modification

Note Set 2

Gary L. Cates, Ph.D., N.C.S.P.

applied research methods

Applied Research Methods

Single Case Designs

  • Independent Variable: What is manipulated
  • Dependent Variable: What is measured (Always Y Axis)
  • Confounding Variable: Unintended independent variable that affects interpretations
  • Internal Validity: Extent to which IV unambiguously affects DV (i.e. no confounds)
  • External Validity: Extent to which Results generalize
why evaluate interventions
Why Evaluate Interventions?
  • To determine if our practices are effective
  • To determine if our practices are as efficient as another practice
  • To provide support with regard to resistance
  • To learn something about the person/behavior
  • To learn something about the intervention
  • To ensure honest service delivery with integrity
how do i evaluate interventions
How do I Evaluate Interventions?
  • Verbal reports
  • Annual tests
  • Pre-test (baseline) Post-Test (after some intervention)
  • Repeated measurement of behavior over time
what do the letters and numbers mean
What Do the Letters and Numbers Mean?
  • A = Baseline
  • B = Treatment
  • C = Treatment 2 etc.
  • 1 = first level of treatment
  • 2 = second level of treatment etc.
a b design

A-B Design

Case Study Design

a b a design

A-B-A design

What happens when you take the treatment away?

a b a b


Let’s Put the Treatment Back Please?

b c b c


Let’s not spend so much time in baseline alright?

multiple baseline design

Multiple Baseline Design

Across: Behaviors, therapists, settings

changing criterion design

Changing Criterion Design

Let’s change it a little at a time

data interpretation
Data Interpretation
  • Replication demonstrations
  • Overlapping data points
  • Immediacy, stability, trend
  • Effect size
  • Description of procedures
  • Reliability in response measurement
  • Consistency with previous data and theory
general phases of a treatment program
General Phases of a Treatment Program
  • Intake Phase (5 reasons)

- Should I take this case?

- Explain Policies

- Screen for crisis

- Diagnose client (I don’t do this – only two reasons for me to do so)

- Choose “Target” behaviors

general phases of a treatment program25
General Phases of a Treatment Program
  • Baseline Phase

- To understand possible controlling variables

  • Treatment Phase

- Collecting data during the treatment to monitor it closely

√ Not just a pre-test (baseline) and post-test (follow-up)

  • Follow-up Phase

- Determine if progress made is maintained.

√ Are the changes somewhat permanent?

sources of information for baseline assessment
Sources of Information for baseline assessment
  • Indirect Assessment Procedures


- Questionnaires: Life history, self-report, survey, third-party checklists and rating scales.

    • Role Playing
    • Information from other professionals
    • Client Self-monitoring: Journals etc.
sources of information for baseline assessment27
Sources of Information for baseline assessment
  • Direct Assessment

- Direct observation of behavior and collect data

- Most projects in this class

sources of information for baseline assessment28
Sources of Information for baseline assessment
  • Experimental Analysis Procedures
    • Manipulate the environment and assess the effects on behavior
why collect data
Why Collect Data?
  • Decide if the behavior warrants your help.
  • Identify best treatment strategy: Reinforcers
  • Determining IV effectiveness
  • May facilitate modification of behavior itself: Self feedback, R+
  • May facilitate modifiers to adhere and implement procedures
behavioral assessment versus traditional assessment
Behavioral Assessment Versus Traditional Assessment
  • Specific Behavior not Ambiguous syndrome or disorder
  • Repeated Measurement
  • Can be linked to treatment
  • Refocuses treatment on behavior not person
  • Evaluate intervention efficacy
let s watch some video
Let’s watch some video
  • You’re a psychologist.
  • Use your skills up to this point to give me the best psychological profile of the target child in the video.
characteristics of behavior to be recorded
Characteristics of Behavior to be recorded
  • Topography: Shape or form of behavior
characteristics of behavior to be recorded34
Characteristics of Behavior to be recorded
  • Amount

- Frequency: How many times?

- Rate: How many times per unit of time?

- Duration: How long?

characteristics of behavior to be recorded35
Characteristics of Behavior to be recorded
  • Amount

- Frequency: How many times?

- Rate: How many times per unit of time?

- Duration: How long?

characteristics of behavior to be recorded36
Characteristics of Behavior to be recorded
  • Intensity
    • Sound measurement
    • Rating Scales
characteristics of behavior to be recorded37
Characteristics of Behavior to be recorded
  • Latency

e.g. time between being asked a question and responding

methods for recording behavior
Methods for Recording Behavior
  • Continuous: Recording every instance of a behavior
    • Talley Marks
methods for recording behavior40
Methods for Recording Behavior
  • Interval recording: Recording based on equal time intervals
interval recording methods
Interval Recording Methods
  • Partial-Interval Recording: Record yes or no once per 10 seconds
    • If it happens at least once in that 10 seconds.
  • Whole-interval Recording: Record yes or no once per 10 seconds
    • only if it happened the whole interval.
  • Time-sampling: Record yes or no for a single 10 second interval about once an hour.
  • Momentary Time Sampling: Record yes or no once per 10 seconds
    • Only if the behavior occurs right at the 10 second mark.

X = Occurred

Behavior occurred 60% of the observed intervals

let s watch the video again
Let’s watch the video again
  • This time take data using either
    • Rate measurement
    • Frequency recording
    • Partial interval recording
    • Whole interval recording
what did you come up with
What did you come up with?
  • Rate?
  • Frequency?
  • Partial?
  • Whole?
  • Which way was best for this situation?
assessing the accuracy of observations
Assessing the Accuracy of Observations
  • Interobserver Reliability (IOR)
  • 2 Independent observers record for a session and compare accuracy
calculating ior
Calculating IOR

Number of agreements______________X 100%Number of Agreements + Disagreements


IOR = (6/6+4) X100%

= (6/10) X 100%

= (.6) X 100%

= 60%

 Not Good! Usually want 90% or higher.

your turn
Your turn
  • What is your reliability with another person recording data the same way that you recorded?
what was going on with the child s behavior
What was going on with the child’s behavior?
  • What caused it?
  • What was maintaining it?
functional assessment51
Functional Assessment
  • Determining what the antecedents and consequences are for a give behavior
  • Focuses on maintenance not cause!
approaches to functional assessment
Approaches to Functional Assessment
  • Questionnaire: Have others tell you what happens
  • Observational Assessment: Watch and describe A-B-C’s
  • Experimental Functional Analysis: Do a test of hypothesis

 I usually do a bit of all three of the above

functions of behavior
Functions of Behavior
  • Tangible Reinforcement
  • Attention
  • Escape
  • Physical Stimulation (internal or external)
  • Respondent? Not clear
  • Medical Causes: Rapid Onset and no association with A-D
example of functional analysis talking out in class
Example of Functional Analysis: Talking out in class

Potential FunctionTest Condition

Tangible R+ Access Contingent upon talking out

Attention Reprimand Contingent upon talking out

Escape Contingent upon talking out after demand

Self-Stimulation Leave isolated in room (Ignore/Alone)

Control Condition Play with attention and no demands

what is the difference
What is the difference?
  • Unconditioned Reinforcer: Stimuli reinforcing without conditioning (i.e. learning)

-        e.g., food, water, sex

-        AKA Unlearned or primary reinforcers

  • Conditioned Reinforcers: Stimuli that are reinforcers due to experience (i.e., learning)
    • e. g., money, tokens, clothes, Praise
back up reinforcers
Back-up Reinforcers
  • Tokens
  • Money
  • Points
factors influencing the effectiveness of conditioned reinforcement
Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Conditioned Reinforcement
  • Strength of Back up reinforcer
  • Variety of Backup Reinforcers
  • Schedule of Pairing with Backup Reinforcer
  • Extinction of the Conditioned Reinforcer
pitfalls of conditioned reinforcement
Pitfalls of Conditioned Reinforcement
  • Making punishers Reinforcers
    • Who likes to get spanked?
  • Extinction of Conditioned Reinforcement
    • Chucky Cheese prizes for adults?
  • The removal of a reinforcer from a previously reinforced behavior which causes the behavior to decrease
example extinction
Example: Extinction


Behavior Withhold Behavior

Occurs Reinforcement Stops

example extinction64
Example: Extinction


Turn on No light Stop turning

light switch on light switch

extinction burst
Extinction Burst
  • Temporary increase in responding as a result of the introduction of extinction.
  • Sometimes a change in topography may occur.
example extinction burst
Example: Extinction Burst


Turn on No Light Turn on/off

light switch light switch


and then Stop or do a new


extinction examples
Extinction Examples
  • Vending Machine
  • Head banging

* What does this suggest about ignoring behavior?

your turn68
Your Turn
  • Come up with an example of how Reinforcement has been withheld from your behavior and what followed. Share with your peers.
spontaneous recovery
Spontaneous Recovery
  • Temporary recovery of an extinguished behavior that follows the initial treatment session.
    • An extinguished Behavior will come back, but usually less intense and shorter duration.
  • √ Must wait out the storms
factors that influence the effectiveness of extinction
Factors that influence the Effectiveness of Extinction

Controlling reinforcers

    • e.g. Accidental reinforcement

The Setting in which Extinction is Carried out

    • e.g. Tantrums in Wal*Mart


    • E.g. Make use of our capabilities

The schedule of reinforcement

    • The thinner the schedule the more resistance to extinction

Extinction Burst

  • e.g. Tantrums
differential reinforcement
Differential Reinforcement
  • Definition: Reinforcing one set of responses and extinguishing another set of responses.
example differential reinforcement
Example: Differential Reinforcement


No R+ Appropriate Behavior R+

No R+ Inappropriate Behavior No R+

example differential reinforcement74
Example: Differential Reinforcement


No M&M Raise hand M&M

No M&M Shout out answer No M&M

your turn75
Your Turn

Think up an example where your behavior has been differentially reinforced and share with your peers.

5 major types of differential reinforcement
5 Major Types ofDifferential Reinforcement

1. Differential Reinforcement of Other (or Zero) Behavior (DRO):

    • Reinforce any other behavior except the target behavior
  • Example: Not head banging & Head banging
  • Example: Talking out versus not talking out
5 major types of differential reinforcement77
5 Major Types ofDifferential Reinforcement

2. Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behavior (DRA):

    • Reinforce a single specific behavior that is not the target behavior
  • Example: Chewing gum versus Smoking
5 major types of differential reinforcement78
5 Major Types ofDifferential Reinforcement

3. Differential Reinforcement of an Incompatible Behavior (DRI):

    • Reinforce a specific behavior that when emitted can not allow the target response.
  • Example: Finger stretching & OCD
5 major types of differential reinforcement79
5 Major Types ofDifferential Reinforcement

Differential Reinforcement of Low rates of Behavior (DRL):

    • Reinforce a lower rate of behavior as compared to a baseline.
  • Example: Head banging revisited

- Spaced Responding – Must restart interval if too often

5 major types of differential reinforcement80
5 Major Types ofDifferential Reinforcement

Differential Reinforcement of High Rates of Behavior (DRH):

    • Reinforce a higher rate of behavior as compared to baseline.
  • Example: Multiplication facts
differential reinforcement effect
Differential Reinforcement Effect
  • One behavior always increases. Another usually (i.e. almost always) decreases.
creativity a differential reinforcement effect
Creativity: A Differential Reinforcement effect?


No R+ Emit Behavior No R+


No R+ Change Topography R+


example dro art creativity
Example: DRO & Art Creativity


No $ Paint a picture No $

No $ Splatter Paint $

example dro snow creativity
Example: DRO & Snow Creativity


No attention make No attention

snow man

No attention make Attention (DRO) an igloo

creativity in dolphins
Creativity in Dolphins?


No Jump out of water No Dead

dead fish fish

No dead Jump and twist Dead

fish fish

pitfalls of and considerations to be made when using dr schedules
Pitfalls of and Considerations to be made when using DR-Schedules
  • Potential to decrease appropriate behavior too much.
  • Takes practice to choose the right DR-Schedule. DR?, DRI? DRL?
  • Must remember to fade slowly