Understanding Behavior

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Understanding Behavior

  1. 1. Understanding Behavior Fall 2009 UCD
  2. 2. Explanation of Human Behavior <ul><li>Human behavior, adaptive and maladaptive, is LEARNED. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning occurs as a result of the consequences of behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Reinforcement/Negative Reinforcement/Punishment. </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior is observable and measurable. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Origins <ul><li>Pavlov (Late 1800’s-early 1900’s). Respondent conditioning (classical conditioning); pairing stimuli so that an unconditioned stimulus elicits an unconditioned response. After many pairings the US becomes the CS. </li></ul><ul><li>Watson (Early 1900s). Advocated for the abolition of psychological explanations that did not result from direct observation. </li></ul><ul><li>Skinner (1904-1988). Operant conditioning (instrumental conditioning); concerned with the consequences of behavior. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Human Behavior <ul><li>Skinner worked with rats and pigeons. In 1953 he provided a theoretical application of operant conditioning to human behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of operant conditioning principles did not emerge in non-laboratory settings until the 1960s. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1968 the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis is born. </li></ul><ul><li>Alberto, P. A., and Troutman, A. C. (2003). Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers (6 th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968). <ul><li>Defined ABA as the “process of applying sometimes tentative principles of behavior to the improvement of specific behaviors, and simultaneously evaluating whether or not any changes noted are indeed attributed to the process of application” (p. 91). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Baer et al., 1968 <ul><li>For research to qualify as ABA it must: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change socially important behavior, chosen because it needs change, not because its study is convenient to the researcher. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal with observable and quantifiable behavior, objectively defined. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show a clear functional relationship between the behavior to be changed and the experimenter’s intervention </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Behaviorism <ul><li>Science rooted in philosophical and psychological traditions originating several centuries ago. “It tells us that when a teacher wishes a young boy to study the Torah, a boy too young to understand how meaningful a thing this is to do, the teacher says to him: Read, and I shall give you nuts, figs, and honey. And the boy makes an effort, not because of the sweetness of reading, but because of the sweetness of eating” (Birnbaum, 1962) </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Pretzel <ul><li>About 610 A.D. an imaginative Alpine monk formed the ends of dough, left over from the baking of bread, into baked strips folded into a looped twist so as to represent the folded arms of children in prayer. The tasty treat was offered to the children as they learned their prayers and thereby came to be called “pretiola” Latin for “little reward”. </li></ul>From the back of a Country Club Foods pretzel bag, Salt Lake City
  9. 9. On a day to day <ul><li>Eat your broccoli and you can have some ice cream. </li></ul><ul><li>Earn an A in math and you can go to the movies with your friends. </li></ul><ul><li>Finish your writing assignment and you can play the computer game. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What is Behavior? <ul><li>Behavior is every movement accomplished by an organism. </li></ul><ul><li>Is everything that an organism can do. </li></ul><ul><li>Malott (1971) defines behavior as everything a dead man can’t do. Example-eat, laugh, stand, sit, move the toes, etc. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is the Function of Behavior? <ul><li>Behavior serves a specific function </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, the function can be divided in two main categories: </li></ul><ul><li>To obtain something </li></ul><ul><li>To escape from something </li></ul>
  12. 12. Behavior Maintained by Positive Reinforcement (to obtain something) <ul><li>I behave in certain way and I GET what I want. </li></ul><ul><li>What I want may be an object, attention, or sensory reinforcement </li></ul>
  13. 13. Objects <ul><li>Positive reinforcement with objects (tangibles) could be in the form of food, money, toys, stickers, tokens, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Could also be categorized by activities: video games, reading a favorite book, a walk in the park, etc. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Attention <ul><li>Attention may take many different forms </li></ul><ul><li>You could talk to your child, look at him or touch him. </li></ul><ul><li>Attention does not have to look positive to act as a positive reinforcement for behavior. Screaming at a child could be a positive reinforcement for inappropriate behavior. If your child hits her brother, you run and scold him but your child smiles at you-negative attention acting as positive reinforcement. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sensory <ul><li>Most of the self-stimulatory behaviors serve as positive reinforcement to your child. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of the sensation of an adrenaline rush. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Behavior Maintained by Escape <ul><li>When a child doesn’t want to do something, it could be that: </li></ul><ul><li>He doesn’t understand what is being asked (communication) </li></ul><ul><li>You are asking for something too hard (escape) </li></ul><ul><li>He doesn’t know how to say NO (social/communication) </li></ul><ul><li>It is a non-preferred activity and the child is engaged in a preferred activity. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Antecedents <ul><li>Antecedents (Contexts) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In what setting does the behavior occur? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What time of day does the behavior typically occur? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With whom does the behavior occur? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During which activities will you most likely observe the behavior? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During which activities will you least likely observe the behavior? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Antecedents <ul><li>Setting events </li></ul><ul><li>Predictors </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that occasion the behavior </li></ul>
  19. 19. Consequences <ul><li>Consequences (functions) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does the child respond to his/her own behavior? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do others respond to the child’s behavior? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What changes in the environment as a result of the behavior? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is presented or removed? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Consequences <ul><li>Reinforcement / Punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that maintain (cause the </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reoccurrence of) the behavior </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. How do I know? <ul><li>First, we need to think of the specific function of the behavior </li></ul><ul><li>HOW? </li></ul><ul><li>Think of the three main contingencies </li></ul><ul><li>A= Antecedent (before) </li></ul><ul><li>B= Behavior (what the child did) </li></ul><ul><li>C= Consequence (what the parent did) </li></ul>
  22. 23. Antecedent Conditions that Affect Behavior <ul><li>Environmental Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Curricular Considerations </li></ul>
  23. 24. Environmental Consideration <ul><li>Visual Stimuli-Lighting </li></ul><ul><li>Auditory Stimuli-Noise Level </li></ul><ul><li>Temperature </li></ul><ul><li>Crowded Conditions Vs. Personal Space </li></ul>
  24. 25. Medical Considerations <ul><li>Body aches (ear infections, headaches) </li></ul><ul><li>Allergies </li></ul><ul><li>Colds or flu </li></ul><ul><li>Gastric Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Constipation </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts, scrapes, blisters </li></ul><ul><li>Dental Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Eating Routines and diet </li></ul>
  25. 26. Curricular Considerations <ul><li>Is the task too difficult? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the task too simple? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the task boring? </li></ul><ul><li>Are choices presented? </li></ul>
  26. 27. Reasons Why Desired Behaviors Do NOT Always Occur <ul><li>Has not yet obtained the skill </li></ul><ul><li>Apparent lack of motivation / little interest in activity </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty with discrimination / understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty with generalization </li></ul>
  27. 28. Function: Attention Antecedent Behavior Consequence Teacher is busy with Andrew and Kyle wants to speak to her. Kyle runs through the room and starts asking a string of questions. Teacher would stop conversation with Andrew and ask Kyle what he wanted.
  28. 29. Intervention: Attention Proactive Replacement Skills *Teacher announces that she is busy with Andrew. *Teacher uses a stop sign. *Kyle was taught to walk to the teacher and wait. *Kyle was taught to wait at his seat and raise his hand to get the teacher’s attention.
  29. 30. Function: Obtain Antecedent Behavior Consequence Jordan wants his juice. Teacher is busy serving snacks to other students. Jordan yells at the top of his lungs for his teacher to get the juice. Teacher runs and tells Jordan to stop screaming and gives him his juice.
  30. 31. Intervention: Obtain Proactive Replacement Skills *Teacher serves Jordan juice at the beginning of snack time. *Teacher pours juice in small plastic jugs. *Jordan is taught to wait for his turn to get juice. *Jordan is taught to pour juice in the cup from the small jug. *Jordan is taught to use an appropriate tone of voice when requesting desired items.
  31. 32. Function: Escape or Avoidance Antecedent Behavior Consequence Brittany is sitting at her desk and the teacher gives her a non-preferred task to complete (addition worksheet). Brittany begins to engage in self-injurious behaviors (tapping her face). Brittany’s teacher would send her to the reading area for time out.
  32. 33. Intervention: Escape or Avoidance Proactive Replacement Skills *Warn Brittany that her next assignment will be a math worksheet. *Present her with a worksheet that has a limited number of problems to be completed. *Self-monitoring token system put in place. *Brittany was taught to ask for help. *Brittany was taught appropriate ways to protest. *Brittany was taught how to use her token system.
  33. 34. Function: Self-Stimulation Antecedent Behavior Consequence Camp counselor is lecturing class on being kind to each other. Children are sitting at their desks. Todd begins to rock in his chair, shake his legs, and pick at his fingernails. Camp counselor ignored Todd’s behaviors and continued with the lesson. Todd’s behaviors increased.
  34. 35. Intervention: Self-Stimulation Proactive Replacement Skills *Create engaging and hands-on lessons. *Provide a schedule of daily activities and events. *Utilize a token system for desired behaviors. *Teach Todd to request a break. *Teach him to refer back to his daily schedule. *Teach Todd appropriate stress reducing behaviors, such as squeezing a stress ball. *Teach Todd how to utilize his token system to earn desired items/activities.
  35. 36. Let’s try it

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