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Behavior Analysis: What is it


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Title: Behavior Analysis: What is it

Behavior Analysis What is it?

Bill Potter, 4790
BA a pure science approach
  • Attempts to look at behavior objectively
  • How?

BA a pure science approach
  • What about language?

BA a pure science approach
  • What about Thinking/cognitions?

BA a pure science approach
  • It attempts to understand, explain, describe and
    predict behavior.
  • Believes that behaviors are caused by
  • Believes that behavior are maintained by

1-1. Know what is considered in a behavioral
A-B reflex is typical respondent/pavlovian
learning B-C or A-B-C is typical operant learning

Type in a number on your keypad
  • 1.0
  • 0.1

1-2. Be able to define self regulation (2)
  • Engaging in behavior that will regulate, or
    modify, or maintain the behavior we are
    interested in.
  • Examples?

1-3. You should be familiar with the points made
on page 4 regarding self regulation (4)
  • Self regulation is a set of behaviors which we
    commonly call skills
  • You may have excellent organizing skills, but
    poor interpersonal skills.
  • Thus, self regulation is often context, or
    task/behavior specific.

1-4. Be familiar with the different approaches to
the causes of behavior in figure 1-1 (5)
  • 1. Causes are environmental other people or a
    situation causes us to act a particular way
  • Causes are internal willpower, personality
    traits, disorders the person is the cause of
    the faulty behavior
  • Behavior and environment interact to cause
    behavior different situations and different
    skills result in different abilities, or lack of
    them (e.g. good organizer, poor social skills)

1-5. know the points your author makes regarding
will power and self management (6-7)
  • Willpower is not a useful concept - it does not
    specify behavior, and may cause a person to tempt
    themselves, leading to potential failure (Gandhi
    example, or visiting a bar)
  • Successful people generally plan ahead engage
    in self regulating behavior when it is easy to do
    so set an alarm clock, put a book in front of
    the door, buying carrots instead of chocolate at
    the store.

1-6. You should know the relationship between
tasks and skills that your authors write about
  • Poor behaviors are often a function of the task
    required and the skills a person has (the
    behaviors that occur in the task situation).
  • Tests may produce lots of anxiety-type thoughts,
    the student does not have the skill to
    reduce/eliminate those thoughts
  • Talking to an attractive member of the opposite
    sex different set of skills.

1-7. Your authors make note that practice is
important in being successful in changing your
behavior. Know the points made (10)
  • 1. Obtain knowledge obtain information on how
    others have solved problems, or what a good
    running pace is, or what foods are lower in
    caloric value.
  • 2. Practice the skills to help you, over and
  • 3. Try to get to the point where the skill is
    automatic (like driving a car, remember the
    first several times? How about now?)

1-8. Know how behavior analysts look at behavior
The A-B-Cs (11)
  • Behavior is caused by antecedents (Things that
    come before the behavior)
  • Behavior all sorts running, talking, thinking,
    waving, sign language, etc.
  • Consequences (things that come after behavior

1-9. Your authors suggest a process for self
modification that consists of five general steps.
Know what these are and be able to explain them
  • Plan select a goal, specifying behaviors to
    change to get to the goal (the target behaviors)
  • Monitor make observations and/or take measures.
    Keep a diary, or jot down each time you engage in
    a behavior.
  • Work out a plan make changes to your behavior
    using a variety of techniques (next slide!)
  • Readjust plans as needed to make progress toward
    the goal. May need to provide multiple techniques
    for changing behavior (e.g. eating more healthy,
    exercising more, keeping sweets out of the
  • Work to maintain the gains made (may require a
    maintenance plan)

1-10. Your authors suggest a number of ways to
manipulate the A B Cs to help modify
behavior. Be able to list and describe these, and
provide/recognize examples (13)
  • 1. Add a new Antecedent ? new B and Cs
  • 2. Add a new behavior ? new Cs and possibly new
    As for other behaviors.
  • 3. Add a new consequence ?increase a new
    behavior, or decrease an old one
  • 4. Block old antecedents ? no B, C
  • 5. Substitute new Behaviors for old ones ? leads
    to new C
  • 6. get rid of consequences reinforcing old
    behavior ? decrease in old behavior

  • Graphing Data with Excel

  • Chapter 2
  • Forethought planning for success

2-1. To reach a goal you need to
specify/identify the behaviors that will get you
there! (32). Know this point and be able to
recognize/provide examples.
  • Weigh loss is not a behavior
  • More assertive is not a behavior
  • Healthier is not a behavior
  • … but behaviors can lead to weigh loss, more
    assertiveness and better health.

2-2. Be able to list and describe the tactics
starting on page 33. I will not likely ask you to
list and describe all of them, but you should
able to do at least 5 of the 9.
  • 1. List concrete examples of the behaviors you
    want to change
  • 2. List details of the problems/concrete examples
    the circumstances around them (A-B-C)
  • 3. Observe and measure your own behavior no
    guessing! Measure behavior, possibly outcomes.
  • 4. When trying to increase a behavior, observe
    what behavior is occurring instead of the desired
  • 5. Always have a goal that increases some
    desirable behavior (versus simply stopping some
    undesirable behavior) E.g. Talk nicely about
    someone instead of gossip.

2-2. Be able to list and describe the tactics
starting on page 33. I will not likely ask you to
list and describe all of them, but you should
able to do at least 5 of the 9.
  • 6. Specify the chain of events that will lead to
    the goal. The series of behaviors and subgoals
  • 7. Observe people who are successful at what you
    are trying to do, then try what they do yourself
    (within reason!)
  • 8. Come up with alternative solutions to the
    problem and select one or more to implement. If
    working in a group no suggestion should be
  • 9. All goals are reached by behaviors and
    getting to the goal requires increasing or
    decreasing certain behaviors.

2-3. Modify your project/goals as you learn more
  • All self-change projects will require tweaking
    as with any system. Keep track of your data and
    modify what you do to reach your goal, what
    measures you take. A major reason you are taking
    data is to see if what you are doing works if
    it does not then try something different!

2-4. Anticipate Obstacles
  • This is critical to overcoming the obstacles when
    they do occur.
  • -- what will I do if my friends have a party with
  • -- How will I stick to my diet if I go visit my
  • -- I want to exercise, but in 110 degree weather?

2-5. Prepare for temptation some suggestions (41)
  • Avoid tempting situations
  • Ask friends not to tempt you
  • Make a public commitment
  • Minimize the temptation (e.g. eat fiber prior to
  • When tempted, distract yourself (Dog biscuit)
  • Remind yourself of your goals
  • Ask other people to remind you
  • Prepare If-then plans. If I start eating potato
    chips I will go to the restroom and brush my

2-6. Know what Self-efficacy beliefs are and how
they can help you reach your goals (45-48)
  • Self efficacy belief (Bandura) your estimate
    of whether or not you can do some skill/behavior.

  • What you say to yourself may impact what you do.

  • -- I cant walk another step
  • -- I will never lose weight! (So I might as
  • -

2-7. How to increases self-efficacy
  • Set reasonable goals (subgoals) for yourself, and
    achieve them (your language will change about
    yourself wow, I can do that!).
  • Focus on the behaviors not the goals!
  • Recognize that you are learning new skills, even
    if it is not all that apparent (my X). Dont
    let the past haunt you.
  • Practice, practice and observe your progress (the
    cups!). Keep data and monitor that data.
  • Recognize that you can be emotional and still
    behave appropriately stage fright (most report
    it, but still perform well).
  • Create a ranking of subgoals/behaviors from
    easiest to hardest and start with the easiest!

Group Activity
  • Share your data with others in group
  • Discuss and develop items on page 68 Step 2.
    Write them down on your data sheets!

Self-Talk Example
  • Set goal
  • to run 20 minutes. Brought music, taped foot.
    Looked at watch, nearing 20 minutes.

Chapter 3 self knowledge and recording 3-1. Be
able to list and describe the benefits of
  • Verbal retrospective reports are notoriously
  • Self observation/recording may lead to
    improvements (cups!). Sprinters example from

3-2. Be able to list at least three of these
considerations when designing methods to measure
behavior (90-93)
  • The measurement method must be manageable and
    easy to do (see page 95)
  • The data should provide the basis for evaluating
    the effectiveness of the self-change plan.
  • The recording method should be a natural part of
    ones daily routine.
  • Use methods that apply to many settings.
  • Collect only data that will be used.
  • Data should be easily interpreted (if using codes
    be sure to be clear!)

3-3. Be familiar with how to structure
observations in a diary. (75-78)
  • In addition to A-B-C, you could record Actions
    (behavior), Thoughts (behavior) and feelings
  • Each may be an A, B or C!
  • Its best to have the behavior in context, you
    can get a feel for what triggers it, and what the
    consequences are

A Verbal Retrospective Report is
  • A report that is spoken
  • Recall versus direct observation of some past
  • Direct observation of something that happened
  • A report on whatever the measure of interest is.

3-4. Know different types of measures that you
can take of your behavior (78-
  • Frequency (how often?)
  • Time samples (is it occurring now? Can set watch
    to beep)
  • Duration (how long? Cups!)
  • Latency time from some condition to when the
    behavior occurs (e.g. when you smell smoke to
    when you light up

3-4. Know different types of measures that you
can take of your behavior (78-86)
  • Intensity (whats the magnitude of the
    behavior/feeling? Rating scales (83-86)
  • Appropriateness/Inappropriateness (is it
    occurring when it should?)
  • When does it occur? Time of day, under what
    conditions (the As)
  • Be sure to record positive and negative behaviors
    (your successes as well as your failures!)

Latency is a measure of…
  • How appropriate a behavior is
  • How long a behavior takes e.g. the amount of
    time to stack/collapse cups
  • Of how soon the behavior occurs after some
    condition appears
  • How often the behavior occurs

3-5. Know what the reactive effects are of
self-observation (93)
  • Simple observation of your own behavior often
    results in behavioral change (i.e., increase in
    positive comments, decrease in cigarettes

3-6. If it is hard for you to observe yourself
doing a behavior… (94)
  • …. Then practice doing the behavior and observing
    yourself. Smoke and record it. Say the word
    should and record it, crack your knuckles and
    record it.

3-7. Know the methods your authors suggest to
improve your record keeping (96-100)
  • Start off simple 1 item at a time. When
    proficient add on…
  • Record behavior when it occurs
  • Make recording simple and convenient
  • Carefully define the behavior you are measuring
  • Provide cues to record (set alarm, put diary on
  • Have a friend check up on data (or maybe enroll
    in a class that asks for the data each week!)
  • Reward data keeping.

Group Activity Test next week!
  • Discuss the behaviors that you are observing is
    it too difficult to define? Suggest improvements.
    Write out what you are recording data on (goals
    and behaviors)
  • Discuss the data gathering process is it easy,
    convenient and relevant to what you are
    observing? Devise a simpler method if not (write
    out what you are doing)
  • Discuss your data are you improving? If not
    what other steps/actions can you take? Write out
    all of these on a paper and hand it in.

  • Chapter 4 Principles of Self Regulation

4-1. Know how behavior analysts view language.
  • Language verbal behavior - language is a form
    of behavior
  • VB is behavior in which the consequence is
    mediated by another person (usually). The speaker
    is reinforced by the listeners reaction
  • Examples?

4-2. Know the role that language (verbal
behavior) plays in self regulation (114-115)
  • From about 3 years on, verbal behavior takes on
    powerful role in our lives
  • We follow directions/VB of others
  • We give ourselves directions/VB (speaker and
    listener in the same body)
  • We may create rules and may follow them even when
    it is detrimental (the natural contingencies do
    not support those rules)

4-3. Know what operant behavior is and how it
differs from respondent behavior. (116)
  • Operant behavior is behaviors affected via
  • Respondent behavior is behavior controlled by
    antecedents and not changed by consequences (e.g.

4-4. Know what a positive reinforcer is
(116-117)/. Be able to recognize and come up with
  • Positive reinforcer is something that is added to
    the situation immediately after a response
    occurs, and that response increases (or is
    maintained) in the future.
  • Smile given after you say Hello
  • A dollar given after you ask for some money.
  • The handle turns after you put the key in the
  • The light turns on after you flip the switch.

4-5. Know what negative reinforcement is and be
able to recognize and provide examples (117)
  • An aversive condition that is lessened or removed
    after a response occurs.
  • Alarm goes off (loud) after you hit snooze
  • The room gets quiet after you shout Shut up!
  • The sun is not blinding you after you shield your
    eyes with your hands.
  • Notice that it is still a reinforcer!!!!! (not

4-6. Know what a contingency is, and its
relevance to reinforcement (117)
  • Contingency  a relationship between two things,
    in the behavioral sense, a particular response
    must occur for a reinforcer to be delivered.
  • A reinforcer is only effective if it is
    contingent on the behavior. If the reinforcer is
    given freely, often the behavior will not occur
    (or drifts). Tenure???

4-7. Know the difference between escape and
avoidance (117-118)
  • Both are examples of negative reinforcement
  • In escape the aversive stimulus is present that
    is the alarm is ringing, bad breath is wafting
    over you, the room is very hot.
  • In avoidance, something that precedes the
    aversive condition causes a behavior to occur
    that prevents exposure to the aversive
  • You see the bad breath person and walk the other
  • You put up the umbrella when it looks gloomy

4-8. Know what punishment is and be able to
contrast it to negative reinforcement. Be able to
recognize and provide examples of punishment.
  • Punishment is when an aversive condition is
    introduced immediately after a behavior occurs
    and that behavior decreases
  • You say hello and your friend scowls
  • You touch your car door and get a shock
  • You eat a artichoke heart and if tastes grodie

4-9. Know the disadvantages of using punishment
  • Use of punishment causes emotional responses and
  • If the person can escape punishment by
    apologizing and lying, they will and the behavior
    may continue!

4-10. Know what extinction is and be able to
generate and recognize examples. (120)
  • Extinction is when the reinforcer for a response
    is identified, then withheld or eliminated. That
    response will decrease.
  • Hit snooze and alarm does not stop
  • Turn key and car does not start
  • Hit off button on remote and TV does not turn
  • Less side effects than with punishment!

4-11. Know the effects of Intermittent
reinforcement on extinction (120)
  • A response that is only reinforced occasionally
    may occur for a longer period of time when
    extinction is arranged, versus one continuously
  • Child is store whines for candy you wait until
    whining is annoying then give in you may end up
    reinforcing longer and longer whining that is
    very difficult to extinguish!

4-12. Antecedent stimuli often cause behaviors to
occur. Know and recognize what an Sd is as well
as a CAS (121-122)
  • Sd discriminative stimulus. A stimulus in the
    presence of which a response resulted in the
    delivery of a reinforcer. In the absence of the
    stimulus the response is not reinforced.
  • Bite into red apple and get great taste. Bite
    into green or brown apple and not so good!
  • CAS conditioned aversive stimulus it is the
    stimulus that precedes an aversive condition. We
    often will work to get rid of the CAS.
  • If we were punished at parties, then the parties
    may be the CAS
  • Notice that this is avoidance which is a form
    of negative reinforcement!

4-13. Know what is meant by the term stimulus
control and how that relates to self control
  • Stimulus control refers to our behavior being a
    function of what stimuli are in the environment
    and what learning history with have with those
  • One person has a positive history with dogs and
    an approaching dog causes the person to speak in
    doggy language….
  • The other person may run away, experience fear,
  • Stimulus control is often automatic for better
    or worse (think about driving)

4-14. Know how respondent conditioning occurs. Be
able to provide and recognize examples (123-124)
  • US unconditioned stimulus- elicits response
  • NS neutral response does not elicit response
  • Pair NS … US? the response will occur
  • After many pairings present the NS alone and the
    response will occur.
  • Thus, the NS is now a CS (conditioned stimulus).
  • The CS can function as the US to condition a
    different NS (higher order conditioning)

4-15. Respondent conditioning is often
responsible for learning new emotional responses
  • Watson experiment
  • Most stimuli are neutral we learn to respond to
    them (e.g. people, objects like axes, knives)
  • Racism and other hatreds are likely conditioned

4-16. Observing someone else performing a
behavior can help us learn (127)
  • Can learn appropriate and inappropriate (TV and
  • Probably involves more than just seeing
    requires mental covert practice, if not actual
  • Probably involves verbal behavior.

  • Antecedents

5-1. Know what antecedents consist of and how
they impact behavior
  • A
  • Antecedents
  • MO (EOs), SDs etc.
  • Precedes a response and often triggers or
    evokes the response
  • Motivative operations such as deprivation,
  • SDs discriminative stimuli
  • Aversive Stimuli negative reinforcer (really an
  • Antecedents can consist of environmental stimuli,
    overt responses, covert responses (thoughts,
  • (really the stimulation is response-produced

5-2. Know your authors points about identifying
antecedents (136-140)
  • Sometimes it is difficult to identify the
    antecedents for your targeted behavior. Keep in
    mind the following points when trying
  • Keep complete accurate records failure to do so
    may provide misleading information
  • Recognize that a chain of events may lead to your
    problem behavior, thus the antecedents may be
    fairly far removed in time from the actual target

5-2. Know your authors points about identifying
antecedents (136-140)
  • 3. Remember that self-statements are also part of
    the antecedent stimuli
  • Self-instruction they may be automatic/shorthand.
    They can be helpful or a hindrance.
  • Beliefs Sometimes difficult to observe often
    irrationally based. E.g. He/she should know what
    I want. Or, I must perform flawlessly at all
  • Interpretations what we believe others think
    about us, or some situation. E.g. flubbing while
    giving a presentation in class.

5-3. Your authors provide a number of methods
for manipulating old (existing) Antecedents be
able to list/describe/provide an example of each
  • Avoid troublesome antecedents if you can identify
  • Narrow the antecedents that evoke the behavior of
    interest only sleep in bed, only write at your
    desk, etc.
  • When you can not avoid antecedents, change what
    you think about antecedents e.g. instead of
    being self-conscious when walking into a party
    (i.e. thinking that others are critically
    evaluating you), think they are admiring you!
    Think cool thoughts versus hot ones (food,
    think about how much it costs, or the color vs.
    the taste and texture)

5-3. Your authors provide a number of methods
for manipulating old (existing) Antecedents be
able to list/describe/provide an example of each
  • Alter/interfere with chains of behavior. Stop
    driving near the liquor store, etc. Disrupt an
    early link (weak) in the chain and you may
    prevent the behavior.
  • Build in pauses disrupting the chain
    particularly useful for indulgent behaviors
    smoking, overeating, etc.
  • Pause to make a record (self observe)
  • Unlink the chain of events insert new
    behaviors/pauses/antecedents that alter the flow
    of the chain.

5-4. Know the methods your authors' present for
arranging new antecedents (145-153)
  • Replace self-defeating thoughts with incompatible
    ones that contain more positive
    self-instructions/comments 9especially instead of
    suppressing them!)
  • Insert self statements into chains that guide the
    desired behavior
  • Increase stimulus control only write at your
    desk (or special stimulus condition), sleep in
    your bed,

5-5. Know what stimulus Generalization is and how
it is arranged (153)
  • Behavior that is learned in the presence of one
    antecedent is performed in the presence of other
  • Burp with friends, burp at church (not
    appropriate generalization!)
  • Speak in front of friends, but not in front of
    class (lack of stimulus generalization)
  • Eat well at home, eat well in restaurant
    (stimulus generalization)
  • Arrange Stimulus Generalization by
  • changing the environment slightly, but similar to
    the target environment and doing the behavior
    (e.g. talk in front of small groups then make it
    gradually more people)
  • Using self statements to get the behaviors to
    occur in the new environments the more often
    they occur, the more likely they will in the
    future in that environment

5-6. Know what your authors state about
precommitment (153-154)
  • get friends to remind you in the situation (be
    more assertive, you want to lose weight, etc)
  • Reminders to read more, put the textbook on your
    pillow/toilet seat set reminders (30 minute
    timer on my watch) Make a daily, weekly, or
    monthly schedule.
  • Precommitment may consist of setting rules and
    if-then statements, altering perceptions,
    behavioral contracts, etc.

  • Behaviors, Actions, Thoughts and Feelings
  • Delta
  • Test next week!

6-1. Know what how a behavior Analyst looks at
actions, thoughts, and feeling.
  • Actions, thoughts and feelings are all behaviors!

  • Two types of behavior innate and learned
  • Most behavior is learned via operant and
    respondent conditioning (and can be unlearned!)

6-2. Your authors note that your task is to
develop new behavior, not suppress old behavior.
Know this point and its ramifications (165)
  • Many self-change projects require learning new
  • Suppressing is not as effective as it creates a
    behavioral vacuum
  • New behaviors often lead to new consequences
  • Examples?

6-3. Your authors point out several different
methods for increasing behaviors that will
positively impact a self-change project. Know
these methods. (166-169).
  • Distracting behaviors an increase in behaviors
    that distract you from other behaviors that you
    are trying to avoid/reduce is often effective.
    E.g. think about a problem while running or think
    about lung cancer when the urge to smoke arises.
    Look away from food.
  • Control emotions via distraction. Focus on
    negative events deepens the negative feeling.
    Focus on other things, more positive thoughts.
  • Arrange incompatible behaviors that is,
    behaviors that are incompatible with the one you
    are seeking to reduce/eliminate. Make a fist
    versus biting nails, smile instead of making a
    critical comment. Drink water instead of smoking.
    (page 168 for lots of examples!)

6-4. Your authors suggest pairing positive
behaviors with stress producing stimuli know my
points on how this is a form of respondent
conditioning and also know what they suggest
doing (170-174)
  • Positive Stim… Negative stim ? positive Beh
  • Thus, the negative stimulus make take on some of
    the characteristics of the positive stimuli
    that is evoke positive responses (emotions, no
    fear, etc.)
  • Phobias can often be counter conditioned by
    this type of pairing. For example eating ice
    cream in elevators if frightened of elevators
    fear of dogs then meet friendly one (or get
  • Your authors talk of it in terms of
    substitution but it is likely counter
  • Common ones exercise and stress/anxiety, urge to
    eat drugs, alcohol Music and stress (reduces
    it) Fresh air and closed spaces.

6-5. Know what Rational Restructuring is (172)
  • Saying things to yourself to lessen the impact of
    an aversive stimulus condition e.g. talking in
    front of class, no one is paying attention to
    me!. Walking into a party, no one is really
    thinking about me., etc.

6-6. Know the effects meditation may have as well
as how it is conducted (173)
  • Meditation incompatible with stress/anxiety.
    Produces relaxation.
  • How to meditate (various methods, this is a
    simple one!)
  • Sit in comfortable chair or position
  • Be sure it is in quiet environment without
  • Pay attention only to your body/breath
  • Some repeat a mantra silently (stops other
    internal thinking behaviors!)
  • Redirect to saying mantra or no thoughts if you
    drift into thinking about your problems/day.
  • Be as relaxed as possible

6-7. Know how to practice relaxation and when it
is used (174-180). Note you are pairing positive
relaxation behaviors with environments that
might evoke stress.
  • Relaxation is used in tense situation (versus
    meditation which might be used before or after
    the stressful situation when it can be
  • Relaxation techniques focus on different body
    parts systematically and tense and relax. Become
    familiar with tension in those body parts, and
    how to relax them.
  • Tense Muscle Relax Muscle Feel the relaxation.
  • Practice this often, and practice in many
    different environments practice when you are
    experiencing tension!
  • If you often say some word/phrase while relaxing
    you may cause that word to help you relax (exert
    stimulus control so it helps you relax)
  • Try to relax prior to or at the start of a
    stressful situation to interrupt the chain of
    behaviors that may occur to increase stress
  • Practice, Practice, Practice!

6-8. Know the points your author makes about
developing new behavior (182-191)
  • Practice many times in the situation in which you
    want it to occur and a new behavior will occur in
    that situation
  • Imagined Rehearsal imagine doing the behavior,
    in the situation in which you want it to occur
    ultimate goal is to do it in real life, but this
    is a good start.
  • Research shows it improves performance

6-8 continued
  • Imagined rehearsal and relaxation imagine
    stressful situation and remain relaxed and calm
    (practice relaxation while imagining stressful
    scene imagine being relaxed as well!)
  • You must imagine an effective performance (thus
    must have an idea of what will be successful!)

6-8 continued
  • Modeling watch others for what works
  • Imitate the successful model dont worry about
    how it looks as you will put your own style on
  • Imagined Modeling imagine someone else doing
    appropriate behavior (use real people and
    multiple people!). Imagine the model being

6-8 continued
  • Ultimate goal is to get the behavior to occur in
    the real world!
  • Thus, you must also practice these behaviors in
    the situations in which you want them to occur.

6-9. Know what shaping is and how it is used to
acquire new behaviors (191-196). Your authors use
the term shaping but it has a technical meaning
so know what they are actually proposing as well
as the technical terminology.
  • Technical definition differential reinforcement
    of successive approximations to the target
  • Thus, reinforce any behavior that even starts to
    approximate the final behaviors that you would
    like, then gradually change the contingency so
    that you reinforce behaviors that look more and
    more like the final response
  • For a self-change project, take small steps (that
    succeed) and improve gradually as you move toward
    the final response/condition.
  • Systematic desensitization
  • Create a hierarchy of feared items, least to most
  • Practice relaxing in the presence of the least
    feared until no fear in felt. Move to the next
    item and do the same.
  • Work your way up to the most feared gradually
  • You can also do this for mastering some behavior,
    step by step (with a hierarchy). For instance
    climbing rating 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, etc…. Or to quit
    smoking, two packs down to 1 pack, down to ½
    pack, etc.
  • In essence you are setting subgoals that you
    master before going on to the next goal.

6-10. Know some of the problems that you might
encounter in shaping as your authors describe
it. (195-196)
  • You will encounter plateaus ride them out (e.g.
    weight will stabilize for a period of time then
    decrease again)
  • Dont take big steps may tax your ability to
    continue make the steps smaller increases the
    successes. Big steps may end up with
    discouragement and bad self talk.
  • If you do not know where to begin, look to your
    baseline, or look to models. E.g. trying to win
    new friends, or to lose weight, or to be more

  • Developing a Successful Plan

8-1. Know your authors points about integrating
all elements studied so far into a successful
self-change plan (247)
  • A good plan incorporates A-B-C analyses and
    manipulation as well as record keeping (data to
    determine if change is occurring!)

8-2. Be able to list and describe your authors
two-stage process for high risk situations
  • Stage 1 avoid high risk situations
  • E.g. eating, smoking, drinking, etc. Avoid the
    antecedents that trigger your behavior!
  • Reinforce avoidance (make your environment
    generally reinforcing)
  • Stage 2 build new behaviors cant always avoid
    high risk situations build new behaviors that
    you will do in those situations
  • Initially imagined rehearsal of those new
    behaviors in the high risk situation may help
    build them.
  • Develop options for different behaviors to do in
    those high risk situations (e.g. set rules about
    what to do, practice those behaviors in that

8-3. Be able to list and describe the elements of
a good self-change plan (252-255)
  • Rules for how to behave in specific situations
    (typically more than one rules are easy to emit
    is all situations and help guide behavior)
  • Goals and subgoals
  • Feedback data on your behaviors!
  • Comparison of your goals to your data (are you
    getting there? If not change what you are

8-4. Be able to describe brainstorming and how it
is implemented (254-255)
  • Get as many ideas as possible
  • No criticisms (even self criticisms). It punishes
    suggestions and reduces the VB overall
  • Think out of the box, be unusual in your
  • Combine ideas to create new ones basically you
    are trying to get as many ideas as possible to
    come up with one that works best for you.

8-5. Know the points your authors make about
improving ongoing plans (255-256)
  • To improve your plans
  • Learn from mistakes identify specific behaviors
    that could be different or that led you astray.
    Come up with plans to counter those behaviors
    (e.g. distractions, replace with other behavior,
    avoid risky situations)
  • Learn to deal with mistakes it is a skill!
    Failure sometimes leads to abandoning your
    self-change project, which means a total loss.
    Observe the negative talk you engage in and
    emotions that you feel develop methods to
    prevent them from causig you to quit.

8-6. Your self-change project is an ongoing one
that will require modification and even a change
in the target behaviors. Know that you may need
to start taking data on a new behavior as your
project continues. (257-258)
  • E.g. losing weight, may focus on calories, then
    add on exercise
  • Being more friendly may focus on smiling, then
    work on conversation
  • Others?

8-7. Behavioral contracts are often effective.
Know what one is (262)
  • Behavioral contract a written plan of what
    behaviors are expected (and the goals/subgoals),
    and the outcomes if the goals are or are not
    reached (always in terms of behavior of course!)
  • Includes reinforcers and penalties
  • Includes data collections methods

8-8. You should be able to graph data - I might
give you data and ask you to graph it on the exam
(262-268). You should also be able to calculate
percentages and averages, and plot those if I ask
on an exam.
  • The following is the data someone collected on
    how many items were in the sink at the end of
    each day. Graph the data as an average number of
    items per week and also graph the data weekly in
    terms of percent improvement.
  • Baseline M 17 T 22 W 23 Th 25 F 28 Sa
    22 Su 30
  • M 17 T 18 W 12 Th 15 F 11 Sa 19
    Su 16
  • M 12 T 15 W 18 Th 10 F 8 Sa 7 Su
  • M 9 T 8 W 6 Th 5 F 2 Sa 5 Su 3
  • M 5 T 4 W 5 Th 2 F 1 Sa 0 Su 4
  • M 0 T 1 W 1 Th 0 F 0 Sa 0 Su 0

Poster/presentation guidelines
  • State the overall behavior change or the goal and
    if necessary a rationale for the change (e.g. my
    house is too cluttered I want to stop smoking to
    improve my health and increase the number of
    years I live)
  • State the DV and the measurement system (e.g.
    weigh twice a week critical comments daily
    recorded on a 3x5)
  • State the intervention be specific this is
    like your procedure section provide details on
    how you started and any modifications that you
    made. Make references to the book where
    appropriate or to research the book supplied.
  • Results you should have your graphs carefully
    labeled to show all the conditions and the data
  • Conclusions/discussion Provide an overview of
    how successful (or not) your intervention was
    discuss your obstacles and how your modifications
    overcame them (or not!) discuss potential future
    directions and how the program will be maintain
    as well as likely outcomes once the class is
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