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ethical concerns w/ reversal designs

it would be unethical to remove an effective intervention that seems to be effectively reducing behaviors in a child or suicidal ideation, etc.


Sequencing effects

If you add an element or switch to a different intervention you cannot demonstrate efficacy as well, as you cannot remove the possible effects of the first intervention that you implemented (e.g., you cannot undo psychoeducation)


Analogue assessment

• Indirect measurement procedures that reflect how individuals behave in real-life situations
• Types: enactment, role play, video/audiotaped analogue, paper-pencil analogue, Behavioral Avoidance Test
• Advantages: best for screening and monitoring of treatment decisions, cost-effective, can help conceptualize
• Disadvantages: generalizability of results, procedures not standardized, instruction can produce bias


Baseline data

• purpose = use subjects performance in the absence of the IV (tx) as a basis for evaluating the effects of the IV
• allows opportunities for discovering that environmental events that control behavior (i.e. the antecedents and consequences)
• baseline data are also useful for helping to set the initial criteria for reinforcement
• ascending baseline data: can be a problem for studies in which you are trying to increase a behavior
• descending baseline data: can be a problem for students in which you are trying to decrease a behavior
• highly variable baseline: can be a problem bc typical level of behavior is unclear


functions of behavioral assessment

o Describe problem
o Identify controlling variables: ABC, SORCK - stimuli, organism, response, conseq., contingency
o Evaluate the impact on adaptive functioning
o Select treatment interventions
o Evaluate treatment outcome


methods of behavioral assessment

o Indirect: Behavioral interviews (based on idea that prob. Can be understood with learning principles—more emphasis on now), questionnaires/self-report, analogue situations (role play), self-monitoring, participant observation
• Potential problems: inaccuracy, reactivity, non-adherence
o Direct: observation in natural environment or electrophysiological (monitor couples heart rates)
• Potential problems: reactivity, reliability, comprehensiveness, cost-effectiveness


how is behavioral assessment different from traditional assessment

-traditional was idiographic (not comparing, but interpreting data, ex: Rorschach)

-behavioral assessment is now more nomothetic (compared to sample size, ex: MMPI)


behavioral case conceptualization steps

1. Problem definition & formulation
2. Translate problems into goals
3. Identify intervention strategies
4. Assess the effects of tx


why are case conceptualizations useful

o Helps to organize complex and sometimes contradictory information about a person
o Serves as a blueprint for guiding tx and a marker for change
o Represents a structure that enables the therapist to better understand the client
o May help therapist anticipate therapy-interfering events
o May help therapist develop greater empathy for client by deepening understanding of client


kinds of data needed to construct case conceptualization

o Client specific: bx, affect, cognition, biology
o Environmental: physical, social


what is a behavioral chain

• A series of discrete complex behaviors that must be performed in a certain order
• Stimuli throughout chain serve as conditioned reinforcers for the previous response and discriminative stimuli for the next response
• Forward: total task from beginning to end
• Backward chaining: starting with just put arms in shirt with shirt on, then start with shirt over head have to learn to pull down and put arms in


when is it best to intervene to break a bx chain

o Stimuli at beginning of chain are easiest to compete with because they are not reinforced as strongly; intervene with going to the store to buy cigarettes, not breathing in the lit cigarette


behavioral goals (considerations in selecting target bx)

o Select high priority goals
o For each goal identify for a given time frame: expected outcomes; more than expected outcomes and less than expected outcomes; much more than expected outcomes and much less than expected outcomes
o Most likely outcome would be considered tx success
o Can note what sources of information will be used to determine outcomes
o Challenge is to set goals that are realistic but not too easy/difficult


behavioral recording

o Event: record each instance of a bx occurring throughout day
o Interval: select period of time, divide time into smaller intervals, record presence of bx in each interval (partial, whole)
o Momentary time sampling: bx is recorded each time a signal occurs
o Narrative/structured diaries


behavioral interviews

o Operates on principle that client problems can be understood using learning principles
o Seeks to gather specific, detailed descriptions of observable events linked to problems (frequency, duration, timeline)
o Aims to delineate factors controlling bx (antecedents, consequences)
o Greater emphasis on present circumstances than distant past
o Hx of problem development is important
o Current life context
o Generate problem list


behavioral model

o Assumes that we are what we do
o Bx may be overt or covert
o Emphasis on bx rather than abstract constructs
o Human problems can be conceptualized in terms of excesses or deficits in bx
o Acknowledges role of heredity and biology
o Interest in the context in which bx occurs (ABC)
o Assumes a client needs to be taught new bx rather than have underlying psychological processes changed
o Tx procedures and techniques are ways of altering an individuals environment
o Methods and rationales can be described precisely


changing criterion design

• Conduct initial baseline observations on target behavior
• Implement a series of treatment phases
• Each treatment phase is associated with a step-wise change in the criterion for a target behavior
o Example: reinforce for 30 minutes of walking 2xs per week, switch to only reinforcing for 3 times per week
o Can be shaping like a more elaborate successive approximation or can be more frequency/intensity
o Each phase must be long enough for the behavior to stabilize
o Recommended to vary length of each
o The more times the target behavior changes to meet new criterion the stronger evidence that the behavior is under experimental control


Classical conditioning

when a neutral stimulus (CS) is paired repeatedly with a stimulus (US) that elicits and unlearned response (UR), the neutral stimulus (CS) will eventually elicit a response (CR) that appears the same as the unlearned response (UR)

o US = unconditioned stimulus (loud noise)
o CS =conditioned stimulus (rat)—originally the neutral stimulus becomes conditioned to also produce the cry
o UR = unconditioned response (cry, flee, startle—reflexive response to a loud noise)
o CR = conditioned response (similar to cry, flee, startle—not always identical)
o Best for CS to precede US


Operant Conditioning

o refers to relationship of behavior to the environmental events (antecedents and consequences that control behavior)
o ex: token economies/contingency management; response cost; time out; overcorrection
o CS can serve as reinforcers or punishers in operant conditioning (ex: music + deep breathing)
o First described by B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist
o Involves applying reinforcement or punishment after a behavior
o Focuses on strengthening or weakening voluntary behaviors


conditioned reinforcers/generalized reinforcers

o Something that will increase the likelihood of a bx recurring
o Primary (conditioned) vs. secondary (generalized)
o Are relative
o Consider amount and quality
o Potency related to deprivation
o Most effective when given immediately after a desired response is emitted


Differential reinforcement of high rates of responding (DRH) and low rates of responding (DRL)

o DRH: completing 5 math problems in 10 minutes
o DRL: you do not want to completely get rid of bx, just decrease to some degree (ex: asking no more than 3 questions in 20 minutes)
o Limited hold: can increase rates of responding in an interval reinforcement situation


Discriminative stimuli (SD)

o Can be thought of as a cue
o Ex: police car (stimulus) → slow down (bx evoked) → reinforcement/no ticket (consequence)
o Help us understand avoidance bx
o Antecedents can be anything (thoughts, feelings, environmental conditions)
o Pre-attending skills
o Specificity of directions
o Opportunity to respond
o Salience of stimulus is important in establishing SD
o prompts



• Extinction refers to no longer reinforcing a previously reinforced behavior (such as using planned ignoring - no longer reinforce tantrum with attention)
• General Principles for effective application:
o Schedule of reinforcement pre-extinction will impact the rate of extinction, for example, fixed ratio is more likely to have behavior stop fast when put on extinction, or if something was previously reinforced every time behavior will especially stop fast when put on extinction
o Select a specific behavior
o Behaviors strongly reinforced for a long time are harder to extinguish (also contingent upon previous schedule of reinforcement that maintained the behavior)
o Extinction burst: behavior may get worse before better
o Consider if extinction is feasible
o Monitor and record how often the target behavior occurs prior to the extinction procedure
o Identify a desirable alternative behavior for which the individual can be reinforced
o Be certain all relevant individuals know about the plan! And be consistent


Goal attainment scaling

o Identify level of expected outcome (more than expected, less than, most likely, etc.) and result
oHelps define goals (what does your goal mean); possible incentive


Mower’s two-factor theory for phobia acquisition and maintenance

• Phobias may be established via classical conditioning
• And maintained by operant conditioning; ie. avoidance is negatively reinforced


Multiple baseline designs

• Across behaviors, settings, subjects
• Advantages:
o do not have to remove tx once implemented
o Compatible with the bx analyst’s goal of developing multiple bx changes


Overcorrection/positive practice

• Restitutional overcorrection: individual must correct the consequences of his misbehavior by restoring the situation to a state that is even better than it was before the disruption occurred
• Positive practice overcorrection: method for reducing unwanted bx; individual must repeatedly practice bx that should have been emitted instead of the undesired bx that was emitted
• Ex: child sticks gum under desk → cleans his own desk and everyone else’s desk (restitutional); repeatedly put gum in trashcan (positive)


Premack Principle

• Any activity that you are more likely to engage in can serve as a reinforcer for behavior that you are less likely to perform



• DO
o Be specific about the behavior you are punishing
o Have clear written rules/policies
o Deliver immediately after unwanted behavior
o Accompany by verbal commands
o Be consistent in application
o Describe the consequences of the unwanted behavior and provide an alternative desirable behavior
o Emphasize that the behavior is being punished, not the person
o Pair punishment with reinforcement of the desirable behavior
o Gather data to ensure the punishment is working
o Experience the aversive stimulus yourself to gain perspective and ensure safety
• DON’T!
o Be arbitrary or excessive
o Use this when there is a less aversive means to change the behavior
• Drawbacks:
o Doesn’t tell individual what she/he should do
o Can model use of aggressive behavior
o Can result in aggression, fear, or other negative emotional consequences
o Can be negatively reinforcing for the punisher
o May lead to a reduction of all behaviors
o Requires oncstant monitoring
• Types One and Two:
o 1 Positive (present aversive) or 2 Negative (take away reinforcer)



behavior decreases/increase because it is being monitored


Response Cost

a form of punishment in which the loss of a specific amount reinforcemnt occurs contingent upon the performance of a inappropriate behavior and results in the decreased probability of the future occurrence of the behavior



• portable, practical, cost-efficient
• increases clients awareness of behavior
• allows access to private events like thoughts or drug use that you may not otherwise observe
• may clarify diagnostic considerations
• provides baseline to measure against
• reactive effects: just monitoring may help
• can record: rate, duration, latency (time between antecedent and behavior), intensity (such as SUDs)
• Can do:
o event recording
o momentary time sampling: is it occurring exactly when bell goes off, etc.
o interval recording
• partial: occurs at all in interval (better for decreasing behavior)—more conservative estimate
• whole: occurs for entire interval (better for increasing behavior)
• Self-report data (as used in behavioral assessment) – strengths and limitations of


Schedules of reinforcement

• Ratio: reinforcement dependent on # of times you emit behavior (tend to produce higher rates of behavior)
• Interval: dependent on passage of time (ie. 1st desired response following termination of interval warrants a reinforcer)
• Either can be fixed or variable (variable tend to produce higher rates of response then fixed interval)
• Fixed ratio: given $ per every page typed
• Variable interval: slot machines in vegas (so you get $ but # of times you have to pull lever to get it varies)—shorter post reinforcement pause (than fixed ratio)…because you will keep engaging in the behavior because you may get another reinforcer in just a few times…its not like you know, oh, I have to do 10 more so I will take a quick break before I start again
• Fixed interval: waiting for mail to arrive…can only get reinforcement (excitement as you open a letter) exactly once every day…like you have to wait the whole interval before you can get it again
• Variable ratio: getting the busy signal when calling a friend (you don’t know ho long the interval will be before you can get the reinforcer “a hello”, so you will keep trying to call…engaging in the behavior of dialing)
• Advantages to intermittent reinforcement:
o Reinforcer remains effective longer (b/c satiation takes place more slowly
o Behavior more resistant to extinction than behavior reinforced every time
o Individuals work more consistently
o Behaviors persist more readily when transferred to reinforcement in natural environment (you can transfer control to natural environment)
• Variations:
o Differential reinforcement of high rates of behavior reinforced for 5 math problems in 10 minutes
o Differential reinforcement for low rates of behavior (reinforced for asking no more than 3 questions in 20 minutes)



• Reinforcing successive approximations of the target behavior
• used to establish a behavior that is not presently performed by an individual
• several aspects of an individual’s behavior can be shaped
o topography of behavior: form that the behavior takes
o amount of the behavior: frequency/duration or both
o latency: time between the occurrence of a stimulus and the response
• successive steps can be big or small
o do not try to move to the next step too soon or too slowly
o often start with something that is in their repertoire
• Guidelines
o Have the terminal behavior clearly specified
o Reinforce each step until it becomes well established
o Take advantage of the extinction bursts
o The initial behavior to be shaped should be something the subject has a reasonable chance of engaging in or willing to do


Stages of change (Prochaska & DiClemente)

• Helps one understand client’s motivation to change; but keep in mind this is not a linear model
• Precontemplation: not thinking about changing
• Contemplation: thinking about and perhaps experimenting with changing sometime in the next six months
• Preparation: getting ready to change in the next month
• Action: change occurs
• Maintenance: continuing change after first goals are met


Stimulus generalization

•ex: knowing to keep mouth shut when primary teacher is present and generalizing that to all adults in the classroom
• ex: we become classically conditioned to fear a rat then we afraid of a baby polar bear and santa’s white furry beard
• Opposite stimulus discrimination: learning to differentiate between pitbull and sadie for example


Social Learning Theory

• Bandura
• Reciprocal Determinism
o Person, bx, environment all influence one another
o Learning can occur w/out direct experience (e.g. through observation)
o Covert, symbolic processes facilitate this learning

• Influenced development of cognitive tx approaches
• Ex: bobo doll experiment
• Factors necessary for observational learning
o Attentional processes
o Retentional processes
o Motor reproductive processes
o Incentive and motivational processes

• Characteristics that facilitate learning
o Model characteristics (likeability, status, sincerity, similar to learner, exposure to many models)
o Learner/situational characteristics (less certainty about own bx, ambiguous situations, intermediate task difficulty)

• Therapist should model
• Substance use problems
o Self-efficacy
o Positive expectancy outcomes


Time out (including the distinction between exclusionary and non-exclusionary forms)

• The withdrawal of the opportunity to earn reinforcement or the loss of access to positive reinforcement
• Non-exclusionary: remain in reinforcing environment but cannot engage in the reinforcing activity for a period of time
• Exclusionary: must leave reinforcing environment


Virtual reality assessment

• Human computer interactions in which the user becomes an active participant in a 3d world, experiences visual, auditory, and often tactile stimuli

• Advantages:
o Can do in office
o Can control unpredictability of real-life
o Can control situation to suit clients needs
o Unlimited repetitions
o Cost-effective/time-saving
o Unlike traditional analogue assessment does not rely on client’s capacity for internal imagery


positive reinforcement

give something good; behavior increases (prize)


negative reinforcement

take away something bad and behavior goes up (seat belt noise stops)


positive punishment

give something bad; behavior goes down (spanking)


negative punishment

take away something good; behavior goes down (take away opportunity for fun, e.g. timeout)