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A characteristic of a phenomenon.

A property exists independent of its measurement

Examples: objects have mass regardless of the measurement system used to it.
Events exist in time

Fundamental properties


Measure :
quantify fundamental properties.

pounds are a quantifiable measure of mass.
Seconds are a quantifiable measure of time.

Dimensional quantities


A single response occurs in time.

More specifically a response occurs at a certain point in time in relation to a proceeding environmental event.

Fundamental property; temporal locus


A fundamental quality of a natural phenomenon. Johnston and Penny maker, 2008

A Property


They are:

Qualitative. That is they are not measured

Properties of behavior


A dimensional quantity is a

Quantifiable, measurable aspect of a property.


The dimensional quantity associated with temporal locus is

Latency, which is the amount of time between a stimulus and response


A second fundamental property of a single response is derived from the fact that a response occupy his time.

Temporal extent


The amount of time between the beginning and the end of a response cycle.



The dimensional quantity associated with the fundamental property of temporal extent



A third fundamental property of a single response
It refers to the fact that a response can reoccur



The number of responses or number of cycles of the response class

Countsbility or frequency


What is the dimensional quantity associated with repeatedly



These three dimensional quantities, IIRT, rate and celeration arerelated to the combination of these two properties

Temporal locus


Refers to the time between two successive responses; usually the time elapsed between the end of a response cycle and the beginning of the next response cycle.

Dimensional quantity, inter response time


The ratio of the number of responses over some period of time.

Dimensional quantity rate


Fundamental datum in the study of operant behavior



______. Responding is the ratio of the number of responses over some period of time.

It’s unit of measurement is cycles per unit of time.

It is the fundamental datum in the study of operant behavior



Refers to change in behavior over time, usually increases acceleration, or decreases, deceleration in rate overtime

Dimensional quantity Celeration


Cycles/ unit of time//Unit of time

Change in rate/time OR # of responses/time/time



The quantitative results of deliberate, planned, and usually controlled observation (Johnson and Pennypacker 2009)


Datum is singular form of the term


Pivotal to the practice of ABA.

Our clinical decisions will be made by a valuation of this

Frequent, repeated allows for I’m going to valuation of our intervention(s)

Observer expectation
Completing activities
Representative of behavior



Refers only to observable

Readable and unambiguous
Allows replication, technological

Delineates the boundaries of what is and what is not an instance of behavior. Cooper do you thousand seven

Characteristics of a good response definition


Directly measures a dimensional quantity of behavior.

Most measure occurrence versus non-occurrence and thus measure a dimensional quantity, usually percent

Continuous (direct) Response measures


1. Event (Frequency) recording

2. Latency recording measures

3. Duration recording, either per occurrence or total

4. IRT Recording measures into response time

Continuous response measures


1. Record time observation began
2. Count the responses
3. Record time observation ended
4. Divide: count/unit of time
5. Report as rate per unit of time

Event recording (aka frequency recording)


Use this when:
Free operant
Response has a clear beginning and end

Behavior that occurs for long periods of time.
Discrete trials
High rates of behavior

Event recording


Record time observation began
, record each antecedent,
record each response,
record time observation ended,
record as responses/Antecedents/Unit of time

Event recording of restricted operants


Duration Per session:
Total amount of time individual engages in an activity
- Example: in a one hour observation total number of minutes engaged in tantrum behavior. Four minutes, five minutes each equals 20 minutes.

Duration per occurrence:
Amount of time a target behavior occupies
-. For example: 2 episodes of tantrum. First tantrum equals four minutes, second equals 10 minutes

Duration recording.


when to use:
Behavior that occurs for long periods of time.

not sensitive to behavior that occurs often but not for long periods of time
Unclear start and stop

Duration recording Considerations


Specify whether to start the stopwatch at the onset or at the offset of the stimulus

Specify whether or not to stop the stopwatch at the beginning or end of the response cycle.
If the latter, then you may be confounding latency and duration

Latency recording


Considerations. When to use: how much time occurs between the opportunity to respond and the response?

Limitations; will not provide information concerning accuracy of response

Latency recording


Start timing at the END of the response cycle.

Stop timing at the BEGINNING of the next response cycle

IRT recording


Use this when the time between responses is of concern

will not provide information concerning accuracy of response

IRT recording Considerations


The Mean IRT May be estimated given the RATE, provided that the variability is not too great, or that there are no outliers

The formula is:
Recording interval/count
Helps to remember there are:
60 minutes in one hour,
3600 Seconds in one hour

Estimating mean IRT’s


Rate equals response/time

If rate = 6 per hour

That is same as 6/60 minutes

IRT = Time Units/Responses

Solve: 60/6

Estimated I RT equals 10 minutes

Estimate the mean IRT, Example


any operant whose response rate is controlled by a given opportunity to emit the response. Each discrete response occurs when an opportunity to respond exists. (aka restricted operant, controlled operate. Contrast with free operant.) duration.

Restricted Operant


Rate equals response/time
If rate equals 120 per hour
That is same as 120/3600 seconds
IRT equals time units/responses
Solve: 3600/120
Estimated IRT equals 30 seconds

Example: estimate the mean IRT


Responses are distributed across the observation.

No significant outliers

You know the rate

When to estimate mean I RT


Responses are grouped at one point of the observation interval such as the beginning or end

Significant outliers

When not to estimate Mean IRT


Percent occurrence percent correct

Trails to criterion

Discrete categorization – coding

Partial interval recording PIR

Whole interval recording WIR

Momentary time sampling MTS


Discontinuous response measures


Similar to event recording of a restricted or discriminated operant. However converted into a percent

Percent correct is a special case of this

Present Occurrence


When to use this:

Interested in a proportion of correct responses


Not a dimensional quantity

Insufficient opportunities to respond

Percent Occurrence: Considerations


The number of consecutive opportunities to respond required to achieve a performance standard.

Record each opportunity to respond until the performance standard is vet.

Trials to criterion


1. Determine what one trial will be, untied shoe.

2. Decide how to report, number of trials or number of block trials.

3. Record count as the measure

4. Present data

Trailers to criterion steps


When to use :
Evaluate the efficacy of different teaching strategies.
Assessing learner competence.

behavior that is difficult to count

Trials to criterion Considerations


Responses/antecedents/unit of time

Event recording of restricted operates


A method for CLASSIFYING responses into DISCRETE categories.

Expressed as a percentage of responses for each code

Discrete categorization (Coding)


Went to use:
severity codes, Independence codes

not dimensional quantities

Discrete categorization



Antecedent stimulus :wash your hands

Target behaviors: steps in Handwashing task analysis see below

Codes: L I equals independent; VP equals verbal prompt; GP equals gestural prompts; PP equals physical prompt; MG equals manual guidance.

1. Go to sync

2 turns on Faucet


Discrete categorization


A discontinuous response measure in which a recording session is broken into short intervals of time, usually 10 to 20 seconds

A response is recorded as occurring if it occurs at any time during the interval.
-it is recorded as a non-occurrence if it does not occur at all during the interval.

Reported as a percent of intervals.

Partial interval recording


Use when there is very high frequency target behavior,
ease of data collection

prone to errors in estimation of actual target behavior,
length of interval

Partial interval recording


A discontinuous response measure in which a recording session is broken into short intervals of time usually 10 to 20 seconds.

A response is recorded as occurring if it occurs during the entire whole interval
-it is recorded as a non-occurrence if it occurs for less than the entire interval

Reported as a PERCENT intervals

Whole interval recording


A discontinuous response measure in which A response is recorded as occurring Only if It occurs at the point in time when the interval ends

Momentary time sampling


behavior is occurring over a long period of time.

Ease of data taking

Limitations:prone to Errors in estimation of actual target behavior

Whole interval recording


Use one continuous observation is not feasible

Prone to errors in estimation of actual target behavior

Limitations: low frequency duration

Momentary time sampling


A special case of momentary time sampling

A group of individuals is observed at the end of an interval

Count how many individuals are engaging in the target behavior

Compare with the total number of individuals

Percent of individuals engaging in behaviors

At the end of the interval observe the group and count how many of individuals are engaging in the target behavior at that moment

Divide the number engaging in the behavior by the total number of individuals

Reported as a percent of individuals engaging in behavior



When there are a group of consumers

Limitations: prone to errors in exclamation of actual target behavior



All indirect measurement methods are prone to errors:

WIR: underestimate

PIR: overestimate and underestimates

MTS: overestimates and underestimates


The dimensional quantity of interest

The estimated rate of the behavior

Whether to measure responses or episodes

Where to collect data

When, how often, and how long…

Who will collect the data

Resources that are available

How the data will be used

Factors to consider when selecting a response measure


If a behavior has a consistent effect on the environment it can be measured by that effect

Measuring the results of behavior is termed

Permanent product Measurement


If real time measurement is not possible this may be used to ease data collection

Permanent products


Use when behavior leave a product to be measured

Use when I’m going data collection is difficult

Limitations: real time observation maybe needed

Lose information about the behavior

Permanent product


Reliability is the consistency of measurement

In ABA, when applied to the behavior being measured, it is the coefficient of agreement between two or more independent observers

Inter-observer agreement


Usually calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of agreements by the total number of agreements plus disagreements, then multiplying by 100

Reported as percent agreement

Inter-observer agreement



Competence of new observers, detecting observer drift,
validate collection methods,
increased confidence that interventions are responsible for her behavior change.

Uses for IOA, (interobserver agreement


Reliability may also be assessed with regard to the treatment or intervention

It’s integrity is the degree to which an intervention is implemented as described/designated
This is often termed treatment integrity or procedural fidelity

It is vital that both the dependent variable or the behavior, we are measuring and the independent variable, or treatment, we are using are being objectively measured

IV integrity, independent variable


Two main methods are:
Total count.
Calculated by smaller over larger times 100

Percent agreement.
Calculated by agreement/agreement +disagreements x100
Yield same value as total count for direct measurement
Used primarily for indirect Measurement methods

Determining interobserver agreement


Total count IOA has a flaw. There is no guarantee that the data were collected at the same time.

This could be problematic if different treatments are in place at different times

Mean count per interval can be used to increase the confidence of event recording data

First we break the observation. Into segments

Mean count per interval IOA


Mean count per interval:

Total agreement in each interval divided by number of intervals x100

Total duration: shorter duration/longer duration times 100

Mom – Five minute tantrum
Dad – three minute tantrum

3/5×100 = 60 percent

Interval by interval:
Number of intervals agreed/number of interval agreed plus number of intervals disagreed times 100

Calculating mean account per interval

Example. 7/(7+3) = 0.7 x 100 = 70%


Scored interval

Intervals are only scored if an observer marks an occurrence

Intervals where both observer agree there was no occurrence are omitted

Unscored interval

Only intervals are score it is an observer did not mark an occurrence

Intervals we are both observer is agree there was an occurrence or omitted

Most appropriate for high frequency behaviors

In general, use more stringent methods if possible.

When using interval or time sampling consider interval by interval with scored interval or unscored interval I

Determining interobserver agreement


IOS should be at or above

IOA should be collected and scored for a minimum of


33% of observations


Special class of momentary time sampling

PLACHECK (planned activity check)


A group of individuals is observed at the end of the interval

PLACHECK (Planned activity check)


Kristen is directly and openly observing staff person is. As such, their behavior may change as a result of her presents. In other words, they may react in a way that their behavior in her presence is not representative of their normal performance



Take care to collect data when it is

__________ Of behavior.

Example: measuring SIB at the end of acquisition trials.

Measuring behavior for increase when it is Least likely to occur



Specific responses or episodes?

What behaviors to lunch together and which to define separately

Attempts versus threats but NEVER intent

Intensity and or severity as part of the definition

Duration may be part of the definition

Latency may be part of the definition

Topographical or functional definition?

Some definitional issues – response definitions


Continuous direct response measure is directly measure a dimensional quantity of behavior

Discontinuous (indirect) response measures DO NOT

Most measure occurrence versus non-occurrence and thus Measure a dimension less quantity, usually percent

Continuous versus discontinuous measures


Clinical example

John engages in property distraction throughout the school day. John’s teacher takes data throughout the six hour school day. Aggression occurs At 9:30, 1045, 1:20 and 2:00

I RT: 75, 155, 40 = 270/3=90 minutes

Clinical example IRT


Calculate inter response times.. that is, the time at the end of one event to the beginning of the next event.

Add those times together. Divide that number by the number of times. That is the answer.

Inter response time calculation


Instead of being related to one fundamental property, the last three dimensional quantities, I RT, Rate and Celeration, Art related to the combination of two properties:

Repeatability and temporal locus


Rate # Of responses/time


IRT. TIME/# of responses

Countability. # of responses

Duration. Time

Latency. Time

Dimensional quantities