A Flashcards Preview

Cooper Glossary > A > Flashcards

Flashcards in A Deck (23)
Loading flashcards...

A-B Design

A two-phase experimental design consisting of a pre-treatment baseline condition (A) followed by a treatment condition (B)


A-B-A Design

A three-phase experimental design consisting of an initial baseline phase (A) until steady state responding (or countertherapeutic trend) is obtained, an intervention phase in which the treatment condition (B) is implemented until the behavior has changed and steady state responding is obtained, and a return to baseline conditions (A) by withdrawing the independent variable to see whether responding "reverses" to levels observed in the initial baseline phase)


Abative effect (of a MO)

a decrease in the current frequency of behavior that has been reinforced by the stimulus that is increased in reinforcing effectiveness by the same MO. For example, food ingestion abates (decreases the current frequency of) behavior that has been reinforced by food.


Abolishing Operation (AO)

A motivating operation that decreases the reinforcing effectiveness of stimulus, object, or event. For example, the reinforcing effectiveness of food is abolished as a result of food ingestion.


Accuracy (of measurement)

The extent to which observed values, the data produced by measuring an event, match the true state, or true values, of the event as it exists in nature.


Adjunctive behavior

Behavior that occurs as a collateral effect of a schedule of periodic reinforcement for other behavior; time filling or interim activities (e.g. doodling idle talking, smoking, drinking) that are induced by schedules of reinforcement during times when reinforcement is unlikely to be delivered. Also called "schedule-induced behavior"


Affirmation of the consequence

A three-step form of reasoning that begins with a true antecedent-consequence (If -A- then -B) statement and proceeds as follows 1) If A is true, the B is true; 2) B is found to be true 3) therefore, A is true. Although other factors could be responsible for the truthfulness of A, a sound experiment affirms several if -A- then-B possibilities, each once reducing the likelihood of factors other than the independent variable being responsible for the observed changes in behavior.


Alternating treatment design

An experimental design in which two or more conditions (one may be a treatment control condition) are presented in rapidly alternating succession (e.g. on alternating sessions or days) independent of the level of responding; differences in responding between or among conditions are attributed to the effects of the conditions (also called "concurrent schedule design, multi-element design, multiple schedule design).


Alternative schedule

Provides reinforcement whenever the requirement of either a ratio schedule or an interval schedule-the basic schedules that makeup the alternative schedule-is met, regardless of which of the component schedule's requirements is met first.



An environmental condition or stimulus change existing or occurring prior to a behavior of interest.


Antecedent Intervention

A behavior change strategy that manipulates contingency-independent antecedent stimuli (MO).


Antecedent stimulus class

A set of stimuli that share a common relationship. All stimuli in an antecedent stimulus class evoke the same operant behavior, or elicit the same respondent behavior.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for the improvement in behavior.


Arbitrary Stimulus Class

Antecedent stimuli that evoke the same response but do not resemble each other in physical form or share a relational aspect such as bigger or under (e.g. peanuts, cheese, coconut milk, and chicken breasts are members of an arbitrary stimulus class i they evoke the response "sources of protein")



An outcome or result that appears to exist because of the way it is measured but in fat does not correspond to what actually occurred.


Ascending baseline

A data path that shows an increasing trend in the response measure over time.



Anyone who functions as a discriminative stimulus evoking verbal behavior. Different audiences may control different verbal behavior about the same topic because of a differential reinforcement history. Teens may describe the same event in different ways when talking to peers v parents.



A secondary verbal operant in which some aspect of a speaker's own verbal behavior functions as an Sd or an MO for additional speaker verbal behavior. The autoclitic relation can be thought of as a verbal behavior about verbal behavior.


Automatic punishment

Punishment that occurs independent of the social mediation by others (i.e. response product serves as a punisher independent of the social environment).


Automatic reinforcement

Reinforcement that occurs independent of the social mediation by others (i.e. scratching an insect bite relieves the itch).


Automaticity (of reinforcement)

Refers to the fact that behavior is modified by its consequences irrespective of the person's awareness; a person does not have to recognize or verbalize the relation between her behavior and a reinforcing consequence, or even know that a consequence has occurred, for reinforcement to "work".


Aversive stimuus

In general, an unpleasant or noxious stimulus; more technically, a stimulus change or condition that functions (a) to evoke a behavior that has terminated it in the past; (b) as a punisher when presented following behavior and/or (c) as a reinforcer when withdrawn following behavior.


Avoidance contingency

A contingency in which a response prevents or postpones the presentation of a stimulus.