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278 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Motivating Operation (MO)
An environmental variable that alters the reinforcing/punishing effectiveness of some stimulus/ object/event; and alters the current frequency of all bx that has been reinforced/punished by that stimulus/object/event in the past.
Establishing Operation (EO)
A motivating operation that establishes the effectiveness of some stimulus/object/event as a consequence (reinforcer/punisher).
Abolishing Operation (AO)
A motivating operation that decreases the effectiveness of stimulus/object/event as a consequence (reinforcer/punisher).
Evocative Effect
An increase in the MOMENTARY frequency of bx.
Abative Effect
A decrease in the MOMENTARY frequency of bx.
Phylogenic Provenance
The effects of a stimulus on a specific response may be innate, due to the evolutionary history of that species.
Ontogenic Provenance
The effect of the stimulus on a specific response may be learned, due to the experiential history of the individual organism in the environment.
MO related to reinforcement.
MO related to punishment
EO related to reinforcement
EO related to punishment
AO related to reinforcement
AO related to punishment
EO related to positive reinforcement
EO for negative reinforcement
EO related to positive punishment
EO related to negative punishment
AO related to positive reinforcement
AO related to negative reinforcement
AO related to positive punishment
AO related to negative punishment
UEO related to positive reinforcement
CEO related to positive reinforcement
Conditioned Motivating Operations
A motivating operation whose value-altering effect depends on a learning history.
Surrogate CEO (CEO-S)
Acquires the properties of an EO through contingent pairing with UEOs. (Paired)
Surrogate CAO (CAO-S)
Acquires the properties of an AO through contingent pairing with UAOs.
Transitive CEO (CEO-T)
An event that establishes a second stimulus as a necessary condition to complete the response that the first event evokes, thus establishing the second stimulus as a reinforcer (in order to get that, you need this). In other words, increases the value of an item that is needed to obtain reinforcement.
Transitive CAO (CAO-T)
Decrease the effectiveness of a stimulus as a reinforcer and abate bx which is maintained by the reinforcer whose value has been lowered (decreased).
Reflexive CEO (CEO-R)
Establishes its own termination as an effective form of negative reinforcement/punishment (a sort of "signal" that things are about to get better...or worse).
Reflexive CAO (CAO-R)
Abolished its own termination as an effective form of negative reinforcement or punishment.
Threat CEO-R
(EO for Negative Reinforcement)
Establishes the value of something as SR- and increases bx that results in SR-. Evokes avoidance bx and bx that has resulted in its termination in the past. An antecedent aversive situation is present and it's continued presence is correlated with things getting even worse (threat) so it's removal acts as negative reinforcement.
Threat CAO-R
(AO for Negative Reinforcement)
abolishes value of SR- and abates bx that would produce the SR-; abates avoidance bx and bx that has resulted in its termination in the past.
Promise CEO-R
(EO for Negative Punishment)
Establishes value of a SP- and abates behavior that has resulted in the SP-; abates bx that has resulted its termination in the past (e.g. partner is in a good mood, you want them to stick around so you avoid doing something that would result in their departure).
Promise CAO-R
(AO for Negative Punishment)
Abolishes value of a SP- and evokes bx that has resulted in the SP- in the past; evokes bx that has resulted in its own termination in the past (e.g. partner is grouchy and you don't necessarily care if they leave so it may increase bx that has resulted in their removal in the past).
Behavior that terminates an aversive stimulus.
Bx that terminates a "warning" stimulus; prevents or delays the onset of the aversive stimulus.
Signaled Avoidance
A response terminates a clear warning stimulus.
Warning Stimulus
A conditioned aversive stimulus whose presence is correlated with the upcoming onset of an unconditioned aversive stimulus.
Unsignaled Avoidance
No clear warning stimulus, but a response can still delay or prevent the occurrence of the aversive event.
Negative Reinforcement
The onset of painful stimulus establishes the reduction or offset of this stimulus as an effective form of reinforcement and evokes bx that achieved such reduction or offset.
ABA Practice
the application of the principles of operant and respondent learning derived from the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and the application of methods and procedures validated by ABA researchers to assess and improve socially important human behaviors.
Life changes that represent a person's aspirations, dreams, and broad preferences. The result of behavior and behavior change.
Leads to Outcomes
Behavior and behavior change
Adaptive Behavior
Those skills or abilities that enable the individual to meet standards of personal independence and responsibility that would be expected of his or her age and social group. Should focus on skill development, not absence of problem bx.
Target Behavior
any defined, observable, and measurable behavior which is the focus of assessment, analysis, and intervention.
Types of problems with behavior
1. skill deficits (can't do it) 2. problems with strength of behavior (lacks mastery, fluency, frequency), 3. problems with performance (can do it but won't do it, doesn't do it well), 4. problems with stimulus control (does it in the wrong place at the wrong time), 5. problems with generality (does it everywhere), 6. behavior excesses (does it everywhere, all the time).
Reasons for selecting target behaviors
1. helps individual achieve outcomes, 2. behavior deficit makes the person too dependent on others, 3. behavior is harmful, dangerous or illegal, 4. behavior is controlled by meds or restraints, 5. behavior excludes individual from social situations,
6. behavior interferes with independent functioning.
Social Validity
The treatment goals and the achieved outcomes are acceptable, socially relevant, and useful to the individual receiving services and to those who care about the individual.
Characteristics of a good response definition
Objective, clear, complete
Preliminary Assessment (general)
The practitioner gathers basic information about the case, determines if behavioral services are appropriate, and if s/he is the appropriate provider of those services.
Steps of Preliminary Assessment
1. Determine who has the authority to give CONSENT for services, 2. determine whether or not you have the permission, skills, time, and resources to begin assessment, 3. complete intake paperwork or the equivalent (may be done by cleric), 4. review records and available data, 5. meet client and begin observations, 6. document.
Adaptive Behavior Competencies
Adaptive bx competencies will get you through times of no academic skills; better than academic skills will get you through times of no adaptive bx competencies.
Adaptive Behavior (continued)
also refers to typical performance of individuals without disabilities in meeting environmental expectations. Adaptive bx changes according to a person's age, cultural expectations, and environmental demands.
Goals of Preliminary Assessment
1. begin to identify the problems, 2. determine whether ABA services are needed or desired, 3. determine whether other types of services may be needed (e.g. medical services)
the quantitative results of deliberate, planned, and usually controlled, observation. (multiple data points)
Singular form of the term "data".
Characteristics of a good response definition
Objective, clear, complete
Continuous (Direct) Response Measures
Directly measures a dimensional quantity of behavior.
Discontinuous (Indirect) Response Measures
Indirectly measures a dimensional quantity of a bx. Most measure occurrence versus non-occurrence and thus measure a dimensionLESS quantity (usually percent).
5 Dimensional Quantities of Continuous Response Measures
1. Event/Freq. recording measures freq. and rate.
2. Latency recording measures latency
3. Duration recording (either per occurrence or total) measures duration
4. IRT recording measures inter-response time.
5. Rate
Steps for Event Recording
1. Record time obs. began, 2. count the # of responses, 3. record time obs. ended, 4. divide: total count/unit of time, 5. Report as rate per unit of time (e.g. 100 times per hour).
Steps for Event Recording of Restricted Operants
1. Record time obs. began, 2. record each antecedent, 3. record each response, 4. record time obs. ended, 5. report as (responses/antecedents)/unit of time.
Duration per session
Total amount of time an individual engaged in an activity. Example: in a 1 hr obs, total number of minutes engaged in tantrum bx (4 tantrums, 5 mins each = 20 min). Use for bx that occurs for long periods of time. Doesn't work well for bx that occurs often but not for long periods, or when no clear start or finish.
Duration per occurrence
Amount of time a target bx occupies. example: 2 episodes of "tantrum". 1st tantrum = 4 min, 2nd tantrum = 10 min. Use for bx that occurs for long periods of time. Doesn't work well for bx that occurs often but not for long periods, or when no clear start or finish
Steps for Latency Recording
1. specify when to start recording (at onset or offset of stimulus), 2. specify when to stop recording (beginning or end of response cycle). Use when determining how much time occurs btwn the opps to respond and the responses. Does not record accuracy of response.
Steps for IRT Recording
1. start timing at END of response cycle, 2. stop timing at BEGINNING of next response cycle. Use when time btwn the responses is of concern. Will not provide information on accuracy of response. Mean IRT: sum the times of each IRT/# of IRTs
Estimating Mean IRTs
Mean IRT can be estimated when given the rate, provided that the variability is not too great, or that there are no outliers (whole recording interval/# of response observations). Remember when calculating either seconds or minute that 60 mins to an hour and 3600 secs to an hour. Don't use when responses are grouped at beginning or end of obs.
7 Discontinuous Response Measures
1. Percent Occurrence, 2. Trials to Criterion. 3. Discrete Categorization, 4. Partial Interval Recording, 5. Whole Interval Recording, 6. Momentary Time Sampling, 7. PLACHECK
Percent Occurrence
Similar to event recording of a restricted or discriminated operant which has been converted into a percent. Use when interested in proportion of correct responses. limitations: Not a dimensional quantity, insufficient opps to respond may skew data.
Trials to Criterion
The number of consecutive opportunities to respond required to achieve a performance standard. Record each opp to respond until performance standard is met. Use to evaluate efficacy of teaching strategies and assess learner competence. Limitations on bx that is difficult to count.
Steps for Trials to Criterion
1. determine what one trial will be, 2. decide how to report (# of trials or # of block trials), 3. Record count as the measure, 4. present data
Discrete Categorization (coding)
A method for classifying responses into discrete categories. Use for severity codes or independence codes. Limitations: not dimensional quantities.
Partial Interval Recording (PIR)
Recording session is broken into short intervals of time (usually 10-20sec); occurrence is recorded if a response happens during any part of the interval. Use for very high freq. target bx and to ease data collection, bx for decrease. Overestimates true occurrence of bx, but underestimates high freq. bx
Whole Interval Recording (WIR)
Recording session is broken into short intervals of time (usually 10-20sec); occurrence is recorded if bx occurs for entire interval. Use when bx occur over long periods of time, to ease data collection, bx for increase. Underestimates true occurrence of bx.
Momentary Time Sampling (MTS)
A response is recorded as occurring ONLY if it occurs at the END of an interval. If not, it's marked as non-occurrence. Use when continuous obs is not feasible. Low frequency of bx or short duration can cause bx to be missed.
PLACHECK (planned activity check)
A group of individuals is observed at the end of an interval, count how many of them are engaged in target bxs at that moment. Divide # of individuals engaging in bx(s) by the total # of individuals. Report as percent. Use with group of consumers. Prone to errors of estimation of actual target bx.
Factors to consider when selecting a response measure
1. The dimensional quantity of interest,
2. the estimated rate of bx,
3. whether to measure responses or episodes.
Permanent Product Recording
Measuring the results of bx.
Recording tangible items or environmental effects that result from a behavior, for example, written academic work (also called outcome recording).
The consistency of data measurement
Interobserver Agreement (IOA)
the coefficient of agreement btwn 2 or more independent observers. Usually calculated as a percentage by dividing the # of agreements by the total # of agreements plus disagreements, then multiply by 100.
Uses of IOA
1. check competence of new observers, 2. detect observer drift, 3. validate collection methods, 4. increase confidence that interventions are responsible for bx change.
IV Integrity
the degree to which an intervention is implemented as described/designated. It is vital that the DV (the bx) we are measuring and the IV (treatment) we are using are being objectively measured.
Two Main Methods of IOA
1. Total count: smaller # count/larger # count x 100
2. Percent Agreement: agreements/agreements & disagreements x 100
Mean Count per Interval (IOA)
# of agreements in each interval/total # of intervals x 100. Can be used to increase confidence in event recording data. First, break obs. period up into segments...
Exact Count per Interval (IOA)
# of intervals with 100% agreement ONLY/total # of intervals x 100
IOA should be AT or ABOVE
IOA should be collected and scored for a minimum of ____ of observations
Free Operant
Behavior that occurs without prompting or restrictions during a behavioral intervention or evaluation. For example, a study evaluated ways to help children with autism cope with being interrupted. The child was performing tasks that they wanted to do (free-operant behavior) when the researcher interrupted their task.
Controlled/Restricted Operant
Any operant whose response rate is controlled by a given opportunity to emit the response. Each discrete response occurs when an opportunity to respond exists. Discrete trial, restricted operant, and controlled operant are synonymous technical terms.
Calculating Total Duration (IOA cont)
Calculate percent: shorter duration/longer duration x 100
Calculating Interval-by-Interval (IOA cont)
# of intervals agreed/# of intervals agreed & disagreed x 100
Scored Interval (IOA cont)
Agreement of occurence/agreements & disagreements of occurrence x 100
Intervals are ONLY scored if an observer marked an OCCURRENCE for the bx. Intervals where both observers agree there was NO occurrence are OMITTED from the calculation.
Unscored Interval (IOA cont)
# of agreements of non-occurrence/# of agreements & disagreements x 100
Intervals are only scored if observer DID NOT mark an occurrence. Intervals where both observers agree there was an OCCURRENCE are OMITTED. Most appropriate for high frequency bx.
Visual Data Analysis
A systematic form of data examination, characterized by visual inspection of graphical displays of those data.
Types of Data Display
1. data may be embedded in text
2. data may be presented in summary form, usually as a structured data table (a numerical representation of data).
3. data may be presented in graphical form (a visual representation of data).
A relatively simple visual format for displaying data.
4 Graphic Displays used in ABA
Equal Interval Line Graph
Cumulative Records
Bar Graph
Semi logarithmic graphs
Equal Interval Line Graph
Based on a Cartesian plane, a two-dimensional area formed by the intersection of two perpendicular lines (one vertical, one horizontal).
Simple Line Graph
Any point within the plane of the chart represents a specific relationship between the two variables (dimensions) measured along each of the axis lines.
Common Uses of Line Graphs
1. Most commonly used format for charting ABA data.
2. Used to evaluate treatment effectiveness.
3. Used in functional analyses.
Parts of Equal Interval Line Graph
The Horizontal (X-axis)
The Vertical (Y-axis)
Data Points
The Data Path
Condition and Phase Change Lines
Condition and Phase Change Labels
Figure Legend
Horizontal Axis
X axis
Represents passage of time
Vertical Axis
Y axis
Represents range of values of DV
X-Axis Units
Can be marked according to needs of behavior analyst, to promote most useful analysis. Can be marked as any specified recorded obs periods, over a period of time.
Y-Axis Units
Equal movements up the Y-Axis represent equal increases in the bx. The bx should be expressed in whole time units.
Y-Axis Range
Runs from zero up to some number which is chosen by the creator of the graph.
Data Points
An individual measured value of the target bx (the DV) at a given point in time.
Data Path
A series of straight lines connecting successive data points within a phase or condition. It represents the relationship between the IV and the DV.
Phase Changes
Major changes occur in the IV. A major (usually permanent) change in the environment.
Phase Change Lines
Document phase changes, placed at a point along the X-axis indicating the point in time when the phase change occurred. For a clear visual separation btwn the data charted before the phase change, and the data collected after the phase change. Usually presented as solid line on graph but can also be presented as dotted lines.
Condition Change Lines
Minor changes occur in the IV. A minor (usually temporary) change in the environment. Usually presented as dotted lines on graph.
X-Axis Labels
States what time periods are represented by each successive data point.
Y-Axis Labels
States what response measure was used to measure the DV - the target bx.
Phase Labels
Brief labels, placed at the top of the chart, and identify each separate major phase of treatment.
Condition Labels
Mark changes occurring within a phase.
Figure Legend
A concise statement that provides you with:
sufficient information to identify the DVs and the IVs and
possibly other salient information necessary to visually interpret the data.
Visual Analysis of a Graph
Number of Data Points
The mean (average) value of a set of data points, usually across an entire condition or phase.
The overall direction taken by the data path through a set of data points.
The extent to which measures of bx under the same environment conditions diverge from one another.
Median Level
Outlying data points skew the level line in a way that makes it non-representative of the data as a whole.
Trend Lines
Show the direction and degree of trend in a series of graphically displayed data points; can be visually represented with a straight line drawn through the data.
Best Fit Line
Bisect the data, with close to an equal number of data points above the line as below the line.
Split Middle Line of Progress
A mathematical way to calculate trend.
Cumulative Record
Developed by Skinner as the primary means of data collection and analysis in EAB lab research.
Cumulative Recorder
It is primarily used in EAB.
Each response moves the ink stylus one unit (click) along its track.
When it reaches the end of the track, it resets to zero and begins moving again, one click at a time.
Paper moves under the stylus at a steady rate.
Bar Graph (Histogram)
The vertical axis represents the value of a DV. The horizontal axis represents a phase, condition, or classification variable.
Proper Range of Line Graphs
Extend the Y Axis range enough above learning goal to allow for excellence - usually 25%-33% above.
Experimental Design
Repeated, systematic presentation and removal of an IV while measuring changes in the DV and holding other variables constant.
Primary Goals of Systematic Experimental Manipulation
To demonstrate a functional relation between the IV and DV and to evaluate the interventions being used.
Functional Relation
Changes in an antecedent and consequent stimulus class consistently alter a dimension of a response class.
Internal Validity
The extent to which an analysis assures that measured changes in behavior are due to the manipulation and not due to uncontrolled extraneous variables. More important than external validity.
External Validity
The extent to which a study's results are generalizable to other subjects, settings, or behaviors.
Threats to Internal Validity
Diffusion of treatment
Regression towards the mean Attrition
Selection bias
Introduction of the IV may coincide with other events. Those other events could have produced the effects.
e.g. medication introduced as you start intervention
Natural developmental events or learning experiences may coincide with the introduction of the IV to produce the change.
e.g. growing older, stronger, healthier, failing vision, hearing improvement, etc.
Changes in the DV may have come about as a function of repeated exposure to the experimental arrangements.
e.g. practice effects - accuracy on task occurs as a function of repeated exposure to task before IV is introduced.
Changes may reflect modifications in the measurement systems rather than effects of the IV.
e.g. subjective judgments of human observers, poor integrity of treatment delivery, damaged or new equipment, poor calibration of measurement devices.
Diffusion of Treatment
Inadvertent, uncontrolled "seepage" of the treatment to control conditions or control subjects.
e.g. parent gets kid to practice new skill before intervention is formally introduced.
Regression Toward the Mean
Changes occurred because BL measurements were NOT representative of the natural state of events.
e.g. unusual events took place on the initial day of testing which were not in place after intervention, so it looks like the intervention was effective.
Perhaps less relevant to SCD because of repeated measurement.
Selection Bias
The assignment of subjects to groups may have biased the outcome even in the absence of any intervention.
e.g. self selection bias - participants who for various reasons are more prone to show greater improvements may also be more likely to participate in a study.
Perhaps less relevant to SCD because participants serve as their own controls.
The loss of subjects over time, especially if it's systematic, may influence the effects.
e.g. subjects that tended towards the extreme ends of the measure may leave selectively, thereby skewing the sample at post test.
Perhaps less relevant to SCD because participants serve as their own controls.
Minimizing Validity Threats
Continuous assessment; collecting data on the dependent measure for an extended period of time. In contrast to very small samples of the DV. Helps to rule out that changes came about as a function of factors that could have altered performance over time.
Establishing stability of the target behavior. If levels of the DV remain relatively stable over time before the IV is introduced, the likelihood that the change can be attributed to the IV increases.
Immediate effects of the IV. The more immediate the effect, the stronger the case that the IV produced it. Slow effects that appear long after the introduction of the IV call into question whether the change was imminent despite the intervention (e.g. intervening events may have caused the change).
Demonstration using multiple cases. If the IV affects many subjects in the same manner, a stronger case can be made that it produced the change.
Single Case Designs (SCD)
The repeated and systematic presentation and removal of a treatment and measurement of behavior while holding other factors constant. Small # of subjects, multiple REPEATED observations. Usually visual data analysis. Changes in IV introduced after DV has reached steady state.
Assessment of the DV prior to introduction or change of the IV.
Phase Change
Movement in the analysis from one level or kind of IV to the next level or kind of IV. Moves the analysis towards an "AB" design.
A-B Design
Baseline phase followed by a treatment phase. Effect is demonstrated when behavior changes from one phase to the next. By itself, supports only weak conclusions as changes in bx may be the result of extraneous variables and recommended only when other, more compelling designs are untenable. Still forms the basis of all common SCD.
Withdrawal Design
Alternation of BL and tx. Baseline is followed by a treatment condition. Intervention used in treatment is then withdrawn and returned to baseline.
Reversal Design
Following baseline, IV is introduced and then withdrawn. This occurs at least once (ABA design). Introduction and removal of the IV 2 times (ABAB design) may be more common and is preferable. BL phase (A), Intervention phase (B), Return to BL (A). If bx changes systematically as a function of the introduction and withdrawal of the IV, the likelihood that the change was produced by some extraneous variable is reduced. Prediction, verification, replication.
Multiple Baseline Design
2 or more independent baselines are established. The IV is then separately introduced in a staggered fashion to each baseline. When behavior is stable for the first baseline, the IV is introduced on the second baseline, and so on. Experimental control is demonstrated by showing bx change occurs when and only when the IV is introduced to each baseline. Influence of extraneous variable unlikely.
Multiple Probe Technique
Intermittent measures, or "probes" are taken rather than continuous measurements on each BL. Often first BL is continuous while subsequent BL data collection is conducted on an intermittent basis relative to the first BL.
Group Design
Large # of subjects, fewer (often single) observations. Usually uses inferential statistics. Changes in IV are assigned according to randomized and matched designs.
Single Case Designs (cont)
Valid experimental design and rigorous tx evaluation are synonymous. A variety of research designs that use baseline logic to demonstrate effects of IVs on bx of individual subjects.
Group vs Single Case Design
Objective is same for both. But group compares between subjects while SCD compares within individuals (individual serves as its own control).
SCD Advantages
Repeated measures and stability allows you to see patterns of bx change, allows examination of inter- and intra-subject variability, lends itself well to clinical investigation and tx accountability because participants serve as their own controls.
Baseline Logic
Assessment of the DV prior to the introduction or change of IV. Doesn't necessarily imply absence of tx. Provides info about existing extent of problem, serves as indication of whether the intervention is necessary, predicts level of future level of target bx in absence of IV or if IV has no effect, serves as criterion to evaluate whether intervention produces change, used for setting target outcomes. Descriptive and predictive.
Phase Change Logic
Ideally, phase changes are made when bx reaches a steady state, defined by:
*Level: bx is high/low enough that you will be able to detect a change if one occurs.
*Stability: levels of bx do NOT vary greatly from one measurement to the next.
*Trend: the bx is NOT already changing in the direction predicted for tx.
How Long Should Baseline Be?
More is generally better (but not too much). The longer it is, the better it's predictive power but nothing is gained by unduly long baselines. "As long as necessary, as short as possible." Generally, length should be dictating quantitative features of the data path...phase change logic."
When to Use Phase Change
Avoid set numbers of data points. Minimums are OK (e.g., a minimum of 3 data points - 3 is needed to spot a trend). Regardless of length, consider last 3 points as a small trend.
Phase Change Logic (cont)
Importance of stability criteria is a quantitative rule for determining if the trend is sufficiently stable. Example: no more than 25% deviation in last 3 data points, no trend in any direction on last 3 points. WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IT OUT.
Reversal Designs: which phase first?
BL or Intervention phase? If intervention is immediately critical, analysis may begin with intervention phase. Doing so does not alter logic of design.
Advantages of Reversal Design
Most straightforward SC arrangement and most powerful demonstration of functional relations.
Possible Disadvantages of Reversal Designs
Some changes to bx are NOT reversible (e.g. skill acquisition) or bx, after initial change, comes into contact with other variables that make reversal unlikely even if intervention is withdrawn. Ethics: it may be unethical to reverse treatment in some cases but may also be unethical to NOT demonstrate a functional relation. Have to balance reversal ethics with right to effective tx. Time: may take time to do because stability is required in all phases (level, stability, trend), and dangers in comparison of multiple tx due to sequence effects (ABAC vs ACAB)
When to use Reversal Design
When target bx IS reversible, withdrawal of tx is not a concern, stability/order/time not a concern.
Withdrawal or Reversal?
Withdrawal: BL is followed by a tx condition. The intervention used in tx condition is then withdrawn and returned to BL. BL and tx are altered.
Reversal: An intervention is applied to target bx after BL phase. Then the intervention is APPLIED to another bx in the following phase to reverse the effects of initial tx. In the final phase, the intervention is reapplied to the target bx.
Advantages of MBL Designs
Useful when bx is NOT reversible, doesn't require counter-therapeutic bx change to demonstrate experimental control, experimenter can empirically evaluate methods and interventions before applying on a larger scale.
Multiple Baseline Designs (cont)
The larger the number of BLs, the more convincing; lends to internal and external validity. Using only 2 BLs in a multiple BL design can be risky: if one does not change, the conclusions are questionable (essentially as AB design), and if 3+ are used and one does not change, still a reasonable demonstration of experimental control (the failure is the likely outlier). The length should be as long as needed but as short as possible. Length of subsequent BLs usually dictated by stability of first BL.
Possible Disadvantages of Multiple Baseline Design
Ethical: can we wait the appropriate amount of time to treat the second subject? Extending baselines can increase the possibility that extraneous factors can diffuse tx, have practice effects, history effects, or maturation effects.
Nonconcurrent Multiple Baseline
Design variation: nonconcurrent multiple baseline across individuals, AKA delayed multiple BL. Separate BLs are taken, BLs are staggered in terms of the number of data points in the same way but BLs are NOT conducted at the same time. Analysis need NOT be completed CONCURRENTLY because the chances that the same extraneous variables (rather than the IV) produced the same results is even more remote if the BLs are separated by time.
Advantages of Nonconcurrent Multiple Baseline
Permits greater flexibility in the analysis - not constrained by having to have all subjects concurrently present at the same time.
Possible Disadvantages of Nonconcurrent Multiple Baselines
Presents a greater interpretive challenge than concurrent multiple BL if bx changes on subsequent BLs before IV is introduced. Not useful across settings or bxs.
Advantages of Multiple Probes
Avoids ritualistic gathering of BL data - behavior is so stable it is unlikely to change. Avoids various threats (e.g. extended practice), useful when extended baseline sessions are impractical, costly, or possibly detrimental (e.g. repeated exposure to non-tx conditions).
Possible Disadvantages of Multiple Probes
Risks stability, e.g. perhaps infrequent probes were outliers.
Type I Error
False Positive. Concluding that the IV has produced a change in the DV when in fact the relation does not exist.
Type II Error
False Negative. Concluding that the IV has not produced a change in the DV when in fact it has.
Changing Criterion
Based on an AB design. Tx phase is divided into subphases, each subphase involves different bx criterion, criterion in each subphase more closely resembles terminal behavioral goal. Is a means to gauge effects of changing IV value from previous phase, is a baseline for following phase. Experimental control is demonstrated when performance closely matches specified criteria (unlikely any extraneous variables produced change when and only when new criterion introduced and that conform closely to the specified IV value)
Bi-directional Criteria
Implement bi-directional changes to bolster demonstration of experimental control; changing criteria to a previous subphase value and observing that bx reverts to that criterion; rules out threats such as maturation and practice effects. Number of criterion changes min. of 2, but not too many, length of phases should vary, determined by stability. Small initial changes maximize probability of success (too small, can't see changes; too large difficult for subject to meet criteria). Small changes for stable bx and large changes for variable bx.
Changing Criterion Advantages
*Tx does NOT have to be withdrawn *Doesn't require multiple bx/subjects/settings
*All subjects can receive tx at the same time after same length of BL.
Changing Criterion Limitations
*Requires considerable time and effort (phase length, degree of change, phase # should be planned in advance)
*Difficult to interpret when bx does not closely match criteria.
Changing Criterion Use
*When it is meaningful to measure bx change in stepwise increments
*To demonstrate experimental control during fading and shaping procedures.
Alternating Treatment Design (cont)
Also known as Simultaneous Treatment Design, Concurrent Schedule Design, Multiple Schedule Design, Multielement Design
Multielement Design
Rapid alternation of 2+ IVs or levels of the IVs, repeated measurement of bx while the conditions alternate rapidly, IVs continue alternating independent of level of responding (no waiting for steady state). Shares logical properties with reversal design, each data point predicts future bx in same condition, serves to verify previous predictions, permits comparison against predictions made by data in other conditions, experimental control demonstrated when bx is appreciably and consistently different from one condition relative to others.
Multielement Uses & Variations
Rapid comparison of tx to BL, compares 2+ tx, compares 2+ assessment conditions, yoked elements - rapid alt makes timing more meaningful.
*Multielement + pretreatment BL: preferable unless clinically contraindicated
*Multielement with no BL: Often includes BL or control as one of the alt conditions. If so, may differ from pretx BL due to multiple tx interference.
*Multielement with BL plus a final tx phase: clinically prudent in applied research, permits detection of possible multiple tx interference.
Elements from one condition are linked to elements of a second condition.
Multielement Discriminability
Utility of a multielement design relies on stimulus discrimination. Mixed vs Multiple Schedules. Best if each condition associated with a distinct set of stimuli to promote discriminability.
Multielement Counterbalancing
Conditions are counterbalanced across experimental contexts (e.g. time of day, therapist) to neutralize confounding factors.
Multielement Order of Conditions
Strict alternation not recommended as it doesn't neutralize sequence effects, Randomization, Randomization with Restriction (e.g., no more than 2 of same condition in a row).
Multielement Advantages
Compare tx while minimizing sequence effects (differential results stemming from order of implementation of the IVs), minimizes these effects through random alternation and short periods in which IV is in effect, useful for highly variable bx that fluctuates as a function of non-experimental variables, can be more efficient than other designs.
Multielement Design Limitations
Subject to multiple treatment interference, unsuitable for individuals that have problems forming discrimination, limited to bx that is reversible or at least pliable, less suitable for interventions that produce change slowly or require continuous implementation, may require considerable care in doing necessary counterbalancing
Multielement: Enhance Discriminability
Less of a problem if IVs are quite different, providing and anchoring additional stimuli to facilitate discrimination, reducing # of conditions, instructional control when appropriate, reverting to other design options.
Design Combos
Inclusions of elements from 2+ designs within same experiment (enhances certainty of experimental control if it meets requirements of multi designs especially if conclusions of planned design are tenuous), often not planned, but used to enhance conclusions as the data evolve.
Component Analysis/Sequential Withdrawal
Systematically withdrawing tx components to see if bx change is maintained. Used to evaluate maintenance of tx effects in the absence of the intervention and as fading process.
Parametric Analysis
Systematic examination of the effects of a range of values of the IV. Used to determine effective parametric values of contingencies, such as reinforcer duration or magnitude, reinforcer delay, reinforcer quality, response effort or schedule. As such, useful for ease of implementation questions and treatment degradation questions.
Probe Use
Assessment of bx on occasions when the contingencies arranged in the analysis are not in effect. Evaluates whether tx effects are evident before tx occurs and whether tx needs to be continued.
Extraneous Variables
Events not related to IV that may affect the DV. Potential to alter the results if not controlled.
An uncontrolled factor known or suspected to exert influence on DV. Likely to have altered the results. Most common: multiple tx interference, sequence effects, carry over effects.
Multiple Treatment Interference
If subjects are exposed to multiple txs, conclusions about outcomes of each may be restricted to that specific context and txs may have produced a different effect in isolation.
Sequence Effects
The effects on a person's bx in one condition can be influenced by the subjects experience in a prior condition.
Carry Over Effects
Patterns of bx established in one session may inadvertently extend to second session, even if IVs are very different, calling into question the observations in the subsequent session (influence of IV or influence of IV in previous session?)
Minimizing Confounds
*Manipulate only one IV at a time *Counterbalance the design (alt order of conditions within subjects) *Enhance discriminability
*When multiple tx compared, end with final evaluation in isolation.
Minimizing Type I & II Errors
Visual inspection reduces Type I at risk of more Type II and tests of statistical significance reduce Type II at the expense of more Type I errors.
Type I Error & Robust Effects
We seek robust variables that produce large effects. Criteria for concluding an effect using visual analysis are very stringent to the point where visual inspection may disregard actual differences or changes when they are real but small.
Visual Inspection Advantages
More likely to identify IVs that produce robust effects. Social significance is of primary importance, encourages examination of variability rather than just overall effects.
Analysis of Single Subject Data
Factors involved in visual analysis:
Mean or level
Latency to change
other factors
Mean Shift
Mean or Level. Changes in average level of performance within a phase or condition. The greater the mean shift relative to the comparison condition, the more convincing the effects.
The changes in the tendency for the data to increase or decrease over time. Does the data in the preceding phase predict something different than what occurred in the test phase? Was the trend in the preceding phase consistent with the conclusion made about the test phase?
Latency to change - how quickly does the bx change once the IV is manipulated. Shorter latency is more convincing, long latency to change produces suspicion.
Other Factors
*Variability and overlap: how much do data points during intervention overlap with the data points in BL. *Phase duration: was the change in intervention demonstrated long enough to convincingly show it was different from BL.
*Consistency of the effect in replication: does the level revert to similar levels if you return to the intervention phase a second time.
Procedural Integrity Assessment
The extent to which the IVs are implemented as dictated by research or tx plan. Can be a major source of confounding variables; inconsistencies among therapists can influence data, procedural drift over time may change behavior in the absence of a planned change in the IV. Often measured in the same way as the DVs, measurement of procedural reliability measures the extent to which the application of the IV over the course of an analysis matches the planned description, provides the experimenter with data regarding whether calibration of tx agents is needed.
Reducing Procedural Integrity Threats
Place high priority on IV simplification (eliminate complexity and ambiguity), provide adequate training and practice for those implementing tx (curtail procedural drift), direct contingencies on tx fidelity (not just measurement, but intervention to promote procedural integrity).
Social Validity Assessment
Examination of the acceptability or viability of a programmed intervention i.e. Are the changes in bx of clinical or applied importance? Social Sig of goals or target bx: represents a deficit in functioning as society views it (lack of appropriate social skills), will an increase or decrease in the measured dimension of the bx result in an improvement in the person's life? Appropriateness of procedures: one that produces minimal adverse effects, one that can be practically administered. Social importance of results: enhances subjects functioning in their environment, ultimately, is the person better off now that the bx has changed.
Social Validity and Subjective Evaluation
The client, those important in clients life, sometimes experts in a given area, evaluate whether distinct improvement have been achieved and whether the change is worth the cost and effort. Often achieved through rating scales (on a scale from 1 to 10...). Consumer evaluation may be inconsistent with actual changes in bx, high levels of satisfaction do NOT necessarily indicate there has been an important change. Who is the consumer?
Social Validity: Social Comparisons
Is the bx after tx comparable to "unaffected" or "normal" peers. Identify peers based on important characteristics (e.g., age, gender, SES) but different with respect to the target bx.
Social Validity Consumer Choice
Under some circumstances, the most direct test of social validity can be accomplished by permitting the person to select directly from tx options. Assuming all interventions are equally effective, can be used even if limited expressive language.
Behavioral Assessment
A systematic gathering of information in order to make data-based decisions, regarding bx and the environment. "What's the bx; how do we fix for the better?" Includes interviews, checklists, observations, systematic manipulations. Assessment is ongoing. Bx is situation specific and extrinsically variable. To determine if problem bx exists, describe bx & enviro, provide info for bx plans (where, when, how to intervene), monitor program implementation, evaluate tx effectiveness, maintenance and generalization.
Components of a Functional Assessment
*Preliminary Indirect Assessment
*Direct Descriptive Assessment
*Functional Analysis (systematic manipulations)
Indirect Assessment Methods
Record Review
Paper and Pencil Questionnaires
Direct Assessment Methods
*Narrative Recording
*ABC Data Collection
*Measuring Dimensional and Dimensionless Quantities of Bx
*Observation of Permanent Products
Record Reviews
Information regarding:
*Current and past bx repertoire
*Environmental Factors
*Medical History
*Evaluation/assessments, support plans, IHP, IPP, IEP, activity/class schedule, tx plans, progress notes, incident/"disciplinary" reports, correspondence/emails.
Behavioral Interviews
Consist of questions to ask within pre-selected topics. Several standardized interviews may be found
Prior to Interview
Select instrument
Decide who to interview
Decide where and when
Make an appt
Beginning of Interview
Build rapport
Informally observe:
- Behavior
- Environment
- Appearance of persons
During an Interview
Ask open-ended questions
Ask follow-up questions
Acknowledge responses
Write notes or use recorder
Functional Assessment Interview Goals
Identify, define, and describe:
*The bxs
*Potential ecological factors
*Events that predict occurrence of bx
*Potential function
*Efficiency of bxs
*Functionally equivalent alt. bxs
*Communication methods
*Potential reinforcers
*History of target bx and tx
After an Interview
Review notes/recordings
Summarize the findings:
- Describe bx
- Identify environmental factors
- Identify potential factors
-Identify functionally equivalent bx
-Decide whether to continue bx assessment
Preference Assessment (PA)
Methods for identifying an individual's preferences for tangible items or activities.
3 General Ways to Conduct a Preference Assessment
Indirect (informant based)
Naturalistic (direct obs)
Reinforcer Sampling (empirical)
Indirect (Informant-based)
Interview or questionnaire. Advantages: simplicity, efficiency. Disadvantages: subjective, unreliable. Example: Reinforcer Assessment for Individual with Sever Disabilities (RAISD) - Interview tool to help caregivers generate a list of potential preferred stimuli to be tested via preference assessment, survey has categories of stimuli, caregiver indicates whether client likes/dislikes, rank stimuli at the end.
Naturalistic Direct Observation
Observation of daily activities, allow client to have free time in natural environment, determine high probability responses, relies on premack principle. Advantage: objective, direct. Disadvantage: Time consuming, limited access to stimuli.
Reinforcer Sampling
Systematic preference assessment, includes a number of procedural variations. Advantage: objective, accommodates wide range of stimuli (including novel items). Disadvantages: time consuming.
Reinforcer Assessments
Conducted following a preference assessment to determine if the stimulus is a reinforcer. 2 types: Single and Concurrent Operant Assessments.
Single Operant
One task is available during all phases.
No programmed consequences for task completion.
During reinforcement phase (B), contingent on task completion (typically on FR1), the stimulus is delivered
Typically conducted using reversal design
Increase in responding from BL to Sr phase
Concurrent Operant Assessment
2 identical tasks are available
No programmed consequences for completing either task
Increase in task completion from BL to Sr phase, stimulus = reinforcer
Allows examination of relative Sr effects
Multiple Stimulus with Replacement
All stimuli presented on every trial; selected stimulus returned to the line up.
Multiple Stimulus without Replacement
All stimuli presented on 1st trial, selected stimuli removed on subsequent trials
Paired Stimulus
Stimuli presented in pairs
Free-Operant Procedure
All stimuli available for entire session free to interact with as many or as few stimuli as they want
No stimuli are removed during the assessment
Competing Stimulus Assessment
Duration based assessment designed to determine the extent to which stimuli displace problem bx. Sometimes problem bxs occur they produce automatic reinforcers. We can't control those so we have to find ones that can at least compete. This is the most common reason for conducting a competing stimulus assessment.
Progressive Ratio (PR) Schedules
Reinforcer assessments usually have low response requirements. Assess reinforcer effectiveness as the response requirement increases. Keep increasing response requirement until the break point is reached. Provides info about the potency of a reinforcer. Tells you the maximum amount of work you can require for a given reinforcer.
Behavioral Assessment Quasi-funnel
*Broad Band: Screening, Preliminary Indirect Assessment - low fi
*In-between: Direct Descriptive Assessment, Progress monitoring - mid fi
*Narrow Band: Functional Analysis, Baseline Assessment, high fi
*In-between: Follow up Assessment, low fi
Paper and Pencil Functional Assessments
Durand's Motivational Assessment Scale (MAS)
Iwata's Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST)
Self Injury Trauma Scale (SIT)

*reliability/validity is typically low
Reinforcer Identification
Sr is essential for acquisition. Individuals with DD may not respond to conditioned Sr (e.g. praise). Reinforcers are idiosyncratic. 2 step process of reinforcer identification: preference and reinforcer assessment.
Preference vs Reinforcer Assessments
Both should be used together as a two-step process: pref. assessment followed by reinforcer assessment.
Stimulus Preference Methodologies
Pace et al (1985) - single, trials, % approach
Fisher et al (1992) - paired, trials, % selection
DeLeon & Iwata (1996) - grouped, trials, % selection
Roane et al (1998) - grouped, free operant, duration
DeLeon et al (1999) - single, trials, duration
Summary of Most Common Methodologies
*Single Stimulus (SS): Advantages -Efficient, ID's a large # of Srs. Disadvantages: prone to false positives, removal of stimuli.
*Paired Stimulus (PS): Advantages - more distinct ranking than SS, IDs most potent Srs. Disadvantages: prone to false negatives, potential for side bias, time consuming, removal of stimuli.
*Multiple Stimuli With Replacement (MSW)/MSWO: Advantages - brief (good for frequent use), MSWO provides a preference heirarchy. Disadvantages: MSW has no hierarchy, array size limited by abilities, removal of stimuli.
*Free Operant Preference Assessment (FO): Advantages: brief, good if client has relinquishing issues. Disadvantages: false negatives, relatedly, sometimes no hierarchy.
Other Assessments
Verbal Self Report
Caregiver Nomination
Pictorial Assessment
Pace et al Study 1: Preference Assessment
Idiosyncratic preferences
The procedures identified at least one stimulus that was preferred (over 80%) and one that was not preferred (less than 20%)
Pace et al Study 2: Reinforcer Assessment
Empirical assessment of preference and reinforcement effects, simplicity, can accommodate a wide range of stimuli. Limitation: undifferentiated approach.
Fisher et al Study 1: Preference Assessment
SS some subjects showed uniformly high approach. PS greater differentiation in approach.
Fisher et al Study 2: Reinforcer Assessment
SS method produces false positives. We don't know whether the High SS item would be a reinforcer if it was presented alone. Did they only go for the item because it's the only thing offered?
DeLeon & Iwata Study 1: MSW vs MSWO
High degree of consistency for highest ranked stimulus across all assessments. MS method produced more in selected stimuli than MSWO or PS methods. Ranking across assessments were similar and fairly consistent. MSW and MSWO are more efficient than PS.
DeLeon & Keats Study 2: Reinforcer Assessment
For 3/4 participants, reinforcement effect. That is, items that were never selected during the MSW (but we're selected during the MSWO & PS) increased bx when delivering contingently. MSWO identifies more reinforcers than MSW. MSW produces more false negative outcomes (I.e it fails to identify stimulus that could function as reinforcers).
Functional Assessment (FBA)
A type of behavioral assessment used to determine functional relations between challenging behavior and environmental events. AKA functional behavioral assessment. Should lead directly to an individual bx intervention plan that is highly likely to be effective. Includes:
*Indirect Assessment
*Direct Assessment
- Descriptive Assessment
- Structured Descriptive Assessment
- Functional Analysis
Descriptive Assessment
Direct observation of behavior and environmental events in real life contexts. Medium band/Medium fidelity. Leads to hypotheses regarding functional relations and how, where, and with whom to intervene.
Procedures: Scatterplot analysis, narrative recording, ABC data collection, Data collection of target bx under different contexts/conditions.
AKA Direct descriptive functional assessment.
Functional Analysis (FA)
Experimental analysis involving systematic manipulations of environmental events and observation of target bx in controlled setting. Narrow-band focus/high fidelity. May determine actual functional relations and lead to effective tx.
Preliminary Indirect Assessment
Interviews and rating scales. Broad Band focus/low fidelity. Helps with the decision of whether to continue with case.
Structured Assessment
Manipulation of antecedent events in natural settings. Also called A-B functional analysis. Mid-narrow band focus/Medium fidelity. May identify antecedents that evoke challenging target bx.
*A data collection form for problem bx and the intervals of time bx occurred.
*It provides a graphic display of data in a grid format.
*It is used to identify patterns of responding in natural settings.
*Plots occurrence of target bx as a function of time, context, and activities.
Narrative Recording
Observer produces a written narrative of an individual's responses throughout a specific period of time and a description of the environmental conditions under which the responses were emitted. AKA Anecdotal Observation.
Narrative Recording and ABC Charting
A variation of narrative recording. Both are ways to identify topographical of target bx. Allows one to start to identify idiosyncratic antecedents and consequences.
Pattern Analysis
A systematic presentation and/or examination of information or data regarding the target bx and it's conditions.
Facilitates identification of specific types of variations in the occurrence of target bx within relevant time frames and potential stimulus conditions.
Scatterplot data may be summarized by way of pattern analysis.
Sequence Analysis
A systematic presentation and examination of information or data regarding target bx and it's stimulus conditions in am ABC format. Done AFTER narrative recording and/or ABC Data.
3 Functional Behavioral Assessment Methodologies
1. Preliminary Indirect Assessment
2. Descriptive Assessment
* Direct Naturalistic Observation
3. Functional Analysis
* Systematic Manipulations
Reasons for Descriptive Assessment
*Generate hypotheses about functional relations
*Identify idiosyncratic forms of motivating and reinforcing events
*Design experimental FA conditions that more closely represent natural conditions
*Estimate natural schedules of reinforcement maintaining problem bx
*Interpret results of exp. FA methods.
Using a Scatterplot
1. Break vertical axis into time intervals corresponding with activity schedule.
2. Break horizontal axis into successive days.
3. Decide whether to use occurrence vs no occurrence per given interval or to use 3 discrete categories (e.g. 0, low, and high)
4. Recording is done at the end of each interval.
Interpreting Scatterplot Data
Find out what differs in tines when bx occur most versus least.
Find out similarities in times when bx occur about the same.
ABC Data Collection
Pre-selected and defined target bx, antecedents, and consequences.
Data collection form allows for coding or checking antecedent(s), target behavior(s), and consequences.
Data Collection Across Conditions
Data collection of target bxs under different contexts and environmental conditions WITHOUT systematic manipulations.
Provides Data on differential probability of the occurrence of the target bx under different contexts/conditions.
Even though method is totally correlational, it allows one to try to identify or hypothesize the reinforcer contingencies likely to control the occurrence of the target bx. Remember 4 Term Contingency
4-Term Contingency
If valuable (EOSR+) and available (SD), then A (most likely)
If valuable (EOSR+) but not available (Sdelta) then B (somewhat likely)
If not valuable (AOSR+) but available (SD) then C (less likely)
If not valuable (AOSR+) and not available (Sdelta), then D (least likely)
Each Functional Assessment has its strengths and limitations. A combination of methodologies might provide the most valid assessment.
FBA and Internal Validity
Internal Validity: establish that problem bx is a function of specific motivating and maintaining events.
Threats to Internal Validity: Events that can co-occur with the IV that could account for the findings.
FBA and External Validity
External Validity: do the findings hold true across variations in motivating and reinforcement conditions and across time?
Threats to External Validity: Differences between the conditions of assessment and client's natural environment.
These differences may alter the functional properties of motivating and reinforcing events and compromise external validity.
Internal Validity Comparisons
1. Preliminary Indirect Assessment: VERY LOW Internal Validity
2. Descriptive Assessment: LOW Internal Validity
3. Structured Descriptive Assessment: LOW to MEDIUM (depending on plausible alternative accounts)
4. Functional Analysis: MEDIUM to HIGH (if differential responding is obtained)
External Validity Comparisons
1. Preliminary Indirect Assessment: LOW to MEDIUM External Validity
2. Descriptive Assessment: MEDIUM to HIGH
3. Structured Descriptive Assessment: MEDIUM to HIGH
4. Functional Analysis: LOW to MEDIUM External Validity