- Applied behavior analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the science of applying experimentally derived principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior. ABA takes what we know about behavior and uses it to bring about positive change (Applied). Behaviors are defined in observable and measurable terms in order to assess change over time (Behavior). The behavior is analyzed within the environment to determine what factors are influencing the behavior (Analysis). Applied behavior is the third of the four domains of behavior analysis, the other three being,
behaviorism, experimental analysis of behaviorand professional practice of behavior analysis.Applied behavior analysis contributes to a full range of areas including: AIDS prevention, [DeVries, J. E, Burnette, M. M., & Redmon, W.K. (1991). AIDS prevention: Improving nurses' compliance with glove wearing through performance feedback. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 705-711] conservation of natural resources, [Brothers, KJ, Krantz PJ, & McClannahan, LE (1994). Office paper recycling: A function of container proximity. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27, 153-160.] education, [cite book |author=Dardig, Jill C.; Heward, William L.; Heron, Timothy E.; Nancy A. Neef; Peterson, Stephanie; Diane M. Sainato; Cartledge, Gwendolyn; Gardner, Ralph; Peterson, Lloyd R.; Susan B. Hersh |title=Focus on behavior analysis in education: achievements, challenges, and opportunities |publisher=Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall |location=Upper Saddle River, N.J |year=2005 |pages= |isbn=0131113399 |oclc= |doi=] gerontology, [Gallagher, S. M., & Keenan, M. (2000). Independent use of activity materials by the elderly in a residential setting. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33, 325-328.] health and exercise, [De Luca, R. V., & Holborn, S. W. (1992). Effects of a variable-ratio reinforcement schedule with changing criteria on exercise in obese and nonobese boys. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 671-679.] industrial safety, [Fox, D. K., Hopkins, B. L., & Anger, W. K. (1987). The long-term effects of a token economy on safety performance in open-pit mining. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 215-224.] language acquisition, [Drasgow, E., Halle, J. W., & Ostrosky, M. M. (1998). Effects of differential reinforcement on the generalization of a replacement mand in three children with severe language delays. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, 357-374.] littering, [Powers, R. B., Osborne, J. G., & Anderson, E. G. (1973). Positive reinforcement of litter removal in the natural environment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 6, 579-586.] medical procedures, [Hagopian, L. P., & Thompson, R. H. (1999). Reinforcement of compliance with respiratory treatment in a child with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32, 233-236.] parenting, [Kuhn, S. A. C., Lerman, D. C., & Vorndran, C. M. (2003). Pyramidal training for families of children with problem behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 77-88.] seatbelt use, [Ron Van Houten, J. E. Louis Malenfant, John Austin, & Angie Lebbon (2005). The effects of a seatbelt-gearshift delay prompt on the seatbelt use of motorists who do not regularly wear seatbelts. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 195-203] severe mental disorders, [Wong, S. E., Martinez-Diaz, J. A., Massel, H. K., Edelstein, B. A., Wiegand, W., Bowen, L., & Liberman, R. P. (1993). Conversational skills training with schizophrenic inpatients: A study of generalization across settings and conversants. Behavior Therapy, 24, 285-304.] sports, [Brobst, B., & Ward, P. (2002). Effects of public posting, goal setting, and oral feedback on the skills of female soccer players. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 247-257.] and zoo management and care of animals. [Forthman, D. L., & Ogden, J. J. (1992). The role of applied behavior analysis in zoo management: Today and tomorrow. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 647-652.] ABA-based interventions have gained recent popularity in the last 20 years related to teaching students with autism spectrum disorders. [cite journal | author = Lovaas | year = 1987 | title = Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children | journal = Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders |volume=55 | pages = 3–9] [cite book | author = Alberto & Troutman | year = 2006 | title = Applied behavior analysis for teachers (7th Ed.)| publisher = Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education]
ABA is defined as the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for change. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |page=20]
Baer, Wolfe, and Risley's 1968 article is still used as the standard description of ABA. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |page=16] and it describes the seven dimensions of ABA; application, a focus on behavior, the use of analysis, a technological approach, conceptually systematic, effective, and generality.
Baer, Wolf, and Risley's seven dimensions::*Applied: ABA focuses on areas that are of social significance. In doing this, behavior scientists must take into consideration more than just the short-term behavior change, but also look at how behavior changes can affect the consumer, those who are close to the consumer, and how any change will affect the interactions between the two. :*Behavioral: ABA must be behavioral, i.e.: behavior itself must change, not just what the consumer SAYS about the behavior. It is not the goal of the behavior scientists to get their consumers to stop complaining about behavior problems, but rather to change the problem behavior itself. In addition, behavior must be objectively measured. A behavior scientist can not resort to the measurement of non-behavioral substitutes.:*Analytic: The behavior scientist can demonstrate believable control over the behavior that is being changed. In the lab, this has been easy as the researcher can start and stop the behavior at will. However, in the applied situation, this is not always as easy, nor ethical, to do. According to Baer, Wolf, and Risley, this difficulty should not stop a science from upholding the strength of its principles.cite journal |author= Baer DM, Wolf MM, Risley TR |year=1968 |title= Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis |journal= J Appl Behav Anal |volume=1 |issue=1 |pages=91–7 |doi=10.1901/jaba.1968.1-91 |pmid=1310980 |url=http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?pubmedid=16795165] As such, they referred to two designs that are best used in applied settings to demonstrate control and maintain ethical standards. These are the reversal and multiple baseline designs. The reversal design is one in which the behavior of choice is measured prior to any intervention. Once the pattern appears stable, an intervention is introduced, and behavior is measured. If there is a change in behavior, measurement continues until the new pattern of behavior appears stable. Then, the intervention is removed, or reduced, and the behavior is measured to see if it changes again. If the behavior scientist truly has demonstrated control of the behavior with the intervention, the behavior of interest should change with intervention changes. :*Technological: This means that if any other researcher were to read the study's description, that researcher would be able to "replicate the application with the same results". This means that the description must be very detailed and clear. Ambiguous descriptions do not qualify. Cooper "et al." describe a good check for the technological characteristic: "have a person trained in applied behavior analysis carefully read the description and then act out the procedure in detail. If the person makes any mistakes, adds any operations, omits any steps, or has to ask any questions to clarify the written description then the description is not sufficiently technological and requires improvement."cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |page=17] :*Conceptually Systematic: A defining characteristic is in regards to the interventions utilized; and thus research must be conceptually systematic by only utilizing procedures and interpreting results of these procedures in terms of the principles from which they were derived.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=17] :*Effective: An application of these techniques improve behavior under investigation. Specifically, it is not a theoretical importance of the variable, but rather the practical importance (social importance) that is essential.:*Generality: It should last over time, in different environments, and spread to other behaviors not directly treated by the intervention. In addition, continued change in specified behavior after intervention for that behavior has been withdrawn is also an example of generality.
In 2005, Heward, et al added the following four characteristics:Heward, WL., Heron, TE, Neef, NA, Peterson, SM, Sainato, DM, Cartledge, G, Gardner, III, R, Peterson, LD, Hersh, SB, & Dardig, JC (eds.) (2005). Focus on behavior analysis in education: Achievements, challenges, and opportunities. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Merrill.] :*Accountable: Direct and frequent measurement enables analysts to detect their success and failures to make changes in an effort to increase successes while decreasing failures. ABA is a scientific approach in which analysts may guess but then critically test ideas, rather than "guess and guess again". [cite book |author=Stokes, Trevor; Budd, Karen S. |title=A small matter of proof: the legacy of Donald M. Baer |publisher=Context Press |location=Reno, NV |year=2003 |pages= |isbn=1-878978-43-8 |oclc= |doi=] this constant revision of techniques, commitment to effectiveness and analysis of results leads to an accountable science.:*Public: Applied behavior analysis is completely visible and public. This means that there are no explanations that cannot be observed. There are no mystical, metaphysical explanations, hidden treatment, or magic. Thus, ABA is produces results whose explanations are available to all of the public.:*Doable: ABA has a pragmatic element in that implementors of interventions can consist of a variety of individuals, from teachers to the participants themselves. This does not mean that ABA requires one simply to learn a few procedures, but with the proper planning, it can effectively be implemented by most everyone willing to invest the effort. Heward, 205 p. 322] :*Empowering: ABA provides tools to practitioners that allow them to effectively change behavior. By constantly providing visual feedback to the practitioner on the results of the intervention, this feature of ABA allows clinicians to assess their skill level and builds confidence in their technology. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=19] :*Optimistic: According to several leading authors, practitioners skilled in behavior analysis have genuine cause to be optimistic for the following reasons:::*The environmental view is essentially optimistic as it suggests that all individuals possess roughly equal potential [Strain, PS, & Joseph, GE (2004). A not so good job with "Good job." Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 6(1),55-59.] ::*Direct and continuous measurements enable practitioners to detect small improvements in performance that might have otherwise been missed::*As a practitioner uses behavioral techniques with positive outcomes, the more they will become optimistic about future success prospectsd ] ::*The literature provides many examples of success teaching individuals considered previously unteachable.
Behavioris the activity of living organisms. Human behavior is the entire gamut of what people do including thinking and feeling. [Skinner, About Behaviorism 1974] Behavior can be determined by applying the Dead Man's test:
"If a dead man can do it, it ain't behavior. And if a dead man can't do it, then it is behavior" [Malott & Trojan Suarez, Principles of Behavior, 2004, p9>]Often, the term behavior is used to reference a larger class of responses that share physical dimensions or function. In this instance, the term "response" indicates a single instance of that behavior. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=26] If a group of responses have the same function, this group can be classified as a response class. Finally, when discussing a person's collection of behavior, repertoire is used. It can either pertain specifically to a set of response classes that are relevant to a particular situation, or it can refer to every behavior that a person can do.
Operant behavior is that which is selected by its consequences. The conditioning of operant behavior is the result of
reinforcementand punishment. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=33]
All organisms respond in predictable ways to certain stimuli. These stimulus-response relations are called
reflexes. The response component of the reflex is called respondent behavior. It is defined as behavior which is elicited by antecedent stimuli. Respondent conditioning (also called Classical Conditioning) is learning in which new stimuli acquire the ability to elicit respondents. This is done through stimulus-stimulus pairing, for example, the stimulus (smell of food) can elicit a person's salivation. By pairing that stimulus (smell) with another stimulus (word "food"), the second stimulus can obtain the function
The environment is the entire constellation of circumstances in which an organism exists. [ Michael, J. (2004). Concepts and principles of behavior analysis (rev.ed.) Kalamazoo, MI: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. ] This includes events both inside and outside of an organism, but only real physical events are included. The environment is comprised of stimuli. A stimulus is an "energy change that affects an organism through its receptor cells." [ Michael, J. (2004). Concepts and principles of behavior analysis (rev.ed.) Kalamazoo, MI: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. ]
A stimulus can be described::Formally by its physical features.:Temporally by when they occur in respect to the behavior.:Functionally by their effect on behavior.
Reinforcementis the most important principle of behavior [ Flora, S.r. (2004). The power of reinforcement. Albany: State University of New York Press.] and a key element of most behavior change programs. [Northup J., Vollmer T.R., & Serret, K. (1993). Publication trends in 25 years of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26, 527-537.] It is the process by which behavior is strengthened, if a behavior is followed closely in time by a stimulus and this results in an increase in the future frequency of that behavior. The addition of a stimulus following an event that serves as a reinforcer is termed positive reinforcement. If the removal of an event serves as a reinforcer, this is termed negative reinforcement. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=27] There are multiple schedules of reinforcement that effect the future frequency of behavior.
Punishmentis a process by which a consequence immediately follows a behavior which decreases the future frequency of that behavior. Like reinforcement, a stimulus can be added (positive punishment) or removed (negative punishment). Broadly, there are three types of punishment: presentation of aversive stimuli, response cost and time out. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=355] Punishment in practice can often result in unwanted side effects, and has as such been used only after reinforcement-only procedures have failed to work. Unwanted side effects can include the increase in other unwanted behavior as well as a decrease in desired behaviors. [ Reese E.P. (1966). The analysis of human operant behavior. Dubuque, IA: Brown. ] Some other potential unwanted effects include escape and avoidance, emotional behavior, and can result in behavioral contrast.
Extinction is the technical term to describe the procedure of withholding/discontinuing reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior, resulting in the decrease of that behavior. The behavior is then set to be extinguished (Cooper, et al). Extinction procedures are often preferred over punishment procures that are frequently deemed unethical and in many states prohibited. Nonetheless, extinction procedures must be implemented with utmost care by professionals, as they are generally associated with extinction bursts. An extinction burst is the temporary increase in the frequency, intensity, and/or duration of the behavior targeted for extinction. Other characteristics of an extinction burst include a)extinction-produced aggression - the occurrence of an emotional response to an extinction procedure often manifested as aggression; and b) extinction-induced response variability - the occurrence of novel behaviors that did not typically occur prior to the extinction procedure. These novel behaviors are a core component of
Discriminated operant and three-term contingency
In addition to a relation being made between behavior and its consequences, operant conditioning also establishes relations between antecedent conditions and behaviors. This differs from the S-R formulations (If-A-then-B), and replaces it with an AB-because-of-C formulation. In other words, the relation between a behavior(B) and its context(A) is because of consequences (C), more specifically, this relationship between AB because of C indicates that the relationship is established by prior consequences that have occurred in similar contexts. [Moxley, R.A. (2004). Pragmatic selectionism. The philosophy of behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst Today, 5, 108-125.] This antecedent-behavior-consequence contingency is termed the three term contingency. A behavior which occurs more frequently in the presence of an antecedent condition than in its absence is called a discriminated operant. The antecedent stimulus is called a discriminative stimulus SD. The fact that the discriminated operant occurs only in the presence of the discriminative stimulus is an illustration of
stimulus control. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=41]
When measuring behavior, there are both dimensions of behavior and quantifiable measures of behavior. In applied behavior analysis, the quantifiable measures are a derivative of the dimensions. These dimensions are repeatability, temporal extent, and temporal locus. [(Johnston, J.M. & Pennypacker, H.S. (1993b). Readings for Strategies and tactics of behavioral research (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, HF: Erlbaum.]
Response classes occur repeatedly throughout time -- ie how many times the behavior occurs.:*Count is the number of occurrences in behavior. :*Rate/Frequency is the number of instances of behavior per unit of time.:*Celeration is the measure of how the rate changes over time.
This dimension indicates that each instance of behavior occupies some amount of time -- ie how long the behavior occurs.:*Duration is the amount of time in which the behavior occurs.
Each instance of behavior occurs at a specific point in time -- ie when the behavior occurs.:*Response latency is the measure of elapsed time between the onset of a stimulus and the initiation of the response.:*Interresponse time is the amount of time that occurs between two consecutive instances of a response class.
Derivative measures are unrelated to specific dimensions:
*Percentage is the ratio formed by combining the same dimensional quantities.
*Trials-to-criterion measurement of the number of response opportunities needed to achieve a predetermined level of performance.
Analyzing behavior change
In applied behavior analysis, all experiments should include the following: [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=422] :*At least one participant:*At least one behavior (dependent variable):*At least one setting:*A system for measuring the behavior and ongoing visual analysis of data:*At least one treatment or intervention condition:*Manipulations of the independent variable so that its effects on the dependent variable
Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
Functional assessment of behavior provides hypotheses about the relationships between specific environmental events and behaviors. Decades of research has established that both desirable and undesirable behaviors are learned through interactions with the social and physical environment. FBA is used to identify the type and source of reinforcement for challenging behaviors as the basis for intervention efforts designed to decrease the occurrence of these behaviors.
Functions of behavior
The function of a behavior can be thought of as the purpose a behavior serves for a person. Function is identified in an FBA by identifying the type and source if reinforcement for the behavior of interest. Those reinforcers might be positive or negative social reinforcers provided by someone who interacts with the person, or automatic reinforcers produced directly by the behavior itself.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=501]
*Positive Reinforcement - social positive reinforcement (attention), tangible reinforcement, and automatic positive reinforcement.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=501]
*Negative Reinforcement - social negative reinforcement (escape), automatic negative reinforcement.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=502]
Function versus topography
Behaviors may look different but can serve the same function and likewise behavior that looks the same may serve multiple functions. What the behavior looks like often reveals little useful information about the conditions that account for it. However, identifying the conditions that account for a behavior, suggests what conditions need to be altered to change the behavior. Therefore, assessment of function of a behavior can yield useful information with respect to intervention strategies that are likely to be effective.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=502]
FBA methods can be classified into three types:
*Functional (experimental) Analysis
Functional (experimental) analysis
A functional analysis is one in which antecedents and consequences are manipulated to indicate their separate effects on the behavior of interest. This type of arrangement is often called analog because they are not conducted in a naturally occurring context. However, research is indicating that functional analysis done in a natural environment will yield similar or better results [Noell G.H., VanDertteyden, A.M., Gatti, S.L., & Whitmarsh, E.L. (2001). Functional assessment of the effects of escape and attention on students' compliance during instruction. School Psychology Quarterly, 16, 253-269.]
A functional analysis normally has four conditions (three test conditions and one control):
Advantages - it has the ability to yield a clear demonstration of the variable(s)that relate to the occurrence of a problem behavior. Serves as the standard of scientific evidence by which other assessment alternative are evaluated, and represents the method most often used in research on the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. [Arndorfer, R., & Miltenberger, R. (1993). Functional assessment and treatment of challenging behavior: A review with implications for early childhood. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 13, 82-105.]
Limitations - assessment process may temporarily strengthen or increase the undesirable behavior to unacceptable levels or result in the behavior acquiring new functions. Some behaviors may not be amenable to functional analysis (e.g. those that, albeit serious, occur infrequently). Functional analysis conducted in contrived settings may not detect the variable that accounts for the occurrence in the natural environment.
This method uses structured interviews, checklists, rating scales, or questionnaires to obtain information from persons who are familiar with the person exhibiting the behavior to identify possible conditions or events in the natural environment that correlate with the problem behavior. They are called "indirect" because they do not involve direct observation of the behavior, but rather solicit information based on others' recollections of the behavior.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=509]
*Advantages - some can provide a useful source of information in guiding subsequent, more objective assessments, and contribute to the development of hypotheses about variable that might occasion or maintain the behaviors of concern.
*Limitations - informants may not have accurate and unbiased recall of behavior and the conditions under which it occurred.
As with Functional Analysis, descriptive functional behavior assessment utilizes direct observation of behavior; unlike functional analysis, however, observations are made under naturally occurring conditions. Therefore, descriptive assessments involve observation of the problem behavior in relation to events that are not arranged in a systematic manner.cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=509]
There are three variations of descriptive assessment:
*ABC (antecedent-behavior-consequence) continuous recording - observer records occurrences of targeted behavior and seelected environmental events in the natural routine.
*ABC narrative recording - data are collected only when behaviors of interest are observes, and the recording encompasses any events that immediately precede and follow the target behavior.
*Scatterplots -a procedure for recording the extent to which a target behavior occurs more often at particular times than others. [ Symons, F.J., McDonald, L.M., & Wehby, J.H. (1998) Functional assessment and teacher collected data. education and Treatment of Children, 21(2), 135-159; Touchette, P.E., MacDonald, R.F., & Langer, S.N. (1985). A scatter plot for identifying stimulus control of problem behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 343-351.]
Conducting an FBA
Provided the strengths and limitations of the different FBA procedures, FBA can best be viewed as a four-step process:cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=511]
:1. The gathering of information via indirect and descriptive assessment.:2. Interpretation of information from indirect and descriptive assessment and formulation of a hypothesis about the purpose of problem behavior.:3. Testing of a hypothesis using a functional analysis.:4. Developing intervention options based on the function of problem behavior.
Technologies discovered through ABA research
Task analysisis a process in which a task is analyzed into its component parts so that those parts can be taught through the use of chaining: forward chaining, backward chaining and total task presentation. Task analysis has been used in organizational behavior management, a behavior analytic approach to changing organizations. [cite journal |author= Crowell CR, Anderson DC, Abel DM, Sergio JP |year=1988 |title= Task clarification, performance feedback, and social praise: procedures for improving the customer service of bank tellers |journal= J Appl Behav Anal |volume=21 |issue=1 |pages=65–71 |doi=10.1901/jaba.1988.21-65 |pmid=16795713 |url=http://pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?pubmedid=16795713] Behavioral scripts often emerge from a task analysis. [MacDuff, G.S., Krantz, P.J., & McClannahan, L.E.(1993). Teaching children with autism to use photographic activity schedules:Maintenance and generalization of complex response chains. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26(1), 89-97.] [Krantz, P. J., & McClannahan, L.E. (1993). Teaching children with autism to initiate to peers: Effects of a script-fading procedure. "Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26," 121-132.] Bergan conducted a task analysis of the behavioral consultation relationship [cite book |author= Bergan JR |year=1977 |title= Behavioral Consultation |publisher=Merrill |isbn=0675084881] and Thomas Kratochwill developed a training program based on teaching Bergan's skills. [cite journal |author= Kratochwill TR, Van Someren KR, Sheridan SM |year=1989 |title= Training behavioral consultants: a competency-based model to teach interview skills |journal= Professional School Psychology |volume=4 |pages=41–58] A similar approach was used for the development of microskills training for counselors. [cite journal |author= Ivey AE, Normington CJ, Miller CD, Morrill WH, Haase RF |year=1968 |title= Microcounseling and attending behavior: an approach to prepracticum counselor training |journal= J Couns Psychol |volume=15 |issue= 5, pt. 2 |pages=1–12 |doi= 10.1037/h0026129] [cite book |author= Ivey AE, Ivey MB |year=1998 |title= Intentional Interviewing and Counseling: Facilitating Client Development in a Multicultural Society |edition= 4th ed. |publisher=Brooks/Cole |isbn=0534357563] Ivey would later call this "behaviorist" phase a very productive one [cite journal |journal= J Couns Dev |year=2001 |volume=79 |issue=1 |pages=105–18 |title= Allen E. Ivey: transforming counseling theory and practice |author= Littrell JM |url=http://www.bahai-library.org/newspapers/010101-1.html |accessdate=2008-01-04] and the skills-based approach came to dominate counselor training during 1970–90. [cite journal |author= McLennan J |year=1994 |title= The skills-based model of counselling training: a review of the evidence |journal= Aust Psychol |volume=29 |issue=2 |pages=79–88 |doi=10.1080/00050069408257328] Task analysis was also used in determining the skills needed to access a career. [cite book |author= Krumboltz JD, Mitchell AM, Jones GB |year=1980 |chapter= A social learning theory of career selection |pages=259–82 |editor= Wentling TL (ed.) |title= Annual Review of Research in Vocational Education, Vol. 1 |publisher= Office of Vocational Education Research, University of Illinois |url=http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED221682] In education, Englemann (1968) used task analysis as part of the methods to design the Direct Instruction curriculum.cite journal |author= Englemann S |year=1968 |title= Relating operant techniques to programming and teaching |journal= J Sch Psychol |volume=6 |issue=2 |pages=89–96 |doi=10.1016/0022-4405(68)90002-2]
The skill to be learned is broken down into small units for easy learning. For example, a person learning to brush teeth independently may start with learning to unscrew the toothpaste cap. Once they have learned this, the next step may be squeezing the tube, etc. [cite book |author= Cooper "et al" |title= Applied Behavior Analysis |pages=??] [cite journal |author= Weiss KM |year=1978 |title= A comparison of forward and backward procedures for the acquisition of response chains in humans |journal= J Exp Anal Behav |volume=29 |issue=2 |pages=255–9 |doi=10.1901/jeab.1978.29-255 |pmid=16812053 |url=http://pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?pubmedid=16812053]
For problem behavior chains can also be analyzed and the chain can be disrupted to prevent the problem behavior. [cite book |author= Walker HM |year= 1995 |title= The Acting-Out Child: Coping With Classroom Disruption |edition= 2nd ed. |publisher= Sopris West |isbn=1570350477 ] Some behavior therapies, such as
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, make extensive use of behavior chain analysis. [cite book |author= Linehan MM |year=1993 |title= Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder |publisher= The Guilford Press |isbn=0898620341 ]
A prompt is a cue or assistance to encourage the desired response from an individual. [cite book | author = Ontario Ministry of Education | year = 2007 | title = Effective Educational Practices for Students with ASD | publisher = Queen's Printer for Ontario ] Prompts are often categorized into a prompt hierarchy from most intrusive to least intrusive. There is some controversy about what is considered most intrusive: physically intrusive versus hardest prompt to fade (ie. verbal).Fact|date=February 2008 In an errorless learning approach, prompts are given in a most-to-least sequence and faded systematically to ensure the individual experiences a high level of success. [cite book | author = Martin & Pear | year = 2003 | title = Behavior Modification: What is it and how to do it? (7th Ed.)| publisher = Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education] There may be instances in which a least-to-most prompt method is preferred. Prompts are faded systematically and as quickly as possible to avoid prompt dependency. The goal of teaching using prompts would be to fade prompts towards independence, so that no prompts are needed for the individual to perform the desired behavior. [cite journal |author= VanDerHeyden AM, Snyder P, DiCarlo CF, Stricklin SB, Vagianos LA |year=2002 |title= Comparison of within-stimulus and extra-stimulus prompts to increase targeted play behaviors in an inclusive early intervention program |journal= Behav Analyst Today |volume=3 |issue=2 |pages=188–197 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/VOL-3/BAT-3-2.pdf |format=PDF] [cite journal |author= Chesnut M, Williamson PN, Morrow JE |year=2003 |title= The use of visual cues to teach receptive skills to children with severe auditory discrimination deficits |journal= Behav Analyst Today |volume=4 |issue=2 |pages=212–224 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/VOL-4/BAT-4.-2.pdf |format=PDF]
Types of prompts:
:*Verbal prompts: Utilizing a vocalization to indicate the desired response.
:*Visual Prompts: a visual cue or picture.
:*Gestural prompts: Utilizing a physical gesture to indicate the desired response.
:*Positional prompt: The target item is placed closer to the individual.
:*Modeling: Modeling the desired response for the student. This type of prompt is best suited for individuals who learn through imitation and can attend to a model.
:*Physical prompts: Physically manipulating the individual to produce the desired response. There are many degrees of physical prompts. The most intrusive being hand-over-hand, and the least intrusive being a slight tap to initiate movement. [cite book | author = Martin & Pear | year = 2003 | title = Behavior Modification: What is it and how to do it? (7th Ed.)| publisher = Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education]
This is not an exhaustive list of all possible prompts. When using prompts to systematically teach a skill, not all prompts need to be used in the hierarchy; prompts are chosen based on which ones are most effective for a particular individual.
The overall goal is for an individual to eventually not need prompts. As an individual gains mastery of a skill at a particular prompt level, the prompt is faded to a less intrusive prompt. This ensures that the individual does not become overly dependent on a particular prompt when learning a new behaviour or skill.
Thinning is often confused with fading. Fading refers to a prompt being removed, where thinning refers to the spacing of a reinforcement schedule getting larger. [cite journal |author= LeBlanc LA, Hagoplan LP, Maglieri KA, Poling A |year=2002 |title= Decreasing the intensity of reinforcement-based interventions for reducing behavior: conceptual issues and a proposed model for clinical practice |journal= Behav Analyst Today |volume=3 |issue=3 |pages= 289–300 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/VOL-3/BAT-3-3.pdf |format=PDF] Some support exists that a 30% decrease in reinforcement can be an efficient way to thin. [cite journal |author= Cautilli J |year=2005 |title= Brief report: application of proposed model of decreasing reinforcement intensity |journal= Int J Behav Consult Ther |volume=1 |issue=1 |pages=21–36 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/IJBCT-VOL-1/IJBCT-1-1.PDF |format=PDF] Schedule thinning is often an important and neglected issue in
contingency managementand token economysystems, especially when developed by unqualified practitioners (see professional practice of behavior analysis). [Bailey, J.S. & Burch, M.R. (2005). "Ethics for behavior analysts." LEA ]
Generalization is the expansion of a student's performance ability beyond the initial conditions set for acquisition of a skill. [cite book | author = Alberto & Troutman | year = 2006 | title = Applied behavior analysis for teachers (7th Ed.)| publisher = Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education] Generalization can occur across people, places, and materials used for teaching. For example, once a skill is learned in one setting, with a particular instructor, and with specific materials, the skill is taught in more general settings with more variation from the initial acquisition phase. For example, if a student has successfully mastered learning colors at the table, the teacher may take the student around the house or his school and then "generalize" the skill in these more natural environments with other materials. Behavior analysts have spent considerable amount of time studying factors that lead to generalization. [cite journal |author= Osnes PG, Lieblein T |year=2003 |title= An explicit technology of generalization |journal= Behav Analyst Today |volume=3 |issue=4 |pages=364–74 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/VOL-3/BAT-3-4.pdf |format=PDF]
Shaping involves gradually modifying the existing behavior into the desired behavior. If the student engages with a dog by hitting it, then he or she could have their behavior shaped by reinforcing interactions in which he or she touches the dog more gently. Over many interactions, successful shaping would replace the hitting behavior with patting or other gentler behavior. Shaping is based on a behavior analyst's thorough knowledge of
operant conditioningprinciples and Extinction (psychology). Recent efforts to teach shaping have used simulated computer tasks. [cite journal |author= Kemp SM, Eckerman DA |year=2002 |title= Simulating a shaping task |journal= Behav Analyst Today |volume=3 |issue=2 |pages=166–78 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/VOL-3/BAT-3-2.pdf |format=PDF]
One teaching technique found to be effective with some students, particularly children, is the use of video modeling (the use of taped sequences as exemplars of behavior). It can be used by therapists to assist in the acquisition of both verbal and motor responses, in some cases for long chains of behavior. [cite journal |author= D'Ateno P, Mangiapanello K, Taylor BA |year=2002 |title= Using video modeling to teach complex play sequences to a preschooler with autism |journal= J Posit Behav Interv |volume=5 |issue=1 |pages=5–11 |doi= 10.1177/10983007030050010801] [cite journal |author= Corbett BA, Abdullah M |year=2005 |title= Video modeling: why does it work for children with autism? |journal= J Early Intensive Behav Interv |volume=2 |issue=1 |pages=2–8 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/JEIBI-VOL-2/JEIBI-2-1.pdf |format=PDF]
Interventions based on an FBA
Critical to behavior analytic interventions is the concept of a systematic behavioral case formulation with a functional behavioral assessment or analysis at the core. [cite journal |author= Tryon WW |year=1976 |title= A system of behavioral diagnosis |journal= Prof Psychol |volume=7 |issue=4 |pages=495–506 |doi= 10.1037/0735-7028.7.4.495] [cite book |author= Kanfer FH, Saslow G |year=1969 |chapter= Behavioral diagnosis |editor= Franks CM (ed.) |title= Behavior Therapy: Appraisal and Status |publisher=McGraw-Hill |pages=417–44 |oclc=24223] This approach should apply a behavior analytic theory of change (see
behavioural change theories). This formulation should include a thorough functional assessment, a skills assessment, a sequential analysis (behavior chain analysis),an ecological assessment, a look at existing evidenced-based behavioral models for the problem behavior (such as Fordyce's model of chronic pain) [cite journal |author= Romano JM, Jensen MP, Turner JA, Good AB, Hops H |year=2000 |title= Chronic pain patient-partner interactions: further support for a behavioral model of chronic pain |journal= Behav Ther |volume=31 |issue=3 |pages=415–40 |doi=10.1016/S0005-7894(00)80023-4] and then a treatment plan based on how environmental factors influence behavior. Some argue that behavior analytic case formulation can be improved with an assessment of rules and rule governed behavior. [cite journal |author= Malott RW |year=1992 |title= A theory of rule-governed behavior and organizational behavior management |journal= J Organ Behav Manage |volume=12 |issue=2 |pages=45–65 |doi=10.1300/J075v12n02_03] [cite journal |author= Malott RW, Shimamune S, Malott ME |year=1992 |title= Rule-governed behavior and organizational behavior management: an analysis of interventions |journal= J Organ Behav Manage |volume=12 |issue=2 |pages=103–16 |doi=10.1300/J075v12n02_09] [cite journal |author= Hayes SC, Brownstein AJ, Zettle RD, Rosenfarb I, Korn Z |year=1986 |title= Rule-governed behavior and sensitivity to changing consequences of responding |journal= J Exp Anal Behav |volume=45 |issue=3 |pages=237–56 |doi=10.1901/jeab.1986.45-237 |pmid=16812448 |url=http://pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?pubmedid=16812448] Some of the interventions that result from this type of conceptualization involve training specific communication skills to replace the problems behavior as well as specific setting, antecedent, behavior, and consequece strategies. [cite journal |author= Gerhardt PF, Weiss MJ, Delmolino L |year=2003 |title= Treatment of severe aggression in an adolescent with autism: non-contingent reinforcement and functional communication training |journal= Behav Analyst Today |volume=4 |issue=4 |pages=386–94 |url=http://behavior-analyst-today.com/VOL-4/BAT-4-4.pdf |format=PDF]
* [http://www.kennedykrieger.org/kki_misc.jsp?pid=4761&bl=1 Applied Behavioral Analysis: Overview and summary of scientific support.]
* [http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/ Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis]
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