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Behaviorism Post1970s Presentation by Julie Thomas


Truth (determinism) Behaviorist does make causal determinations of behavior. ... Behavior can be affected by its results. ... Children at all ages exhibit behavior. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Behaviorism Post1970s Presentation by Julie Thomas

Behaviorism (Post-1970s) Presentation by Julie
  • If You Take A Mouse To School
  • By Laura Numeroff
  • (then he may not behave!)

Definition of Behaviorism
  • Question How are overt behaviors influenced by
    external factors in the environment?
  • Behaviorism is an objective science that studies
    behaviors without reference to mental processes.
  • Defining behavior (p. 13 in Behavior Management
    in K-6 Classrooms)

Choice vs Determinism
  • Consequences of behaviors determine whether or
    not behaviors are repeated and at what level of
  • Choice? Cause vs Effect, Generalization,

Choice vs Determinism
  • Reference CABAS (Comprehensive Application of
    Behavior Analysis to Schooling) article by
    Vincent K. Adkins
  • Truth (determinism) Behaviorist does make
    causal determinations of behavior.
  • Truth (choice) Having learned new behavior the
    client can make decisions about alternative forms
    of behavior.

Beliefs and Structures
  • Four types of behavior learning theories
  • Contiguity stimulus/response connected
  • Classical Conditioning (Pavlov) associate two
    stimuli (no control over unless becomes a
    conditioned response/stimulus)
  • Operant Conditioning (Skinner) relationship
    between responses and their consequences
    (behavior leads to result)
  • Observational Learning (Bandura) modeling and
    imitating behaviors

Beliefs and StructuresOperant Conditioning
  • Interview with Peter Harzem
  • Operant conditioning is the study of behavior as
    it operates upon, and interacts with, the
    environment of the individual.
  • Behavior can be affected by its results.
  • Objects have reinforcing properties under certain
    conditions and not under others.

Beliefs and StructuresOperant Conditioning
  • Applications of Operant Conditioning to
  • Our knowledge about operant conditioning has
    greatly influenced educational practices.
    Children at all ages exhibit behavior. Teachers
    and parents are, by definition, behavior
    modifiers (if a child is behaviorally the same at
    the end of the academic year, you will not have
    done your job as a teacher children are supposed
    to learn (i.e., produce relatively permanent
    change in behavior or behavior potential) as a
    result of the experiences they have in the
    school/classroom setting.)
  • http//
    nt.html developed by W.Huitt and J. Hummel

Beliefs and StructuresOperant Conditioning
  • B.F. Skinner insisted that external influences
    shape behavior, and he urged the use of operant
    conditioning principles to influence peoples
    behaviors at school, work, and home. (focus on
  • Use on self 1.state goal in measurable terms
    2.record how often behavior happens/events
    3.reinforce desired behavior 4.reduce incentives
    as possible

Causes of PersonalityUnhealthy vs Healthy
  • In the educational setting
  • Why misbehave?
  • 1. reinforced for misbehavior
  • 2. skill deficits
  • In the societal context
  • The problem is the problem.
  • Conditioned responses are learned
  • from the environment.

Characteristics of PersonalityUnhealthy vs
  • Behavior analysts attempt to understand everyday
    behavior by focusing on the act itself and on the
    situational events that surround it. (p. 4 of
    The ABCs of Behavior Change)
  • In educational and societal contexts
  • Behavior is atypical, disturbing, maladaptive,
    and unjustifiable.

Assessing Personality
  • Behavior Management A-B-C Checklist
  • Define the behavior problem? Is it measurable?
    Is it observable?
  • Antecedents What happens immediately before the
    behavior occurs?
  • Consequences What happens immediately after the
    behavior occurs?
  • Does the child have a skill deficit?
  • Is the child being reinforced for the
  • (Behavior Management in K-6 Classrooms)

Assessing Personality
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
  • Mandated by IDEA of 1997
  • Foundations
  • Human behavior is functional. (Behavior serves a
  • Human behavior is predictable. (Environment can
    set up, set off, or maintain problem behaviors.)
  • Human behavior is changeable. (Goals of behavior
    intervention are to reduce problem behaviors and
    increase appropriate behaviors.)

Assessing Personality
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
  • Advantages
  • Considers individual differences and
    environmental factors when developing behavioral
    support plans
  • Intervention strategies are directly linked to
    problem behaviors
  • Increase in treatment effectiveness

Assessing Personality
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
  • Levels
  • Simple FBA define problem behavior, interview
    teacher, make hypothesis, design BSP
  • Full FBA Simple FBA plus direct observations in
    settings and more interviews
  • Functional Analysis Full FBA plus more
    extensive information gathering and conducting
    experiments to test hypotheses
  • (Taken from Building Positive Behavior Support
    Systems in Schools Functional Behavioral

  • Behavior therapy applies well-established
    learning principles to eliminate unwanted
    behavior. (p. 492 in Psychology)
  • Do Not try to get to the underlying, or inner,
  • Do try to replace problem thoughts and
    maladaptive behaviors with more constructive ways
    of thinking and acting

  • One of the most difficult challenges in
    designing effective interventions for children
    with problem behavior is the highly variable,
    individual response to intervention. (p. 4 in
    Building Positive Behavior)

  • Classical Conditioning conditions new response
    to stimuli
  • Counter-conditioning
  • Systematic desensitization associate pleasant
    state with gradually increasing anxiety-producing
  • Aversive conditioning pair unpleasant state
    with unwanted behavior

  • Operant Conditioning shaping behaviors using
  • Behavior Modification
  • Token economy
  • Contingency contracts
  • FBA Behavior Support Plans

Assets and Limitations
  • Assets Applications to education
  • Limitations Clients may catch on,
    behaviorists may use unethically, rewards may
    take away from intrinsic desires
  • Looking Ahead
  • Nature and Nuture
  • Biological and Cognitive Traits
  • Radical Behaviorism?

Case Studies
  • Why is Your Homework Not Done? How Theories of
    Development Affect Your Approach in the
    Classroom by Isabel Killoran
  • Who Moved My Cheese? - book and video by Spencer
    Johnson, M.D.

  • Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in
    Schools Functional Behavioral Assessment by
    Deanne A. Crone and Robert H. Horner. The
    Guilford Press. New York. 2003.
  • Behavioral Management in K-6 Classrooms by Karen
    Malm. A National Education Association
    Publication. 1992.
  • The ABCs of Behavior Change by Frank J. Sparzo.
    Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. Indiana.
  • Psychology by David G. Myers. 5th Edition. Worth
    Publishers. New York. 1998.
  • A Response to Some Current Misunderstandings
    About Behavioral Education in Journal of
    Instructional Psychology. Sept. 1994. Vol.21.
    Issue 3. p203.
  • Teaching Behavior Analysis and Psychology in
    Social Context An Interview with Peter Harzem
    in Teaching of Psychology. Spring 2000. Vol.27.
    Issue2. p149.
  • Why is Your Homework Not Done? How Theories of
    Development Affect Your Approach in the
    Classroom in Journal of Instructional
    Psychology. Dec2003. Vol.30. Issue4. p.309.