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Part 1: Introduction and Basic Principles

Chapter 1: Definition and Characteristics of Applied Behavior Analysis

- Science: systematic approach for seeking and organizing knowledge about the world
o It seeks to discover nature’s truth
§ Description: systematic observation enhances the understanding of a given
phenomena by enabling scientists to describe it accurately.
§ Prediction: repeated observations of two events that covary together (correlation)
§ Control: the ability to predict with a certain degree of confidence
• A functional relationship is said to exit when a well controlled
experiment reveals that a specific change in one event (DV) can reliably
be produced by a specific manipulation in environmental event (IV)
- Attitudes of science
o Determinism: lawful and orderly place (fundamental assumption)
o Empiricism: the practice of objective observation of the phenomena of interest (prime
o Experimentation: do experiments (basic strategy)
o Replication: the repeating of experiments, self-correcting (necessary requirement for
o Parsimony: all simple and logical explanation must be ruled out before moving on to
another more complex or abstract explanations are considered (conservative value)
o Philosophic Doubt: scientific knowledge must always be viewed as tentative (guiding

- Brief history of Behaviorism

Behaviorism Experimental Applied behavior Practices guided by

analysis of analysis (ABA) behavior analysis
behavior (EAB)
Theory and Basic research Applied research Direct
philosophy implementation
A theoretical Skinner: focus on Developing a Concerned with the
account of all designing, testing technology in improvement in the
behavior consistent and reporting different settings quality of lives of
with the existing findings of research (schools, industry, clients
data (lab) sports)

- Stimulus-Response behaviorism of Watson

o Early 1900s
o S-R psychology

- Respondent behavior of Pavlov

o Late 1920s
o Reflex
o Respondents are elicited by the stimulus that immediately preceded them
§ The bright light elicits pupil constriction
- Operant behavior of Skinner
o 1930s

o Operant behaviors are influenced by stimulus changes that have followed the behavior in
the past
o Three term contingency (S-R-S or A-B-C)
o Radical Behaviorism
§ Opposite views
• Mentalism: approach to the study of behavior which assumes that a
mental or inner dimension exists that differs from a behavioral dimension
o Mentalists uses a lot of hypothetical constructs, which is a
theoretical term that refer to a possibility of existing, but at the
moment unobserved process of entity
§ Ex: the rat “knows”
o Cannot be observed or experimentally manipulated
• Explanatory fiction: a circular way of viewing cause and effect
§ Ex: the rope is strong, and the rope if strong because of
its tensile strength
• Methodological behaviorism: denied the existence of inner variables, or
considered them outside the realm of a scientific account
o Relies on public events, not private events
§ Skinner was the first one to view thoughts and feelings (private events) as
behavior to be analyzed with the same conceptual and experimental tools
• Private events:
o Thoughts and feelings are behaviors
o Within the skin
o Private behavior is influenced by the same kind of variables as
publicly accessible behaviors
§ Radical behaviorism seeks to understand all human behavior
o Radical: far-reaching, thoroughgoing
§ Observes implies coming into contact with
- Applied behavior analysis
o APPLIED: socially significant behavior
§ Commitment to improve people’s lives
o BEHAVIORAL: the behavior studied must be the behavior that we want to change
§ The behavior must be measurable
o ANALYTIC: the experimenter demonstrated a functional relationship between the
manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted
o TECHNOLOGICAL: all the procedures are identified and described in such way that
someone can read this and perform the same exact experiment
§ Replicable and teachable to others
o CONCEPTUALLY SYSTEMATIC: the interventions used must improve behavior
§ The procedures for changing behavior and any interpretation of how or why those
procedures were effective should be described in terms of the relevant principles
from which they were derived
o EFFECTIVE: produces behavior change that reach clinical and socially significant
§ The extent to which changes in the target behavior result in noticeable changes in
the reasons those behaviors wee selected for change originally
o GENERALITY: lasts over time
§ Appears in environments other than the one in which the intervention was
initially implemented
§ Spread to other behaviors that were not directly targeted at first

- Additional characteristics of ABA
o Accountable à direct and frequent measurement
o Public à visible and explicit
o Doable à teachers, parents, coaches must be able to implement the techniques
o Empowering à real tools to work with.
§ Knowing how to do something properly increases confidence
o Optimistic à all individuals posses roughly equal potential
§ Direct and continuous measurements enables the practitioner to notice small
improvements in performance that may be overlooked
§ Previous positive outcomes makes the therapist more optimistic about the future
§ ABA yields solutions which make feel the therapist good

- Applied behavior analysis is 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 behavior change.

Chapter 2: Basic Concepts

- Behavior: it is the activity of living organisms

o Everything people do
o The movement of an organism or of its parts in a frame of reference provided by the
organism or by various external objects of fields (Skinner)

- Definition
o The behavior of an organism is that portion of an organism’s interaction with its
environment that is characterized by detectable displacements in space through time
of some parts of the organism and that results in a measurable change in at least one
aspect of the environment. (Johnston & Pennypacker)
§ Behavior of an organism: living things
§ Interaction with the environment: two separate entities and the relation between
§ Displacement in space: behavior is movement
§ Through time: fundamental properties
• Temporal locus: when in time something occurs
• Temporal extent: the duration of a given behavior
• Repeatability: the frequency of a behavioral event
§ Measurable change in the environment: emphasis that the behavior of interest has
an effect on the environment
o Response: a specific instance of behavior
§ Action of an organism’s effector. An effector is an organ at the end of an efferent
nerve fiber that is specialized for altering its environment mechanically, or in
terms of energy changes.
§ Ex: behavior = hand-clapping, response = 1 hand clap
§ Response topography: physical shape of form of the behavior
• What the behavior looks like
§ Response class: a group of responses with the same function
• Different topography, same function
o Repertoire: all the behaviors that a person can do

- Environment: the conglomerate of real circumstances in which the organism or references part of
the organism exists.
o Stimulus: an energy change that affects an organism through its receptor cells
§ Exteroreceptors: sense organs that detect external stimuli and enable vision,
hearing, olfaction, taste and cutaneous touch.
§ Interoreceptors: sensitive to stimuli originating in the viscera (stomach) and
proprioceptors, which enable the kinesthetic and vestibular senses of movements
and balance.
o Stimulus class: any group of stimuli sharing a predetermined set of common elements in
one or more of these dimensions

- Formal dimension of stimuli

o Temporal loci of stimuli
§ The term antecedent refers to environmental conditions or stimulus changes that
exist of occur prior to the behavior of interest
§ A consequence is a stimulus change that follows a behavior in interest
o Stimulus changes can have two basic kind of functions of effects on behavior
§ An immediate but temporary effect
§ A delayed but long-lasting effect

- Respondent behavior (S-R)

o Stimulus-response relation
§ Reflex (eye blink, sneezing, coughing, shivering, salivation, hand/foot
withdrawal, activation syndrome)
§ Habituation: gradual decrease of response strength
o Respondent conditioning:
§ New stimuli can acquire the ability to elicit responders (higher-order
• Unconditioned stimulus (US) – unconditioned response (UR)
• Neutral Stimulus (NS) – unconditioned stimulus (US) pairing
o Creates conditioned stimulus (CS)
• Conditioned stimulus (CS) – conditioned response (CR)

- Operant behavior (A-B-C)

o Learn through consequences
o An organism whose behavior is unchanged by its effects on the environment will be
unable to adapt to a changing one
o Operant behavior is any behavior whose future frequency is determined primarily by its
history of consequences. Operant behavior is selected, shaped, and maintained by the
consequences hat have followed it in the past.
o Selection by consequences anchors a new paradigm in the life of science known as
selectionism. A basic tenet of this position is that all forms of life from single cells to
complex cultures evolve as a result of selection with respect to function.
§ Ontogeny: individual organism
§ Phylogeny: natural selection in the evolutionary history
o Operant conditioning:
§ The process and selective effects of consequences on behavior
§ Reinforcement: antecedent stimulus – response – reinforcer
§ Punishment: antecedent stimulus – response – punisher
§ Automaticity of reinforcement: behavior is modified by its consequences
regardless of whether the individual is aware that she is being reinforced.

Type of stimulus change
Present or increase intensity of Withdraw or decrease intensity of
stimulus stimulus
Effect on the future frequency of behavior

+ -
Increase behavior Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement

Add something positive Remove aversive stimulus

Ex: give a candy Escape: use umbrella to get out of

the rain
Avoidance: stay inside not to get
Decrease behavior Positive punishment Negative punishment
Type I Type II

Add something painful Remove something desired

Ex: electric shock Ex: remove favorite toy

- Extinction: the frequency of the behavior will gradually decrease to its pre-reinforcement level of
cease to occur altogether
o Presentation of A, no C
- Unconditioned reinforcers: food, water, sex
- Conditioned reinforcers: attention, praise
- Unconditioned punishers: painful stimulation
- Conditioned punishers: depends on the person history of reinforcement/punishment
- Motivating Operations (MOs):
o The momentary effectiveness of an unconditioned reinforcer
o Deprivation momentary increases the value of food as a reinforcer
o Satiation momentary decreases the value of food as a reinforcer
- Distinguishing between principles of behavior and behavior change tactics
o Principle of behavior: describes a functional relationship between behavior and one or
more of its controlling variables (in the form of y=fx) that has through generality across
individual organisms, species, settings and behaviors.
§ Ex: reinforcement, punishment, extinction
o Behavior change tactics: a research-based, technologically consistent method for
changing behavior that has been derived from one or more basic principles of behavior
and that possesses sufficient generality across subjects, settings an or behavior to warrant
its codification and dissemination.
§ Ex: backward chaining, differential reinforcement, shaping, response cost, time
- Reinforcers and punishers denote functional classes of stimulus events, the membership to which
is not based on the physical nature of the stimulus changes or events themselves
- Three-term contingency
o Discriminated operant: a behavior occurs more frequently under some antecedent
§ The phone rings, you pick up
§ The phone doesn’t ring, you don’t pick up

§ The phone ringing is a discriminative stimulus (SD)
o Stimulus control: when a discriminated operant occurs at a higher frequency in the
presence of a given stimulus than it does in the absence of that stimulus.
§ Joint control: two discriminative stimuli can combine to evoke a common
response class
o Discriminative stimulus: the antecedent event that comes before the response of interest
acquires its ability to control a particular response class because it has been associated
with certain consequences in the past.
- Contingency adduction: rapid learning where a behavior that was initially selected and shaped
under one set of conditions is recruited by a different set of contingencies and takes on a new
function in the person’s repertoire.
o Addition, subtraction …
- Individual differences
o History of reinforcement: the repertoire of behaviors of each persons brings to any
situation had been selected, shaped, and maintained by his or her unique history of

Part 2: Selecting, Defining and Measuring behavior

Chapter 3: Selecting and defining target behavior

- There are 4 steps in applied behavior analysis

o Assessment
o Planning
o Implementation
o Evaluation
- Behavioral assessment involves a variety of methods including direct observations, interviews,
checklists, and test to identify and define targets for behavior change
o Seeks to discover the function of a behavior
o Phases of behavioral assessment
§ 1- screening and general disposition
§ 2- defining and generally quantifying problems or desired achievement criteria
§ 3- pinpointing the target behavior
• Target behavior: the specific behavior selected for change
§ 4- monitoring progress
§ 5- follow up
- Assessment methods
o Interviews (indirect assessment)
§ What, when and how questions
o Checklists (indirect assessment)
§ Provides description of specific behaviors (usually in hierarchical order) and the
conditions under which each behavior should occur
o Tests (direct assessment)
§ Each time there is a standardized test administered, the same questions and tasks
are presented in a specified way and the same scoring criteria and procedures are
• When norm-reference test are being developed, it is administered to a
large sample of people selected at random from the population for whom
the test is intended.

o Direct observation (direct assessment)
§ Anecdotal observation or ABC recording
• The observer records a descriptive, temporally sequenced account of all
behaviors of interest and the antecedent conditions and consequences for
those behaviors as those events occur in the clients natural environment
o Direct assessment: data derived from recollections, reconstructions
§ Subjective ratings of events
§ Reactivity: refers to the effect of an assessment procedure on the behavior being
• Reactivity is most likely when the observation is obtrusive
o The person who is being observed is aware that he/she is being
o The most obtrusive: when you assess your own behavior
§ Self-monitoring
o Indirect assessment: data provides information about the person’s behavior as it occurs
- Ecological Assessment
o A great deal of information is gathered about the person and the various environments in
which that person lives and works
§ Physical aspects of the environment (lighting, seating arrangements, noise…)
§ Interactions with others
§ Home environment
§ Past reinforcement history
- Habilitation: the degree to which the person’s repertoire maximizes short and long term
reinforcers for that individual and for others, and minimizes short and long term punishers
(adjustment, competence)
1. Is this behavior likely to produce reinforcement in the client’s natural environment
after the interaction ends?
a. Relevance of behavior rule: must be significant to the client and others
2. Is this behavior a necessary prerequisite for a more complex/functional skill?
3. Will this behavior increase the client’s access to environments in which other
important behaviors can be acquired and used?
4. Will changing this behavior predispose other to interact with the client in a more
appropriate and supportive way?
5. Is this behavior a pivotal behavior or behavioral cusps?
a. Behavioral cusps: A behavior that has consequences beyond the change
itself, some of which may be considered important. It exposes the individual’s
repertoire to new environments
i. Ex: generalized imitation is good for play skills
ii. More ex: Crawling, reading …
b. Pivotal behavior: It is a behavior that once learned, produces corresponding
modifications or co-variations in other adaptive untrained behaviors
(emergence of untrained responses)
i. Ex: self-initiation may lead a child with autism to ask more questions
and help develop his language
6. Is this age appropriate behavior?
a. Principle of normalization: the use of progressively more typical
environments, expectations, and procedures to establish or maintain personal
behaviors which are as culturally normal as possible
7. Is this behavior to be reduced or eliminated from the client’s repertoire has an
adaptive and functional behavior has been selected to replace it?
8. Does the behavior represent the actual problem/goal or is it only indirectly related?

9. Is this just talk or is it the real behavior of interest?
10. If the goal itself is not a specific behavior (losing pounds) will this behavior help
achieve it?
- Prioritizing target behavior
o Does this behavior cause danger to self or others?
o How many opportunities will the person have to use this new behavior?
o How long standing is the problem/skill deficit?
o Will it increase higher rates of reinforcement?
o What will be the relative importance of the target behavior to future skill development
and independent functioning?
o Will changing this behavior reduce negative or unwanted attention from others?
o Will this new behavior produce reinforcement for significant others?
o How likely is success in changing this behavior?
o How much will it cost?
- Defining target behaviors
o Function based definition: responses are members of the targeted response class solely
by their common effects on the environment
§ The outcome (function) of the behavior is most important
§ Simple definitions
o Topography based definition: identifies instances of the target behavior by the shape of
the form of the behavior
§ To use when
• There is no direct, reliable or easy access to the functional outcome of the
target behavior
• Cannot rely on the function of the behavior because each instance of the
target behavior does not produce the relevant outcome in the natural
environment or the outcome might e produced by other events
o Definition of the target behavior
§ Objective (observable characteristics, no inferences)
§ Clear (readable and unambiguous, easy to paraphrase)
§ Complete (delineates the boundaries of what is and what is not behavior)
- Setting criteria for behavior change: in order to initiate and terminate a treatment, practitioners
require socially validated standards for which they can aim

Chapter 4: Measuring behavior

- Measurement: applying quantitative labels to describe and differentiate natural events

o Provides the basis for all natural discoveries and for the development and successful
application of technologies derived from those discoveries
o The process of assigning numbers and units to particular features of objects of events
o A dimensional quantity if the particular feature of an object or event that is measured
o Summative evaluation: compare the target behavior before treatment and after treatment
to evaluate the effects of behavior change programs
o Formative assessment: frequent measures of behavior during treatment (Y/N data sheet)
§ Dynamic
§ Data-based decision making for the continuation, modification or termination of a

o Measurement helps practitioners optimize their effectiveness, verify the legitimacy of
treatments touted as “evidence-based”, identify treatments based on pseudo-science,
accountable for clients, and achieve ethical standards.
- Measurable dimensions of behavior
o Repeatability (Countability): instances of a response class can occur repeatedly through
§ Count: a simple tally of the number of occurrence of a behavior
• Count
• Ex: 15 hits
§ Rate/Frequency: the number of responses per unit of time
• Count / Time
• Ex: 15 hits / 1 hour
• Free operants: refers to behaviors that have a discrete beginning and
ending points, require minimal displacement of the organism in time and
space, can be emitted at nearly any time, do not require much time for
completion, and can be emitted over a wide range of response rates
o Ex: Bar press and key peck (Skinner)
• Do not use during discrete trial training
§ Celeration: a measure of how rates of response change over time
• Accelerates and decelerates
• Rate / Time
o Temporal extent: every instance of behavior occurs during some amount of time
§ Duration: the amount of time in which behavior occurs
• Total duration per session
o Stopwatch
• Duration per occurrence
o Temporal locus: every instance of behavior occurs at a certain point in time with respect
to other events
§ Response latency: the elapsed time between the onset of a stimulus and the
initiation of a subsequent response
§ Interresponse Time: the amount of time in between two consecutives instances
of a response class
• Short IRT: high rates of responding
• Long IRT: low rates of responding
o Derivative measures
§ Percentage
§ Trials to criterion
• How many response opportunity (practice) does it takes to achieve a
predetermined level of behavior
- Definitional measures: it may not be a fundamental dimensional quality of behavior, but it is still
quite significant
o Topography: the physical form or shape of a behavior
§ Measurable and malleable
§ Measures the quantity of behavior because responses can be detected from one
o Magnitude: refers to the force or intensity with which a response is emitted
§ Scream vs. whispering
- Procedures to measure behavior
o Event recording: detecting and recording the number of times a behavior of interest

§ Clickers and such
§ Need a discrete beginning and end
§ Not good for super high rates
o Timing: recording durations
§ Digital stopwatch
- Time-Sampling: the variety of methods for observing and recording behavior during intervals or
at specific moments in time
o Whole-Interval recording: the observation period is divided into series of brief time
intervals (5-10secs). At the end of the interval, the observer records if the target behavior
occurred throughout the interval.
§ Continuous measures
§ Behavior that occur at high rate
§ Yes = behavior occurring during the entire interval
§ May underestimate behavior
• Artifact: something that appears to exist because of the way it is
examined or measured
o Partial interval recording: the observer records if the behavior occurred at any time
during the interval
§ Yes = Occurred at some point during the interval
• Multiple of only once
§ May overestimate behavior
o Momentary time sampling: records whether the target behavior is occurring at the
moment each time the interval ends
§ Yes = you look and the behavior is occurring now
§ Advantage: you do not need to attend to the behavior for the entire interval
§ Used primarily for continuous activities
o Planned activity check (PLACHECK):
§ Same as MTS, but in a group context
- Measuring behavior by permanent products
o Measurement takes place after the behavior occurred
o Permanent product: change in the environment produced by a behavior that lasts long
enough for measurement to take place
§ A painting
o Good because …
§ The practitioner can do something else
§ Measurement may be more accurate
§ Facilitates data collection for IOA and treatment integrity
§ Enables measurement of complex behaviors and multiple response class
o Can the measurement be measured by permanent product?
1. Each occurrence of the target behavior must produce the same permanent
2. The permanent product can only be produced by the target behavior

Chapter 5: Improving and assessing the quality of behavioral measurement

- ABA uses measurement in order to determine which behaviors need to be changed, to detect and
compare the effects of various interventions on behaviors targeted for change, and to evaluate the
acquisition, maintenance and generalization of behavior change.
- Indicators of trustworthy measurement
o Validity

§ Data is directly relevant to the phenomena measured and the reasons for
measuring it
§ Uses direct measurement: the phenomena that is the focus of the experiment is
exactly the same as the phenomenon being measured
§ Threats for validity
• Indirect measurement: that is actually measured is in some way
different from the target behavior of interest
• Measuring the wrong dimension of the target behavior
o Instead of measuring something that is somewhat close to the
target behavior (such as indirect measurement), you measure
something that is totally different from the target behavior
• Measurement artifacts: something that appears to exist because of the
way is has been measured
o Discontinuous measurement:
§ Measurement in which some instances of the response
class of interest may not be detected
o Poorly scheduled measurement periods
§ When the observation schedule is not standardized and
does not allow an equal opportunity for the occurrence or
non occurrence of a target behavior

o Accuracy
§ The extent to which the observed value, the quantitative label produced by
measuring an event, matches the true state, or true value, of the event as it exists
in nature
• Corresponds to the true value of the thing measured
• True value: a measure obtained by procedures that are independent of
and different from the procedures that produced the data being evaluated
and for which the researcher has taken “special or extraordinary”
precautions to insure that all possible sources of error have been avoided
or removed.
o Ex: 2+2=4 (4 is the true value, only possible answer)
• Measurement bias: the nonrandom measurement error, which is
measurement that is likely to be in one direction
o Reliability
§ The extent to which a measurement procedure yields the same value when
brought into repeated contact with the same state of nature
• Consistent measurement
§ Thereat to accuracy and validity: The biggest factor that produces errors in
accuracy and validity is human error
• Poorly designed measurement system
o Unnecessary cumbersome and difficult to use measurement
system create loss of accuracy and reliability
• Inadequate observer training
o In order for an observer to be trustworthy and yield reliable data,
the observer must be well trained
§ Must select observers carefully
§ Train observers to an objective standard
§ Provide ongoing training to minimize observer drift

• Observer drift: the unintended changes in the
way data are collected
• Unintended influences on observers
o Observer expectations: the observer has expectations that the
target behavior should occur at a certain level under a particular
condition, or change, in the environment
§ Naïve observer: an observer that measures the target
behavior but that is unaware of the study’s purpose or to
the experimental conditions
o Observer reactivity: the observer’s awareness that others are
evaluating the data
- Calibration: when measurement error are consistent in direction and value, the data can be
adjusted to compensate for the error
- Inter observer agreement (IOA)
o Refers to the degree to which two or more independent observers report the same
observed values after measuring the same events
§ Researches enable consumers to judge the relative believability of the data as
trustworthy and deserving of interpretation
o Observers must…
§ Use the same measurement system
§ Measure the same events
§ Be independent
- Calculating IOA
o There are four different ways to measure IOA, depending on the way the data has been
collected previously
o By event recording (frequency/count)
§ Total-count IOA
• (Smaller count)/(larger count) X 100
§ Mean count per interval IOA
• (Int 1IOA + Int 2 IOA + Int 3 IOA +…) / (n interval) X 100
§ Exact count per interval IOA
• (Number of intervals with 100% IOA) / (n interval) X 100
§ Trial by trial IOA
• (Number of trials agreement) / (total number of trials) X 100
o By timing
§ Total duration IOA
• (Shorter duration) / (longer duration) X 100
§ Mean duration IOA
• (Dur IOA R1 + Dur IOA R2 +…) / (n dur IOA) X 100
o By interval recording/time sampling
§ Interval by interval IOA
• (Number of interval agreed)/(total number of interval) X 100
§ Scored interval IOA
• Only look at occurrences of behavior
o If there are no occurrences of Bx within an interval with both
observers, do not consider the ones where both agree that there is
no agreement
o Agreement is 33.3% (1/3)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Ob.1 X O X O O O O O O O

Ob.2 O O X O O O O O X O

§ Unscored interval IOA

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Ob.1 X X X O X X O X X O
Ob.2 O X X O X X O X X X
• Only look at intervals where there is non-occurrence of behavior
• Agreement is 50% (2/4)
o IOA can be reported in
§ Narrative description
§ Table
§ Graphic display

Part 3: Evaluating and Analyzing behavior change

Chapter 6: Constructing and interpreting graphic displays of behavioral data

- Data is collected through measurement

o Medium with which behavior analyst work
o The result of measurement, usually in quantified form
- Graphs are a relatively simple format for visual display of relationships among and between
o Help people make sense of quantitative data
- Purpose of graphic display
1. Plotting each measure of behavior on a graph right after the observation period provides
the practitioner or researcher with immediate access to an ongoing visual record of the
participants behavior
2. Direct and continual contact with the data in a readily analyzable format enables the
researcher as well as the practitioner to explore interesting variations in behavior as they
3. Graphs, like statistical analysis of behavior change, are judgmental aids: devices that help
the practitioner or experimenter interpret the results of a study or treatment
4. Visual analysis is a conservative method for determining the significance of behavior
a. ABA developed a useful technology
5. Graphs enable and encourage independent judgment and interpretations of the
meaning and significance of behavior change
6. In addition to their primary purpose of displaying relationships between behavior change
and variables manipulated by the practitioner of researcher, the graph can also be effective
sources of feedback to the people whose behavior they represent
- Type of graphs
o Line graph (frequency polygon) is the most common graphic for displaying data in ABA
§ Horizontal axis (X, abscissa): passage of time, independent variable
§ Vertical axis (Y, ordinate): dependent variable, dimension of behavior
§ Origin: usually 0, the middle point where X and Y meet
§ Condition change line: major change, full line
• Introduction and withdrawal of intervention
§ Phase change line: minor change, dotted line
§ Condition label: description of condition

§ Data points: a quantifiable measure of the target behavior recorded given
observation period, and the time under which the behavior occurred
§ Data path: connecting successive data points: the level and trend of behavior
between successive data points, and it is a primary focus of attention for
interpretation and analysis of graphed data
§ Figure caption: concise statement that, in combination with the axis and its
condition labels, provides the reader with sufficient information to identify the
independent variable and dependent variable
§ There are some variations of line graphs, such as the multiple data paths
• Two or more dimensions of the same behavior (scored and not-scored)
• Two or more different behavior (clapping and screaming)
• Measures of the same behavior under different condition (experimental
condition and baseline)
• Changing values of an independent variable (Y=noise level (the one you
keep increasing), X=PB)
• The same behavior of two or more participants (to compare individuals
on one level)
o Bar graphs (histogram): is a simple and versatile format for graphically summarizing
behavioral data
§ Used for displaying and comparing discrete sets of data that are not related to one
another by a common underlying dimension by which te horizontal axis can be
o Cumulative records: was developed by Sinner as the primary means of data collection in
the experimental analysis of behavior.
§ With a cumulative recorder
§ Graphing tacts (frequency data)
§ Also shows the rate of responding (the average rate of response over a given time
§ The steeper the slope, the higher the response rate
§ Local response rate: the rate of response during periods of time smaller than that
for which an overall rate has been given
§ Downside: very high rates of behavior are hard to evaluate, because slopes above
80 degrees are not proportional to the curve
1. Cumulative records are desirable when a total number of responses are recorded
made over time is important, or when progress toward a specific goal can be
measured in cumulative units of behavior (dollars accumulated, words learnt)
2. Might be more effective than non-cumulative graphs when its used as a source of
feedback to the participant
3. Should be used when the target behavior is one that can occur or not occur only
once per observation session
4. Cumulative records can reveal the intricate relations between behavior and
environmental variables
o Semilogarithmic charts: look at the proportional or relative change
§ Good to display and communicate proportional changes
§ Only one axis is scaled proportionally
§ On a semilog chart, all behavior changes of equal proportion are shown by equal
vertical distances on the vertical axis, regardless of the absolute value of those
§ Examples of semilogarithmic charts
• Standard celeration charts: this chart has six X10 cycles on the vertical

o Good for behavior that occur over 1000 times / minute
o Consistent display of celeration, a linear measure of frequency
multiplies or divides per unit of time
o Precision teaching has been developed to use the standard
celeration chart because this chart focuses on celeration
o Scatterplots: a graphic display that shows the relative distribution of individual measures
in a data set with respect to the variables depicted by x and y.
§ The points are not connected
o General recommendations for graphing
§ Ratio: 1 vertical for 1.6 horizontal
§ The horizontal axis should be marked with equal intervals, in a chronological
• Every spaced unit has to represent an equal amount of time
• Discontinuities in the progression of time on the horizontal axis should be
indicated by a scale break, which is an open spot in the axis with a
squiggly line at each end
§ Both axis should be labeled
§ Unplanned events that occur during an experiment or treatment program, as well
as minor changed in procedure that do not warrant a condition or phase change
line can be indicated by placing small arrows, asterisks, or other symbols next to
the relevant data points
§ Data points should be marked with bold symbols
§ Data paths: crated by drawing a straight line from the center of each data point in
a given data set to the center of the next data point in the same set
• If a data point falls beyond the values described by the vertical axis scale,
breaks should be made in the data path connecting that data point with
those that fall within the described range
§ Graphs can only be printed in black
- Visual Analysis: interpretation of graphically displayed data. Visual analysis of data from an
applied behavior analysis study is conducted to answer two questions
o Did behavior change in a meaningful way?
o If so, to what extent can that change in behavior be attributed to the independent variable?
o What to look for
§ Number of data points: quantity of the data
§ Variability: how often and the extent to which multiple measures of behavior
yield different outcomes
• In general, the greater the variability within a condition, the greater the
number of points that are necessary to establish a predictable pattern of
• The frequency and degree to which multiple measures of behavior yield
different outcomes
• Large variability shows that there has been no control over the factors
influencing the variables
§ Level: the value on the vertical axis scale around which a set of behavioral
measures converge
• The degree of stability or variability
• Mean level line: a horizontal line drawn through a series of data pints
within a condition at that point on the vertical axis equaling the average
value of the series of measures
o Uses mean

• Median level line: another method for visually summarizing the overall
level of behavior in a condition
o Uses median
§ Trend: the overall direction taken by a data path
• Trends are described in terms of their
o Direction
§ Increasing, decreasing, zero trend
o Magnitude
o Variability of data points around the trend
• Can draw a trend line
o Ordinary least squares linear regression equation (long and
o Split middle line of progress (free handed)

Chapter 7: Analyzing behavior change: basic assumptions and strategies

- Goals of science
o Systematic observation enhances the understanding of natural phenomena by enabling
scientists to describe them accurately
§ Description
o Repeated observation reveals that two events consistently covary with each other
(correlation), which leads to predictive statements
§ Prediction
o The experimental method is a method for isolating the relevant variables within a pattern
of events
§ Experimentation
§ Experimental control is achieved when a predictable change in behavior (the DV)
can be reliably produced by the systematic manipulation of some aspects of the
person’s environment (the IV)
§ An analysis of a behavior has been achieved when a reliable functional relation
between the behavior and some specified aspect of the environment has been
demonstrated convincingly.
- Internal Validity: experiments that show convincingly that changes in behavior are a function of
the independent variable and are not the result of uncontrolled or unknown variables
o Uncontrolled variables known or suspected to exert an influence on the dependent
variable are called confounding variables
- External Validity: refers to the degree to which a study’s results are generalizable to other
subjects, settings or behaviors.
- Behavior is a difficult subject matter, not because it is inaccessible, but because it is extremely
o Behavior is an individual phenomenon
§ Not groups, but only one person
§ Groups of people do not behave, only individuals do
§ Within-subject or single subject design
o Behavior is a dynamic continuous phenomenon
§ Behavior is not a static event, it takes place and changes over time
§ Occurs at a certain point in time
o Behavior is determined
§ It is determined by the functional relation with the environment (events)
§ Lawful and orderly place

o Behavioral variability is extrinsic to the organism
§ Variability is caused by environmental events
§ Behavioral variability is an intrinsic characteristic of the organism and it is
distributed randomly among individuals in any given population
§ Behavioral variability is a result of environmental influences
- Components of experiments in ABA
o At least one participant, one behavior, one setting, a system for measuring the behavior
and ongoing visual analysis of the data, one treatment or intervention condition, as well as
manipulations of the independent variable so that its effects on the dependent variable can
be detected
§ Experimental question: a brief but specific statement of what the researcher
wants to learn form conducting the experiment
§ Subjects: the participants
• In ABA, mostly single-subject design, where the subject serves as its own
control for the baseline condition
§ Dependent variable: the target behavior to change
• A measurable dimensional quantity of the behavior (rate, duration…)
§ Setting: you must control the environment
• Functional relations are demonstrated when observed variations in
behavior can be attributed to specific operations imposed on the
• Experimental control is achieved when a predictable change in behavior
(DV) can be reliably and repeatedly produced by the systematic
manipulation of some aspect of the subject’s environment (IV)
• The experimenter must control or hold constant all other aspect of the
environment of the environmental setting
o Extraneous variables are those who make unplanned
environmental variations
§ Independent variable: it is the intervention or treatment
• The particular aspect of the environment that the experimenter
manipulates to find out whether it affects the subject’s behavior
• Also called the intervention, treatment, or experimental variable
• Experimental design: the particular arrangement of conditions in a study
so that meaningful comparisons of the effects of the presence, absence or
different values of the IV
• Parametric analysis: seeks to discover the differential effects of a range
of values of the independent variable
o Steady or stable state responding: pattern of responding that exhibits relatively little
variation in its measured dimensional quantities over a period of time
o Baseline logic: three elements (prediction, verification, replication) all of which depend
on an overall experimental approach called steady state strategy
§ Steady state strategy: Repeated exposition to a subject to a given condition
while trying to eliminate or control any extraneous variables on the behavior and
obtaining a stable pattern of responding before introducing the next condition
§ A stable baseline provides the most desirable basis
§ A descending or ascending baseline reveal behaviors currently in the process of

- Prediction: the anticipated outcome of a presently unknown or future measurement. It is the most
elegant use of quantification upon which validation of all scientific and technological activity
o Practice effect: improvement in performance resulted from repeated opportunities to emit
the behavior so that baseline measurement can be obtained
o Affirmation of the consequent: in baseline logic; when an experimenter introduces an
independent variable on a stable baseline, an explicit assumption has been made
§ If the independent variable were not applied, the baseline would remain the
same and would not change
- Verification: verifying the original prediction of unchanging baseline measures.
o Can be accomplished by demonstrating that the prior level of baseline responding would
have remained the same had the independent variable not been introduced
- Replication: within the context of a given experiment, it means to repeat independent variables
manipulations conducted previously in the study and obtaining similar outcomes
o Demonstrates reliability
- Component analysis: any experiment designed to identify the active elements of a treatment
o The relative contribution of different variables in a treatment package, and/or the
necessary and sufficient component of an intervention
o May take forms but the basic strategy is to compare the levels of responding across
successive phases in which the intervention is implemented with one or more components
left out
- Procedural fidelity:
o Also called treatment integrity
o The extent to which the independent variable is applied exactly as planned and described
and no other unplanned variables are administered inadvertently along with the planned

Chapter 8: Evaluating and Analyzing behavior change

- Reversal design
o Has an initial baseline phase in which the independent variable is absent, and then has an
intervention phase during which the independent variable is introduced and remains in
contact with the behavior, and then a return to baseline conditions accomplished by
withdrawal of the independent variable
§ A-B-A design
o Sequence effect: the effect on a subject’s behavior in a given condition that are the result
of the subject’s experience with prior to condition
§ Ex: A-B-C-B-C-B-C (perhaps you only see result if B is followed by C)
o A-B-A-B (baseline, IV, baseline again, IV again)
§ Preferred because we reintroduce the B condition which enables the replication of
treatment effects, which strengthens the demonstration of experimental control
o A lot of different forms
§ Repeated reversals: A-B-A-B-A-B
§ B-A-B design: B-A-B (starts with IV)
• When there is danger or harm not to intervene
§ Multiple treatment reversal design: A-B-C-A-C-B-C and such
§ NRC reversal technique: when interventions based on positive reinforcement, it
can be hypothesized that observed changes in behavior are the result of the
participants feelings better about himself

• Can add condition where there is one condition with contingent
reinforcement, and another one with non-contingent reinforcement
• Use NCR as a control technique
§ DRO reversal technique: the control condition consists of delivering the event
suspecting of functioning as reinforcement following the emission of any
behavior other than the target behavior
§ DRI/DRA reversal technique: occurrences of a specific behavior that is either
incompatible or alternative with the target behavior are immediately followed by
the same consequence previously delivered as contingent reinforcement for the
target behavior
o Irreversibility: affects the scientific utility of the design
§ Social, educational and ethical concerns related to withdrawing a seemingly
effective intervention
§ The exposure provided by that experience could not be removed
§ A level of behavior observed in an earlier phase cannot be reproduced even
though the experimental conditions are the same as they were during the earlier
- Alternating treatment design
o Method for comparing the effects of two or more treatments
o Also called multielement design
o Characterized by rapid alternations of two or more distinct treatments (IV) while their
effects on the target behavior (DV) are measured
§ Alternating treatment designs with no treatment control condition
§ Alternating treatment design with no treatment control condition
§ Alternating treatment design with initial baseline
§ Alternating treatment design with initial baseline and final best treatment phase
o Advantages:
§ Do not require removal of treatment
§ Can compare quickly the different treatments
§ Minimizes irreversibility
§ Minimizes sequence effects
§ Can be used with unstable data
§ Can be use to assess generalization
§ Intervention can begin immediately
o Considerations
§ Multiple treatment inferences: the confounding effects of one treatment on a
subject’s behavior being influenced by the effects of another treatment
administered in the same study
§ Unnatural nature of rapidly alternating treatments
§ Limited capacity (max of 4 conditions)
§ Selection of treatments
• Some treatments are only effective after a certain period of time

Chapter 9: Multiple Baseline and changing criterion design

- Multiple Baseline Design

o Presentation of multiple baselines in order to be an alternative to reversal designs
o Allow practitioners to analyze the effects of an independent variable across multiple
behaviors, participants or settings without having to withdraw the treatment variable to

verify that the improvements in behavior are a direct result of the application of the
o Verification is established when you add a baseline, and replication is established when
the results are replicated with another individual/setting/or behavior.
o 3 to 5 tiers are most common
o Introduction of the IV is always done after a stable baseline
o Variation of multiple baseline design
§ Multiple Probe Design:
• Enables the behavior analyst to extend the operation and logic of the
multiple baseline tactics to behavior or situations in which concurrent
measurement of all behaviors comprising the design is unnecessary,
potentially reactive, and impractical or too costly.
• Analyzing the elation between the IV and the acquisition of a successive
approximation or task sequence.
o Initial probes is taken to determine the subject’s level of
performance on each behavior in a sequence
o A series of baseline measures is obtained on each step prior to
training on that step
o After criterion level performance is reached on any training step,
a probe of each step in sequence is obtained to determine whether
performance changes have occurred in any other steps.
• Used for the instruction of skill sequences, where one skill is a
prerequisite for the other one
§ Delayed Multiple Baseline design:
• The delayed multiple baseline technique can be used when a planned
reversal design is no longer possible or proves ineffective. It can also add
additional tiers to an already operational multiple baseline design, as
would be the case if new subjects were added to an ongoing study.
• Experimental tactic in which all initial baseline and intervention are
begun, and subsequent baselines are added in a staggered fashion or
delayed fashion
o Data from baseline 2 begin after introduction of the IV on
behavior 1
• Rule of thumb: the more baseline, the better
o Select independent, yet functionally similar baselines
o Select concurrent, yet plausibly related baselines
o Do not apply the independent variable to the next behavior too soon
§ When you apply the IV to B1, you must be sure that it doesn’t affect B2
o Very significantly the lengths of the multiple baselines
§ If all BL are the same length, then could presume that treatment is only effective
after a certain period of time
o Intervene on the most stable baseline first
- Advantages of multiple baselines:
1. Does not require withdrawing treatment
2. Good for evaluation of progressive, multiple behavior changes sought by many
- Limitations of multiple baseline designs
1. May not allow for a demonstration of experimental control even though a functional
relation exists between the IV and the DV
2. Weaker method for showing experimental control

3. Provides more information about the effectiveness of the treatment variable than it does
about the function of any particular target behavior

- Changing criterion Design

o Can be used to evaluate the effects of a treatment that is applied in a graduated or
stepwise fashion to a single target behavior
o Requires initial baseline observations on a single target behavior
o Then it is followed by implementation of a treatment program in each of a series of
treatment phases
o Each treatment phase is associated with a step-wise change in criterion rate for the target
o Each phase of the design serves as a baseline for the following phase
o Requires careful manipulation of three factors
§ Length of phases
• Requires stable responding
§ Magnitude of criterion changes
• There must be a change in level
§ Number of criterion changes
• The more the better the experimental control

Chapter 10: Planning and Evaluating Applied behavior analysis research

- Group data may not represent the performance of individual subjects

- Group data masks variability in the data
o When data is too far from in group designs, one can remove it but this does change the
o Cancel out variables
- Intra-subject replication is absent from group design
- Component analysis: experimental designs that combine multiple baselines, reversal, or
alternating treatments can also provide for the basis comparison the effects of two or more
independent variables
o Elements of a treatment package
- Interval validity: experiments that demonstrate a clear functional relation
o Demonstrate a reliable effect
o Eliminates other possible confounding variables
§ Subject confounds
• Maturation: changes that take place in a subject over the course o an
• Because group comparison experiments are predicated on subject’s
similarity in relevant characteristics, they are vulnerable to confounding
by differences among subjects
§ Setting confounds
• It is easier to control all variables in an laboratory than in the natural
§ Measurement confounds
• Observer drift
• The influence of the experimenter’s behavior on observers
• Observer bias

o Placebo control: separate the effects that may be produced by the subjects perceived
expectations of improvements because of taking the drug apart from the effects actually
produced by the drug
o Double blind experiment: neither the experimenter nor the subject knows what group he
is in (control or experimental)
o Treatment integrity (also called procedural fidelity): the extent to which the independent
variable is implemented or carried out as planned
o Treatment drift: the application of the independent variable during later phases of an
experiment differ from the application in the beginning of the experiment
- External validity: replicating experiments to determine the generality of research findings
o The degree to which a functional relation found reliable and socially valid in a given
experiment holds under different conditions
o The more subjects with which a functional relation has been demonstrated, the more
likely it is that that functional relation will also be effective in other subjects with similar
§ But need to think in term of population
§ The results will be generalizable to a similar population because data is taken
from a population, not from individuals
o External validity is assessed through replication
§ Direct replication: the researcher makes every effort to duplicate exactly the
conditions of an earlier experiment
• Same subject: intra-subject direct replication
• Different subject: inter-subject direct replication
§ Systematic replication: the researcher purposefully varies one of more aspects of
an earlier experiment
• When it reproduces the results from a previous research, it proves the
reliability in earlier findings, but it also adds to the external validity of the
earlier findings by showing that the same effect can be obtained under
different conditions
- Type I error (false positive): the researcher concludes that there is a relation, but there is not one
in nature
- Type 2 error (false negative): the researcher concludes that there is no relation, but there is one
in nature
- 4 strengths of visual analysis over statistical analysis
1. ABA focuses on socially significant change. Statistics can find a significant result but that
does not have any social significance as it doesn’t change behavior
2. Visual analysis identifies variables that are strong, large and have reliable effects.
However, powerful tests in statistics can detect the smallest effect which leads to weak
and unreliable variables in the technology
a. Type 1 and type 2 errors in statistics
3. Data occurs with borderline data sets containing significant amounts of variability
4. Statistical tests of significance can be applied only to data sets that conform to
predetermined criteria. If statistical methods for determining experimental effects were to
become highly valued in ABA, researchers might begin to design experiment so that such
tests could be computed

Part 4: Reinforcement

Chapter 11: Positive Reinforcement

- Positive reinforcement is the most important and most widely applied principle of behavior
o When a type of behavior (R) is followed by reinforcement (SR) there will be an increased
future frequency of that type of behavior
o Qualifications
§ Delay between the response and the onset of the consequence
§ The stimulus conditions in effect when the response was emitted
§ The strength of the current motivation with respect to the consequences
- Positive reinforcement: a response is followed immediately by the presentation of a stimulus,
and as a result similar responses occur more frequently in the future
o The stimulus presented is a positive reinforcer, which is a consequence that is responsible
for the higher future frequency of the response
§ Aka reinforcer
o What has changed is the future probability of responses in the same class
- Importance of immediacy of reinforcement
o The direct effects of reinforcement involve temporal relations between behavior and its
consequences that are in the order of a few seconds
o A continuum as much of 30 seconds can elapse without critical loss of effect
o If the reinforcer does not immediately follow the response that was required for its
production, then it will follow some other behavior. Its major effect will then be upon the
behavior that bears, adventurously to be sure, the closest prior temporal relationship to the
o Long delayed consequences happen because of rule following and not the direct effect of
positive reinforcement
§ Because of history, complex social and verbal history,
§ Delayed consequences can, when combined with language, influence future
behavior through instructional control and rule following
§ Rule: a verbal description of a behavioral contingency. Learning to follow rules is
one way that a person’s behavior can come under control of consequences that are
too delayed to influence behavior directly
- Reinforcement is not a circular concept because it has two components (response and
consequence) where both can be manipulated
- Reinforcement makes antecedent stimulus conditions relevant
o Reinforcement does not simply increase the future frequency of a behavior; it also
changes the function of the stimuli that immediately preceded the reinforced behavior.
o By virtue of being temporally paired with a stimulus (antecedent), some antecedents
acquire the ability to evoke a certain behavior
§ Called discriminative stimulus (SD): an antecedent stimulus correlated with the
availability of reinforcement for a particular response class
§ SΔ: non-availability of reinforcement
o Discriminated operant: A-B-C
§ Under the control of a stimulus
§ Three term contingency
- Reinforcement also depends on motivation
o The momentary effectiveness of any stimulus change as reinforcement depends on an
existing level of motivation with respect to the stimulus change in questions
o Motivating Operations (MOs): environmental variables that have two effects on

1. Value-Altering Effect: Alter the operant reinforcing effectiveness of some
specific stimuli, objects, or events
a. Effectiveness of a stimulus
2. Behavior-Altering Effect: they alter the momentary frequency of all behavior
that has been reinforced by those stimuli, objects or events
a. Has to do with the future frequency of that behavior
b. In a given stimulus situation, when a type of behavior is followed
immediately by reinforcement, there will be an increase in the future
frequency of that type of behavior in the same or similar stimulus
condition, but the increased frequency will only be seen when the MO
relevant to the reinforcement that was used is again in effect
- There are two different types of MOs
o Establishing Operations (EOs): increases the current effectiveness of a reinforcer
§ Food deprivation increases the value of food
o Abolishing Operations (AOs): decreases the current effectiveness of a reinforcer
§ Satiation decreases the value of food
- Common mistakes and considerations
o Behaviors are reinforced, not people
o Practicing a skill which makes that skill stronger does not make the practice itself a
reinforcer for the behavior practiced
o There is no such thing as artificial reinforcement
- Four term contingency: EO – SD – R – SR+
- Automaticity of reinforcement: a person does not need to understand that he is being reinforced
in order for reinforcement to work
- Arbitrariness of the behavior selected: no logical or adaptive connection between behavior and
a reinforcing consequence is necessary for reinforcement to occur
o Reinforcement will strengthen any behavior that immediately precedes it
- Automatic reinforcement: some behaviors produce their own reinforcement independent of the
mediation of someone else
o Reinforcement that occurs without the presentation of a consequence
o Self stimulation
o The basis of self-injurious behavior
§ Stereotypic repetitive movements, nervous habits
• Hair pulling, nail biting, chewing on the mouth or lips, object
o The response product that functions as automatic reinforcement may be an unconditioned
reinforcer or a once neutral stimulus that, because it has been paired with other forms of
reinforcement, has become a conditioned reinforcer
o In the first instance, automatic reinforcement is determined by the absence of social
- Classification of reinforcers
o Unconditioned reinforcers: a stimulus change that functions as reinforcement even
though the learner has had no particular history with it
§ Phylogeny: natural
§ All biologically intact members of a species is more or less susceptible to
reinforcement by the same unconditioned reinforcers
• Food, water, oxygen, warmth, sexual stimulation
o Conditioned reinforcers: it is also called a secondary reinforcer or a learned reinforcer
§ A previously neutral stimulus has acquired the capacity to function as a reinforcer
though stimulus-stimulus pairing with one or more unconditioned reinforcers or
conditioned reinforcers

§ Also verbal analog conditioning
§ Ontogeny: from history of reinforcement
§ Generalized conditioned reinforcer: conditioned reinforcer that as a result of
having been paired with many unconditioned reinforcers does not depend on a
current EO for any particular form of reinforcement for its effectiveness
• Attention, praise, proximity, eye-contact
• Effective as reinforcement for a wide range of Eos
• The basis for token economy
o A system of reinforcement capable of improving multiple
behaviors of multiple participants
- Classification of reinforcers
o Edible reinforcers (food, drinks)
o Sensory reinforcers (tickles, flashing lights, vibrations)
o Tangible reinforcers (toys)
o Activity reinforcers (movies, game)
o Social reinforcers (hugs, pats on the back)
- Premack principle: making the opportunity to engage in a behavior that occurs at a relatively
high free operant (or baseline) rate contingent on the occurrence of low-frequency behavior will
function as reinforcement for the low-frequency behavior
o Grandma’s law
o Activity reinforcers can be identified by looking at the relative distribution of behaviors in
a free operant situation
o Response-deprivation hypothesis: a model for predicting whether access to one
behavior (the contingent behavior) will function as reinforcement for another behavior
(the instrumental response) based on the relative baseline rates at which each behavior
occurs and whether access to the contingent behavior represents a restriction compared to
the baseline level of engagement.
§ Depriving someone of a desired activity will act as an effective form of
- Stimulus preference assessment
o Refers to a variety of procedures used to determine
§ The stimuli that the person prefers
§ The relative preference values of those stimuli (high preference vs. low
§ The conditions under which those preferences values change when task demands,
deprivation states, or schedules of reinforcement are modified
o There are different ways to determine preference
1. Asking the target person
a. Open-ended questions
b. Choice format
c. Rank-ordering
2. Asking significant others (parents, siblings, friends, caregivers)
3. Offering a pre-task choice “which one do you wanna work for?”
4. Free operant observation
a. The activities that a person engages in most often when able to choose
freely from among behaviors will often serve as effective reinforcers
when made contingent on engaging in low-probability behaviors.
b. Observing and recording what activities the target person engages in
when she can choose during a period of unrestricted access to numerous
c. Contrived: the practitioner put specific toys in the environment

d. Naturalistic: conducted in the learner’s everyday environment
5. Trial based methods: in this method, stimuli are presented to the learner in a
series of trials and the learner’s responses to the stimuli are measured as in index
of preference
a. Approach (any detectable movement toward the object), contact (touch
or holds stimulus) and engagement (play with the stimulus)
b. Single stimulus: a single stimulus presentation
i. Also called successive choice
c. Paired Stimuli: simultaneous presentation of two stimuli
d. Multiple Stimuli: chooses from an array of three of more stimuli
- Reinforcer assessment: this refers to a variety of direct, data-based methods used to present one
or more stimuli contingent on target response and then measuring the future effect on the rate of
o Determine the relative effectiveness of a given stimulus as reinforcement
§ Concurrent schedule reinforcer assessment
• Two or more contingencies of reinforcement occur simultaneously and
independently for two or more behaviors
• High preference vs. low preference
§ Multiple schedule reinforcer assessment
• Two or more component schedules of reinforcement for a single response
with only one component in effect at a given time
• Present the stimulus contingent on a certain action
o Response dependent
§ Progressive ratio schedule reinforcer assessment
• The response requirement for reinforcement are increased systematically
over time independent of the participants behavior
• Gradually requires more response per presentation of the preferred
stimulus until a breaking point is reached and the response rate declines
- Control procedures for positive reinforcement
o The ideal control procedure for positive reinforcement eliminates the contingent relation
between the occurrence of the target behavior and the presentation of the stimulus while
controlling for the effects of stimulus presentation alone
§ Non-Contingent Reinforcement (NCR)
• Give reinforcement based on time (fixed time or variable time)
• Independent of the occurrence of the target behavior
• Offers the most through and unconfounded demonstration of the effects
of positive reinforcement
§ Differential reinforcement of Other behavior (DRO)
• Delivers reinforcers whenever the target behavior has not occurred
§ Differential reinforcement of Alternative behavior (DRA)
• The reinforcer is presented on the contingent occurrence of another
alternative behavior
- High quality reinforcers
o High rate of low quality reinforcers will decrease behavior, but low rate of high quality
reinforcers will increase behavior
o Must think in terms of magnitude of reinforcement
§ Duration (time with reinforcer)
§ Reinforcer rate (the number of reinforcers per unit of time)
§ Intensity of the reinforcer
o Variety of reinforcers: must mix and change to keep motivation high

§ Reinforcers often decrease in potency when given in overabundance
o Direct reinforcement contingencies: emitting the target behavior directly leads to the
consequent reinforcer
§ No intervening steps before reinforcement
o Combine response prompts with reinforcement
§ Response prompts and supplementary antecedent stimuli used to occasion a
correct response in the presence of an SD that will eventually control the behavior
§ Verbal instructions, modeling, physical guidance
o Reinforce each occurrence of the behavior at first (CRF) and then increase the response
requirement for reinforcement so that some but not all the occurrences of the target
behavior are reinforced
o Use contingent attention and description praise
§ Social attention is a strong reinforcer for most people
o Gradually increase the response to reinforcement delay
§ Thin the schedule of reinforcement so it can become more natural

Chapter 12: Negative Reinforcement

- When responding increases as a result of stimulus termination, learning has occurred through
negative reinforcement
- Negative Reinforcement: contingency in one in which the occurrence of a response produces the
removal, termination, reduction or postponement of a stimulus, which leads to an increase in the
future occurrence of that response.
o Eos for negative reinforcement is an antecedent whose presence escape (or termination of
the event) is reinforcing
§ The EO if often aversive
o The SD is another antecedent event whose presence a response is more likely to be
o The response is the act that produces reinforcement
o The reinforcer is the termination of the event that served as EO
- The term negative refers to the removal of the stimulus change
- Escape contingency: a response terminates (produces escape from) an ongoing stimulus
- Avoidance contingency: a response prevents or postpones the presentation of a stimulus
o Discriminated avoidance: responding in the presence of a signal prevents the onset of a
stimulus from which escape is a reinforcer
o Operant avoidance: the avoidance behavior is free to occur at any time and will delay
the presentation of the stimulus
§ Acquired through the absence of signal
- Learning history
o Unconditioned negative reinforcement: the stimuli are noxious events
§ Shock, loud noise, intense light, high or low temperatures, strong pressure
o Conditioned negative reinforcement: previously neutral events that acquire their effects
through pairing with an existing (unconditioned or conditioned) negative reinforcer
o It is interesting to note that in the case of negative reinforcement, neutral events (such as
dark sky, nagging) can function both as
§ SD (because responding in their presence constitutes avoidance of another
§ Conditioned negative reinforcer (due to their pairing with another consequence,
they become stimuli to avoid or escape)

- Negative reinforcement can be socially mediated or automatic reinforcement (independent of
someone else)
o Social negative reinforcement
o Automatic negative reinforcement
- Factors influencing the effectiveness of negative reinforcement
o The stimulus change immediately follows the occurrence of the target response
o The magnitude of reinforcement is large, referring to the difference in stimulation present
before and after the response occurs
o Occurrence of the target response consistently produces escape from or postponement of
the EO
o Reinforcement is unavailable for competing (non target) responses
- Error correction strategies
o Those strategies rely on negative reinforcement. Error correction is the correction of
student errors by repeating the learning trial, having the student practice correct
performance, or giving the student additional work. To the extent that correct
performance avoids the remedial procedure, improvements may just as much function of
negative reinforcement as positive reinforcement
- Problem behavior: escape from task demands is a common source of negative reinforcement for
property destruction, aggression, and even self-injury
o Replacement strategies: teach a new more socially appropriate response such as “help me”
o Differential negative reinforcement (DNR)
§ Child mands for breaks
§ Can also led to increases in task performance
- Ethical concern: sometimes it is hard to figure out ways to study negative reinforcement, as most
of the EOs are aversive stimuli, and it is not always ethical to use such methods

Chapter 13: Schedules of Reinforcement

- A schedule of reinforcement is a rule that described a contingency of reinforcement, those

environmental arrangements that determine conditions by which behaviors will produce
- Continuous reinforcement: provides reinforcement for each occurrence of the behavior
o Used to strengthen behavior
- Extinction: no occurrence of the behavior produces reinforcement
- Intermittent schedule of reinforcement: some, but not all, occurrences of the behavior are
o Used to maintain behavior
- Intrinsic motivation is something which implies that something inside the person is responsible for
maintaining the behavior
o In ABA, described as reinforcement that is received by manipulating the physical
- Ratio schedules: require a number of responses to produce reinforcement
o Fixed ratio (FR): for example, every 5 occurrence gets reinforcement
§ Has a post-reinforcement pause
§ Produces high rates of responses
o Variable ratio (VR): a mean of 5 occurrences get reinforcement
§ Ex: slot machine
§ Consistent, steady rates of responding
§ Quick rate of responses

- Interval schedules: require an elapse of tie before reinforcement
o Fixed interval (FI): every 5 minutes gets reinforcement
§ Scallop responding (midterms, papers)
• Gradually increasing toward the end of the interval
§ Slow to moderate rate of responding
o Variable interval (VI): a mean of 5 minutes gets reinforcement
§ Produces a stable, consistent rate of responding
§ Low to moderate rate of responding
- Limited hold: added to an interval schedule. Reinforcement remains for a finite time following
the elapse for the fixed or variable interval.
o The participant will miss the opportunity to receive reinforcement if a targeted response
does not occur within the time limit
- Schedule thinning: gradually increase the response ratio or time interval prior to reinforcement
o Dense schedule (responses produce lot of reinforcement) to a thin schedule (responses
produce less frequent reinforcement)
o Ratio strain: abrupt increase in ratio which leads to aggression, avoidance, and
unpredictable pauses in responding
- Differential reinforcement of high rates (DRH): the reinforcement of responses higher than a
predetermined criterion
o Higher rate of responding
- Differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL): when responses are reinforced only when they
are lower than a predetermined criterion
o Lower rate of responding
- Differential reinforcement of diminishing rates (DRD): provides reinforcement at the end of a
predetermined time interval when the number of responses is less than a criterion that is gradually
decreased across time intervals based on the individual performance
o Less than 5 responses per 5 minutes
- A Progressive schedule of reinforcement is systematically thinning each successive
reinforcement opportunity pendent on the participants behavior
o Figure out the progressive ratio and the progressive interval
o Leads to know the breaking point of responding
- Compound schedule: a mixt of VI, FI, FR, VR, CRF and EXT.
- Concurrent schedule (choice)
o Two or more contingencies of reinforcement
o Occur simultaneously
o And independently
- Multiple schedule: presents two or more basic schedules of reinforcement inan alternating,
usually random sequence
o 2 SDs
- Chained schedule:
o Two or more schedule
o Occur successively
o Each independent
o Always occurs in the same order
- Mixed schedule:
o Like multiple schedule but has the same SDs
- Tandem schedule: a procedure identical to the chained schedule, except like in the mixed
schedule, the tandem schedule does not use discriminative stimuli with the elements in the chain
- Alternative schedule:
o Provides reinforcement whenever the requirement of either a ratio or interval schedule is
met regardless of which of the component comes first

§ Get reinforcer whether you complete all 20 questions or if you finish it within 10
§ Which ever comes first
- Conjunctive schedule: in effect whenever reinforcement follows the completion of response
requirement for both a ratio schedule and an interval of reinforcement
o Has to complete 20 questions in 10 minutes if not don’t get reinforcement

Part 5: Punishment

Chapter 14: Punishment by stimulus presentation

- Punishment is an important learning tool as it provides us information about pain and discomfort,
as well as the removal of reinforcers
- Punishment is not about punishing the person; punishment is a response. Therefore, consequence
contingency that suppresses the future frequency of similar response is punishment
- Punishment has occurred when a response is followed immediately by a stimulus change that
decreases the future frequency of similar responses.
o Decrease in the future frequency of the occurrence of the behavior must be observed as a
consequence-based intervention that qualifies as punishment
o Presentation of punishers often evokes response behavior incompatible with the behavior
being punished, the immediate suppressive effects of punishment can easily be
o The reduction in response rate can often be confounded by extinction effects
§ Extinction has to do with withholding reinforcement, not punishment
o Positive punishment (Type 1): the presentation of a stimulus (or an increase in the
intensity of an already present stimulus) immediately following a behavior results in a
decrease in the frequency of the behavior
§ Presentation of a punisher
o Negative punishment (Type 2): the termination of an already present stimulus (or a
decrease in the intensity of an already present stimulus) immediately following s behavior
that results in a decrease in the future frequency of that behavior
§ Some procedures
• Response cost: removal of an opportunity to acquire reinforcers
• Time-out from reinforcement
§ Also called penalty punishment
§ Removal or reinforcer stimulus
o SDp: discriminative stimulus for punishment
§ Stimulus condition in the presence of which a response has a lower probability of
occurrence than it does in its absence as a results of response-contingent
punishment delivery in the presence of the stimulus
o Recovery from punishment: when punishment is discontinued, its suppressive effects
on responding are usually not permanent
§ Analogous to extinction
§ Recovery of responding to pre-punished levels is more likely to happen hen using
mild punishers
§ Virtually permanent response suppression can be obtained with strong punishers
- Punisher: a stimulus change that immediately follows the occurrence of a behavior and reduces
the future frequency of that type of behavior

o Positive punishment: positive punisher (add something aversive)
o Negative punishment: negative punisher (remove something reinforcing)
o Unconditioned punisher: a stimulus whose presentation functions as punishment,
without having been paired with any other stimulus
§ Primary punisher or unlearned punisher
§ Painful stimulation, certain odors and tastes, physical restraint, loss of bodily
support, extreme muscular fatigue
§ However pretty much anything by increasing of decreasing the levels can become
a punisher
• Light, sound, temperature…
o Conditioned punisher: a stimulus change that functions as punishment as a result of a
person’s conditioning history
§ Secondary punisher or learned punisher
§ Acquires the capability to function as a punisher through stimulus-stimulus
pairing with one or more unconditioned or conditioned punishers
§ Verbal analog conditioning: previously learned stimuli can also become
conditioned punishers for humans without direct physical pairing with another
punisher through a pairing process
o Generalized conditioned punishers: a stimulus change that has been paired with
numerous forms of unconditioned and conditioned punishers
§ Reprimands (“No!”, “Don’t do that!”)
§ Social disapproval (head shake, scowl, frowns)
§ They are free from motivating conditions and will function as punishment under
most conditions
- Factors that influence the effectiveness of punishment
o Immediacy: the consequence should occur right after the target response
o Intensity/magnitude: the greater the magnitude, the quicker you will see the punishment
results and suppresses the behavior much more quickly
o Schedule: better in a continuous schedule (FR1)
§ Continuous punishment produces more suppression than does intermittent
punishment for as long as the punishment contingency is maintained. However,
after the punishment contingency has been discontinued, continuous punishment
allows more rapid recovery of the response, possibly because the absence of
punishment can be more rapidly discriminated.
§ Fixed interval schedule (FI) tens to increase the behavior that we want to decrease
(problem behavior)
o Reinforcement of the target behavior
§ The extent to which the reinforcement maintaining the problem behavior can be
reduced or eliminated, punishment will be more effective
o Reinforcement of alternative behaviors
§ When clients can emit an alternative response to the problem target behavior, this
is effective in reducing the target behavior
§ Suppressive effects of punishment can be enhanced by reinforcement for an
alternative response
- Side effects of punishment
o Emotional and aggressive reactions
§ Operant aggression: Aggressive behavior following punishment that occurs
because it has enabled the person to escape the aversive stimulation in the past
§ Response aggression: the pain elicited is directed toward the nearby object or
o Escape and avoidance

§ Person may escape a room or avoid the punisher
o Behavioral contrast
§ As one problem behavior decreases, another might increase
§ It is the phenomenon in which a change in one component of a multiple schedule
that increases or decreases the rate of responding on that component is
accompanied by a change in the response rate in the opposite direction on the
other, unaltered component of the schedule
§ FR1 helps to present behavioral contrast
o Undesirable modeling
§ Corporal punishment
o Negative reinforcement of the punishing agent
§ Because punishment suppresses the problem behavior so quickly, punishment
procedures may be reinforced for the punisher
§ Punishment reinforcers the punisher
- Positive punishment interventions
o Reprimands
§ The delivery of verbal reprimands following the occurrence of misbehavior is
with doubt the most common form of positive punishment
§ Better to say once a very firm with eye contact than multiple mellow times
§ If the command if given repeatedly, students may habituate to the increased
frequency, and the reprimand will gradually lose its effects as a punisher
o Response Blocking
§ Physically intervening as soon as the person begins the problem behavior to
present or block the completion of the response
§ Has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of some problem
behavior such as chronic hand mouthing, eye poking and pica
§ In order to prevent the response from occurring by sing the least amount of
physical contact, may use a verbal reprimand to stop engaging in the problem
§ Often implemented to treat SIB when the functional analysis reveals automatic
reinforcement by sensory stimuli by the response
§ Response blocking prevents the learner from contacting the sensory stimuli that
are normally produced by the response, subsequent decreases in responding could
be due to extinction
§ Extinction vs. punishment
• In extinction, there is an initial increase in responding, and then decrease
• In punishment, the response suppression is very quick
o Contingent exercise
§ An intervention in which the person is required to perform a response that is not
topographically related to the problem behavior
§ Contingent exercise has been found effective as punishment for various self-
stimulatory, stereotypic, disruptive, aggressive and self-injurious behavior
o Overcorrection
§ A behavior reduction tactic in which contingent on each occurrence of the
problem behavior, the learner is required to engage in effortful behavior that is
directly or logically related to the problem
§ Combined the suppressive effects of punishment and the educative effects of
positive practice
§ Restitutional overcorrection: contingent on the problem behavior, the learned is
required to repair the damage caused by the problem behavior by returning the

environment to its original state and then to engage in additional behavior that
brings the environment to a better state
• Different from simple correction
o With simple correction, the learner is required, subsequent to
problem behavior, to restore the environment to its previous state
o May be used with problem behavior that are not severe, that are
simply annoying
• Ex: the child leaves his dish on the table: the child will have to pick up
everyone’s plates and make all the dishes and clean up the whole kitchen
§ Positive practice overcorrection: contingent on problem behavior, the learner is
required to repeatedly perform a correct form of the response or a behavior
incompatible with the problem behavior for a specified amount of time
• Ex: Child slams the door: have the child open and close the door gently
for 2 minutes
• Requires the person to engage in the appropriate alternative behavior
• Good to teach when the problem behavior is caused by a deliberate act,
but cannot be used to treat a skill deficit
1. In a calm unemotional manner, tell the learner that he misbehaved and
provide a brief explanation for why the behavior must be corrected
2. Provide explicit verbal instructions
3. Implement overcorrection sequence
4. Monitor the learner
5. Minimal feedback for correct responses
6. Provide praise and other forms of reinforcement every time the learner
spontaneously emits the appropriate behavior during typical activities
o Contingent electric stimulation
§ Electric shocks contingent on problem behavior
§ SIBIS: apparatus on the head
- Guidelines for using punishment properly
o Conduct a punishment assessment to know what magnitude or intensity of the punisher to
o Use punishment that have a great magnitude to eliminate the problem behavior quickly
instead of gradually increase the magnitude
o Use varied punishers in order to decrease habituation
o If the problem behavior has a certain behavioral sequence, use the punishment at the very
beginning of the sequence
o Punish every instance of problem behavior at the beginning
o Gradually shift to an intermittent schedule of punishment as it may be sufficient to
maintain low levels of problem behavior
o Punish immediately after problem behavior
o Complement punishment procedures with complementary interventions, such as DRA,
DRO and DRI, or extinction
§ Heavy and consistent doses of reinforcement for alternative behaviors function as
an abolishing operation that weakens (abates) the frequency of the problem
§ FCT, HPR and NCR all function as AOs for the problem behavior
o Be prepare for negative effects (aggression, avoidance, escape)
o Record, graph and evaluate daily data
§ If punishment effects are not seen within three days, then change to something
§ The suppressive effects of punishment are abrupt

o Ethical concerns
§ Client’s right to safe and humane treatment
• Must be designed for therapeutic effectiveness, delivered in a
compassionate manner, assessed formatively, sensitive and responsive to
overall physical, psychological and social needs of the person
§ Least restrictive alternative
• Least intrusive methods must be used first and then if its doesn’t work to
rethink the procedures
§ Right to effective treatment
• Punishment is a legitimate therapeutic technique that is justifiable and
commendable when it relieves persons of the even greater punishment
that result from their own behavioral behavior

Chapter 15: Punishment by removal of a stimulus

- In negative punishment, stimuli are removed subsequent to the performance of a behavior, and the
corresponding future frequency of the preceding behavior is reduced
- Time-Out from positive reinforcement
o The withdrawal of the opportunity to earn positive reinforcers or the loss of access to
positive reinforcers for a specified time, contingent on the occurrence of a behavior
o Must be a discrepancy between “time-in” and “time-out”
o Non-Exclusion time-out
§ The participant is not completely removed physically form the time-in setting
§ Planned ignoring: occurs when social reinforcers (usually attention and physical
contact or verbal interaction) are removed for a brief period, contingent on the
occurrence of an inappropriate behavior
• It assumes that the time-in setting in reinforcing and that all extraneous
sources of positive reinforcement can be eliminated
§ Withdrawal of a specific reinforcer: withdrawal of a positive reinforcer
contingent on the inappropriate behavior
• Ex: child watches TV and sucks thumbs: remove TV and thumb sucking
§ Contingent observation: the person is repositioned within an existing setting
such that the observation of ongoing activities remain but access to reinforcement
is lost
§ Time-out ribbon: a colored band that is placed on the child’s wrist and becomes
discriminative for receiving reinforcement
• When the ribbon is on the child’s wrist, eligible to reinforcers
• If the child misbehaves, then ribbon removed and all forms of social
interactions are terminated for a specific period
o Exclusion time-out
§ The person is remove from the environment for a specified period, contingent on
the occurrence of the targeted inappropriate behavior
§ Time-Out room: a time out room is any confined space outside the participant’s
normal educational or treatment environment that is devoid of positive reinforcers
and in which the person can be safely for a temporary period
• Cannot be locked: illegal
§ Partition time-out: the person remains within the time-in setting, but his view
within is restricted by a partition, wall or cubicle or similar structure

§ Hallway time-out: the student is directed to leave the classroom and sit in the
o Desirable effects of time-out
§ Easy to apply
§ Acceptable: practitioners regard it as fair and effective
§ Rapid suppression of behavior: usually rapid to see its effects
§ Combined application: can be combined with other procedures
- Directions with time-out
o There must be a reinforcing time-in
o Must clearly define the behavior that lead in time-out
o Defining the procedures for the duration of time-out
§ Number of minutes (2-10 minutes the best, if too long then becomes reinforcing)
§ What leads to terminate of time out (being calm and not do the problem behavior
within the time-out)
o Exclusion or non-exclusion time out: decision
o Explaining the rules
o Obtain permission
o Applying the time-out consistently to every occurrence of problem behavior
o Evaluating the effectiveness
o Consider other options
o Legal and ethical issues
§ Should be brief
§ Never a locked room
§ Extensions can be obtained but must be careful
- Response Cost: a form of punishment in which the loss of a specific amount of reinforcement
occurs, contingent on inappropriate behavior and results in the decreased probability of the future
occurrence of the behavior
o Moderate to rapid decrease in behavior
o Fines: can be directly implemented by fining the individual for a specific amount of
§ Ex: loses 5 minutes of recess time
o Bonus response cost: practitioners can make additional reinforcers available non-
contingently to the participant, specifically for the removal with a response cost
o Combining with positive reinforcement: it can be combined with positive
reinforcement. For example, a student might earn tokens for improved academic
performance and simultaneously lose tokens for instances of inappropriate behavior.
o Guidelines:
§ The magnitude of the response cost fine is important. It is likely that as the
magnitude of the fine increases, larger reduction in the rate of the undesirable
behavior may occur
§ The fine should be large enough to suppress the future occurrence of the problem
behavior but not so large to bankrupt the person
§ Fines should be applied immediately
§ A bonus response cost procedure might be less likely to spark aggressive or
emotional outbursts or to be offensive to the parents and students
§ Must ensure that the students have a reinforcement reserve in order to be able to
remove some, as it is not possible to remove something that doesn’t exist or isn’t
§ Be careful when the person doesn’t want to give up the reinforcers
§ The fine may at some point become reinforcing

§ Avoid overuse of response cost
§ Keep record
§ May lead to increased aggression, avoidance
§ Collateral reductions of desired behavior
• If you remove this, I wont do my homework
§ Calling attention to the punished behavior
• Even that attention might positively be reinforcing for the student

Part 6: Antecedents Variables

Chapter 16: Motivating Operations

- Drive: wanting something may be interpreted to mean that

o The occurrence of what is wanted would function as a reinforcer at that moment
o The current frequency of any behavior that has previously been so reinforced will increase

- Motivating Operations (MOs)

o Value altering effect: alters the effectiveness of a stimulus
§ Either increases of decreases stimulus effectiveness
o Behavior altering effect: alters the current frequency of the behavior
§ Either evoke or abate behavior
o Establishing Operations (EOs)
§ Alters the effectiveness of some stimulus, object or event as a reinforcer
§ Alters the current frequency of all behavior by that stimulus, object or event
o Abolishing Operations (AOs)
§ Decrease in reinforcing effectiveness
§ Decreases the current frequency of some stimulus
- MOs have a direct evocative or abative effect on response frequency, and has an indirect effect on
the evocative or abative effect strength of relevant discriminative stimuli (SD)
o Both MOs and SDs are antecedent component of an existing repertoire: they are
antecedent variables that have behavior altering effect
§ They affect the CURRENT frequency of behavior
§ Called behavior altering effect
o Punishers, reinforcers and response occurrences alter the FUTURE frequency of
§ Called repertoire altering effect
- SD: a stimulus that controls a type of behavior because that stimulus has been related to the
differential availability of an effective reinforcer for that type of reinforcement

o Differential availability: the relevant consequence has been available in the presence of
and unavailable in the absence of the stimulus
- MOs: related to the differential reinforcing effectiveness of a particular type of environmental
- Unconditioned Motivations Operations (UMOs):
o Food deprivation, water deprivation, sleep deprivation, activity deprivation, oxygen
deprivation, sex deprivation, becoming too warm, becoming too cold, increase in pain
o Deprivation has reinforcer establishing effect (make food more likely to be a reinforcer at
that time)
o Satiation has reinforcer abolishing effects (make food less likely to be a reinforcer at that
- An environmental variable that alters the punishing effectiveness of a stimulus, object or event,
and alters the frequency of the behavior that has been so punished is an MO for punishment
o For example
§ Social disapproval
§ Time-out (from reinforcement)
§ Response cost
o In all three cases, you need to remove a reinforcer
§ That reinforcer is the MO for punishment
§ For example, for the removal of food to be effective as punishment, you need to
have food at first
§ If you are food deprived and sitting in front of food, the removal of the food will
be punishment
• UMO for punishment
- Aversive stimuli: specific behavioral function (MO, SP, US) is not specified
o Unpleasant feelings
- Conditioned Motivating Operations (CMOs)
o Motivating variables that alter the reinforcing effectiveness of other stimuli, objects or
events, but only as a result of the organism’s learning history
o CMO-S (Surrogate)
§ Stimuli that acquired a form of behavioral effectiveness by being paired with a
behaviorally effective stimulus
§ Acquire the properties of an AO through contingent pairing with UAOs in much
the same way that stimuli become Srs through pairing
• For example, a stimulus condition is contingently paired with food
• Salty chips is a CMO-S for using salsa
o CMO-R (Reflexive)
§ Discriminated avoidance procedure where an intertrial is followed by the onset of
an initially neutral warning stimulus, which is in turn followed by the onset of
painful stimulation
• Escape pain
• Avoidance warning
§ The warning of the pain is the CMO-R
o CMO-T (Transitive)
§ An event which establishes another stimulus as necessary condition to complete
the response that the first event evokes, and thus establishes that second stimulus
as a reinforcer
§ In order to get from here to there you need something else

• Only with positive reinforcement
§ For example
• The beer and the bottle opener
o The sealed bottle is the CEO-T
o The bottle opener is the conditioned Sr+ whose value is increased
§ If it is just as available with the presence or the absence of the stimulus, then it is
• Someone tells you a phone number (CMO-T), the value of a pen is
increased but the pen was always available even if the person didn’t say a
phone number
§ CMO-T is a stimulus onset that evokes behavior because of its relation to the
value of a consequence rather than the availability of a consequence

Chapter 17: Stimulus Control

- SD (Discriminative stimulus): acquire an evocative effect on a response

o Correlated with availability of a response
o A stimulus acquires control only when responses emitted in the presence of that stimulus
produce a reinforcement more often than responses in the absence of stimulus
- S delta: correlated with non-availability of a response
- SD vs. conditioned stimulus
o Antecedent stimulus can acquire control over a behavior
o An SD acquires its controlling function through association with stimulus changes that
occur immediately following behavior
o A conditioned stimulus acquires its controlling function through association with other
antecedent stimuli that elicit behavior
- Stimulus generalization: a general tendency for similar stimuli to evoke a certain response
o Ex: a little girl learns to say “daddy” to her father, and starts calling all men his age
o Reflects a loose stimulus control
o Share similar physical dimensions with the controlling antecedents
o Stimulus generalization gradient: graphically depicts the degree of stimulus
generalization and discrimination by showing the extent to which responses reinforced in
one stimulus condition are emitted in the presence of untrained stimuli.
- Stimulus discrimination: occurs when different stimuli no dot evoke the same response
o Clap hands vs. fold
- Stimulus discrimination training
o Some responses are reinforced and some others are not
o (Sd and S delta)
o Concept formation
§ Complex example of stimulus control that requires both stimulus generalization
within a class of stimuli and a discrimination between classes of stimuli
§ An antecedent class is a set of stimuli that share a common relationship.
• All the stimuli within the same class evoke the same response
- Feature stimulus class: share common physical forms (topography) or common relative relations
(spatial arrangements)
o Common physical form: All dogs have the same features (tails, 4 legs, snout…)
o Relational form: bigger than, smaller than…
- Arbitrary stimulus class: evoke the same response, but they do not share a common stimulus

o 50%, ½, half, divided evenly
o Vegetables
o A, E, I, O, U, Y
- Matching to sample create stimulus equivalence
- Stimulus equivalence
o Learning one aspect of something teaches you automatically something new
o Reflexivity: A=A
§ Generalized identity matching
o Symmetry: A=B, then B=A
§ Word car = picture of a car
o Transitivity: A=B and B=C, then A=C
§ Spoken word car = written word car = picture of a car
o Requires pre-attending skills
§ Sit quietly
§ Stimulus salience: prominence of the stimulus in the person’s environment
• Nice pictures vs. ugly pictures
§ Masking: even though one behavior has acquired stimulus control, a competing
stimulus can block the evocative function
• Ex: smoke with friends but not with family
§ Overshadowing: the presence of one stimulus condition interferes with the
acquisition of stimulus control by another stimulus
• Cheerleader’s practice
- Prompts: supplementary antecedent conditions used to occasion a correct response in the
presence of an SD that will eventually control the behavior
o Response prompts:
§ Verbal instructions
§ Modeling
• Can only be used if has imitation skills
§ Physical guidance
• More intrusive
o Stimulus prompts:
§ Movement cues
• Tapping, touching, looking
§ Position cues
• Position of the picture, move in front, move in back
§ Redundancy
• One or more stimulus dimension are paired with the correct choice (size,
color, shape)
- Transfer of stimulus control
o Most to least prompts
§ Helps at all steps at the beginning
§ Then reduces level of prompt (full physical to partial physical…)
o Graduated guidance (help as needed)
§ Some steps may already be achieved so only step in when needed
§ Start to fade form the beginning
§ From hand, to wrist, to elbow, to shoulder to no physical contact
o Least to most prompts
§ Must make a response within a certain amount of time
§ If no response, then prompt
o Time delay

§ Prompt after a determined amount of time
§ Start by prompting after 1 sec
• Then more to 2 sec, and go up 1 sec at a time
o Stimulus fading
§ Highlights physical dimension
o Stimulus shape transformation
§ Transform a picture of a car to the word car

Part 7: Developing New Behavior

Chapter 18: Imitation

- With an understanding of the imitation process, applied behavior analysts can use imitation as an
intervention to evoke new behavior
- Imitation
o (MODEL) Any physical movement may function as a model for imitation
§ A model is an antecedent stimulus that evokes the imitative behavior
o (IMMEDIACY) An imitative behavior must immediately follow the presentation of the
§ Within 3 to 5 seconds
§ The temporal relation of the immediacy between the model and the imitation
behavior is an important feature of imitation
o (FORMAL SIMILARITY) The model and the behavior must have formal similarity
§ Occurs when the model and the behavior physically resemble each other and are
in the same sense mode
• Look alike, sound alike
o (CONTROLLED RELATION) The model must be the controlling variable for an
imitative behavior
§ The controlling relation between a model and a similar behavior is the most
important property that defines imitation
§ An imitative behavior is a new behavior that follows a novel antecedent event
(the model). After the model evokes the imitation, that behavior comes into
contact with contingencies of reinforcement. These new contingencies of
reinforcement then become the controlling variable for the discriminative operant
- Planned models: prearranged antecedent stimuli that help learners acquire new skills or refine the
topography of certain elements of existing skills
- Unplanned models: all antecedent stimuli with the capacity to evoke imitation are potentially
unplanned models
o Everyday social interactions
- Baer and colleagues
o Children who did not have an imitative repertoire learned to imitate with training that
used response cues and prompts, shaping, and reinforcement
o When some imitative behaviors produced reinforcement, the participants imitated novel
models without reinforcement
o The participants demonstrated an effect sometimes known as learning set, or “learning to
learn” phenomenon
o As the participants were progressing, the required fewer and fewer trials to learn a new
imitative behavior
- Prerequisite skills for imitation training: attending skills

o Staying seated
o Looking at the teacher
o Keeping hands on lap
o Looking at objects identified by the trainer
- Selecting models for imitation training
o Movements of body parts
o Manipulation of physical objects
1. Pretesting
a. The learner’s response to the selected models should be pretested
2. Sequencing the selected models for training
a. From the results of the pretest, make a sequence from the easiest to the hardest models to
b. The first models selected for imitation training are those that the learner imitated correctly
on some, but not all, pretest trials
3. Conducting imitation training
a. Pre-assessment
i. Short pretest given before each training session
1. First probes of the day on the current targets
b. Training
i. Practitioners use repeated presentations of one of the three models used in the
ii. Training continues until the learner responds to the mode correctly 5 consecutive
iii. May use physical guidance and prompts
c. Post-assessment
i. The practitioner presents three times each previously learned models and models
that are still included in training
ii. If a child gets the model right 3 times at post-assessment, then it will be removed
from imitation training
d. Probes for imitative behaviors
i. Practitioners will use approximately five non-trained, novel models to probe for
occurrences of imitation at the end of each imitation training session, or they will
intermix the probes with the training trials
- Guidelines
o Reinforced both prompted and imitative responses
o Keep training sessions active and brief
o Pair verbal praise and attention with tangible reinforcers
§ May start by using edibles but then want to move to social attention and verbal
• Pairing the delivery of other consequences with social and verbal praise
o If progress breaks down, back up and move ahead slowly
o Keep a record
o Fade out verbal response prompts and physical guidance
§ Imitation training is not complete until all response prompts have been withdrawn

Chapter 19: Shaping

- Shaping is the process of systematically and differentially reinforcing successive approximation

to a terminal behavior

o Uses differential reinforcement of successive approximations
o If a systematic approach is used (if each instance of closer approximations of the terminal
behavior is detected and reinforced) progress can be attained more quickly
o Differentially reinforcers successive approximations toward a terminal behavior
o The end product of shaping (a terminal behavior) can be claimed when the topography,
frequency, latency, duration or amplitude/magnitude of the target behavior reaches a
predetermined criterion
o Differential reinforcement: a procedure in which reinforcement is provided for
responses that share a predetermined dimension or quality and in which reinforcement is
withheld for responses that do not demonstrate that quality
§ Responses similar to those that have been reinforces occur with greater frequency
§ Responses resembling the unreinforced members are emitted less frequently
§ Leads to response differentiation: the emergence of a new response class
• A behavior change produced by differential reinforcement. Reinforces
members of the current response class occur with greater frequency, and
unreinforced members occur less frequently
o Successive Approximations: the sequence of new response classes that emerge during
the shaping process as the result of differential reinforcement: each successive
approximation class is closer in form to the terminal behavior than the response class it
§ Start with a response that the person can emit, and then move to the terminal
§ Ex: Touching glasses, picking up glasses, wearing glasses
- Shaping can be done in terms of frequency, latency, duration, and amplitude/magnitude
- Shaping behavior across different responses topographies means that select members of a
response class are differentially reinforced, whereas members of other response class are not
- Reinforcement is delivered consistently upon the occurrence of successive approximations to the
terminal behavior, whereas non-approximations are placed on extinction
- Limitations of shaping
o Time consuming (many approximations may be necessary before the terminal behavior is
o Progress is not always linear (may not proceed from one approximation to the other
desired one)
§ If the practitioner fails to reinforce responses at the next approximation (because
of neglect, inexperience or other preoccupations), the occurrence of similar
responses may be few and far between
o Constant monitoring of behavior
o Can be misapplied
o Harmful behavior can be shaped
- Shaping vs. Stimulus fading
o Opposite of each other
o Shaping: the antecedent stimulus stays the same, response changes
o Stimulus fading: the stimulus changes, response stays the same
- Shaping can be enhanced
o Using a discriminative stimulus combined with shaping
o Physical guidance
o Use imitative prompt
- Clicker training: a science based system for shaping behavior using positive reinforcement

o The clicker sound is paired with reinforcers
o Reinforcement is paired with the sound of the clicker so that the sound becomes the
conditioned reinforcer
- Guidelines
o Select the terminal behavior
§ Highest priority behavior
o Determine criterion for success
§ Decides how accurate, fast, intense, or durable the behavior must be before it can
be considered shaped
§ Norms for success
o Analyze the response class
§ Attempt to identify the approximations that might be emitted in the shaping
§ Proper sequence of approximations
• Normative data from published studies
• A videotape can be analyze to see the components of the behavior
• Do the target behavior yourself carefully and note the discrete behavioral
o Identify the first behavior to reinforce
§ Behavior should already occur at a minimum frequency
• Don’t want to wait for the occurrence of the response
o Counterproductive
§ The behavior should be a member of the targeted response class
• Sets the occasion for reinforcing an existing behavioral component
o Proceed in gradual stages
§ Don’t go too fast
o Limit the number of approximations at each level
§ May cause that behavior to become fixed and then hard to change for another
- Future applications of Shaping
o Percentile schedules
§ Dissemble the process of shaping into its components, translate those components
into simple mathematical statements, and then use equations to determine what
presently constitute a response to criterion
o Using computers
§ Cyber-rat
o Robotics engineering
§ Can measure some things we cannot (arm movement)

Chapter 20: Chaining

- A behavior chain is a specific sequence of discrete responses, each associated with a particular
stimulus condition
o Each response in the chain produces a stimulus change that simultaneously serves as a
conditioned reinforcer for the response that produced it and as a discriminative
stimulus for the next response in the chain
§ Except the very first and very last
• First: only an SD
• Last: only a conditioned reinforcer

o Involves the performance of a specific series of discrete responses
o The performance of each behavior in the sequence changes the environment in such a way
that it produces conditioned reinforcement for the preceding response and serves as an SD
for the next response
o The response within the chain must be performed in a specific sequence, usually in close
temporal succession
o Behavior chain = sequence
o Chaining = link responses to new performance
o Chaining is very important in increasing independent living skills, as well as building
more complex and adaptive repertoires
- Behavior chain with a limited hold: Sequence of behavior that must be performed correctly and
within a specified time to produce reinforcement
- Task Analysis: breaking a complex skill into smaller, teachable units, the product of which is a
series of sequentially ordered steps or tasks
o There are no absolute rules for determining the number of steps
o Must consider the client’s physical, sensory and motoric level skills
o Assessing mastery prior to teaching
§ Single opportunity model
• Designed to assess a learner’s ability to perform each behavior in a task
analysis in a correct sequence
• If you miss a step, then stop the sequence
• More conservative
o Terminates at the first step at which performance breaks down
• Provides less information to the teacher once the instruction is initiated
• Quicker to conduct
• Reduces the likelihood of learning taking place during the assessment
§ Multiple opportunity model
• Evaluates the person’s level of mastery across all the behaviors in the task
• May not be able to do everything in the correct order, but may be able to
do 5/10 behaviors
• If there is a mistake, then the trainer will prompt the response and the
learner will go to the next behavior
• More time to complete, but gives more information about overall
o Can skip the steps that the child already knows
- Behavior chaining methods
o Forward Chaining
§ The behaviors identified in the task analysis are taught in their naturally occurring
§ Reinforcement is delivered when the predetermined criterion for the first behavior
in the sequence is achieved (target step)
o Total-Task Chaining
§ Aka total-task presentation
§ Aka whole-task presentation
§ The learner receives training on each step in the task analysis during every
§ Trainer assistance is provided with any step the person is unable to perform

§ The chain is trained until the learner is able to perform all the behaviors in the
sequence to the predetermined criterion
o Backward Chaining
§ All the behaviors identified in the task analysis are initially completed by the
trainer, except for the final behavior in the chain
§ When the learner masters the last behavior in the chain, move up to the second
last behavior
§ Reinforcement is delivered when the learner performs the final behavior in the
sequence at the predetermined criterion level
§ The first behavior the learner performs independently produces the terminal
§ The next to last response produces the onset of a stimulus condition that
reinforces that step, and serves as an SD for the last behavior, which is now
established in the learner’s behavioral repertoire
§ Main advantage: the learner always comes into contact with the terminal
§ Main disadvantage: potential passive participation of the learner in the earlier
o Backward Chaining with Leaps Ahead
§ Just like backward chaining, but not every step in the task analysis is trained
• Some are simply probed
§ To decrease total time spent teaching the task analysis
§ However, even if not thought directly per se, the learner must be able to perform
independently the steps that are skipped for teaching
o Behavior chain interruption strategy
§ Relies on the participant’s skill to perform the critical elements of a chain
independently, but the chain is interrupted at a predetermined step so that another
behavior can be emitted
§ Persistence in a task completion and emotional response to interruption would
serve as operational definitions of high motivation for task completion
- Breaking an inappropriate chain
o Determine the initial SD and change it to an alternative behavior
o If the initial SD appears less frequently, the entire chin occurs less often
§ Reexamine SD and responses
• The chain may be triggered by an arbitrary stimulus
§ Determine whether similar SD cue different responses
• Rearrange the sequence
§ Analyze the natural setting to identify relevant and irrelevant SD
• The training program should be designed so that the learner is trained to
discriminate the relevant (critical) components of a stimulus from
irrelevant variations
§ Determine whether SD in the natural setting differ from training
• Conducting final sessions in the natural environment
§ Identify the presence of novel stimuli in the environment
• All novel stimuli must be identified and the learner taught to discriminate
them along with other SD in the environment

Part 8: Decreasing behavior with nonpunishment procedures

Chapter 21: Extinction

- Extinction is a procedure that provides zero possibility of reinforcement

o Withholding of reinforcement
o Occurs when reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior is discontinued. As a
result, the frequency of that behavior decreases in the future
o Does not prevent occurrences of a problem behavior. Rather, the environment is changed
so that the problem behavior no longer produces reinforcement
o Misuses of a technical term
§ Should only identify the procedure of withholding reinforcers that maintain
• Used to any decrease in responding
• Forgetting
• Response blocking is not an extinction procedure, as the response is not
occurring. Rather, response blocking prevents the occurrence of the target
• NCR and extinction are not the same. In NCR, reinforcement is given on
a time schedule independently of responding.
- Extinction procedures
o Behaviors maintained by positive reinforcement
§ Put on extinction where the behavior does not receive reinforcement
§ Attention, tangibles
o Behaviors maintained by negative reinforcement
§ Escape extinction
§ The behaviors do not produce a removal of the aversive stimulus
• The person cannot escape from the aversive situation
§ Demand condition (often)
§ Physical guidance to completion
o Behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement
§ Sensory extinction
§ Masking or removing the sensory consequence
• For example, if a person bites his lip, but a balm to remove the sensation
- Extinction effects
o When a previously reinforced behavior is emitted but is not followed by the usual
reinforcing consequence, the occurrence of that behavior should either gradually decrease
o its pre-reinforcement level or stop entirely.
§ Gradual increase in frequency and amplitude
§ Gradual reduction in behavior, but when reinforcement is removed abruptly,
numerous unreinforced responses can follow
o Extinction burst: immediate increase in the frequency of the response after the removal
of the positive, negative or automatic reinforcement.
§ Initial increases in response frequency
§ Usually suggests that the function of the problem behavior was successfully
• Initial increase in response amplitude
o Amplitude, or force, of response may increase
o Spontaneous recovery
§ A phenomenon commonly associated with the extinction process is the
reappearance of the behavior after it has diminished to its pre-reinforcement level
or stopped completely

§ Short lived
§ Limited if the extinction procedure remains in place
o Variables affecting resistance to extinction
§ Behavior that continues to occur during extinction is said to have greater
resistance to extinction than behavior that diminishes quickly
§ The rate of decline in response frequency, and the total number of responses
emitted before responding either attains some final low level or ceases
• CRF reinforcement is better to use extinction than intermittent schedules
(VR, VI, FR, FI)
o Behavior goes down quickly with CRF
• Behaviors that are reinforced on some intermittent schedule are more
resistant to extinction
o VR and VI are more resistant than FR and FI
• To a degree, the thinner the intermittent schedule of reinforcement is, the
greater the resistance to extinction will be
§ Establishing operations
• Resistance to extinction is greater when extinction is carried out under
high motivation than under low
§ Number, magnitude and quality of reinforcement
• A behavior with a long history of reinforcement may have more
resistance to extinction than a behavior with a shorter history of
§ Successive applications of conditioning and extinction trials may influence the
resistance to extinction
§ Response effort
• A response requiring grater effort diminishes more quickly during
extinction than a response requiring less effort
- Effectiveness of extinction
o Withholding all reinforcers maintaining the problem behavior
§ There may be more than one problem behavior, and more than one function and
therefore must target all of them
§ The effectiveness of extinction is dependent on the correct identification of the
consequences that maintain the problem behavior
§ When multiple sources of reinforcement maintain problem behavior, identifying
and withholding one course of reinforcement may have a minimal or no effect on
o Withholding reinforcement consistently
§ Consistency is essential for extinction
o Combining extinction with other procedures
§ The effectiveness of extinction may increase when it is combined with other
procedures, especially positive reinforcement
§ Differential reinforcement and antecedent procedures hold promise for reducing
extinction effects such as bursting and aggression
- When not to use extinction
o Imitation
§ Can be inappropriate if the behaviors placed on extinction are likely to be
imitated by others
o Extreme behaviors
§ Some behaviors are so harmful that the effects must be seen immediately and
therefore punishment procedures may be better

Chapter 22: Differential Reinforcement

- Differential reinforcement entails reinforcing one response class and withholding reinforcement
for another response class
o Providing reinforcement contingent on either occurrence of a behavior other than the
problem behavior or the problem behavior occurring at a reduced rate
o Withholding reinforcement as much as possible for the problem behavior
o The magnitude of the reinforcement has less importance than consistency of delivery and
- Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible behavior (DRI)
o Reinforces a behavior that cannot occur simultaneously with the problem behavior and
withholds reinforcement following instances of the problem behavior
o Different topographies make it impossible to emit both behaviors at the same time
o Guidelines for selecting behaviors
§ Already exists in the learner’s repertoire
§ Requires equal or less effort than the problem behavior
§ Already being emitted prior to intervention
• Occurrences can be reinforcement
§ Is likely to be reinforced in the learner’s environment once the intervention is
o Should use CRF to build up the new response, and then move to intermittent schedule
- Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior (DRA)
o Reinforces occurrences of a behavior that provides alternative to the problem behavior but
is not necessarily incompatible with it
o When escape from a task or demand situation is used as the reinforcer in a differential
reinforcement procedure for reducing inappropriate behavior, the intervention is
sometimes called differential negative reinforcement of alternative (or incompatible)
behavior (DNRI or DNRA)
§ Providing negative reinforcement of the alternative behavior in the form of brief
periods of escape from the task and escape extinction for the problem behavior
o Guidelines for selecting behaviors
§ Already exists in the learner’s repertoire
§ Requires equal or less effort than the problem behavior
§ Already being emitted prior to intervention
• Occurrences can be reinforcement
§ Is likely to be reinforced in the learner’s environment once the intervention is
o Should use CRF to build up the new response, and then move to intermittent schedule
- Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior
o Delivers reinforcement whenever the problem behavior has not occurred during or at a
specific time
o Because reinforcement is contingent on the absence or omission of target behavior, DRO
is sometimes called
§ Differential reinforcement of zero responding
§ Differential reinforcement of omission
§ Omission training
o Interval DRO
§ Reinforcement is delivered if no occurrences of the problem behavior were
observed throughout the entire interval
§ Any instance of problem behavior resets the interval
§ Fixed-interval DRO

• Establish interval of time
• Delivers reinforcement at the end of interval if Bx did not occur
• If occurrence, reset timer and begin new interval
• Increase interval as the problem behavior improves
§ Variable interval DRO
• Reinforcement is delivered at the end of a varying and unpredictable
o Momentary DRO
§ Reinforcement if contingent on the absence of problem behavior at specific points
in time
§ Fixed-momentary DRO
• Reinforcement is contingent on the absence of the problem behavior only
when each interval ends
• The duration of the interval remains the same
§ Variable-momentary DRO
• Reinforcement is contingent on the absence of the problem behavior only
when each interval ends
• The duration of the interval is varying and unpredictable
- Limitations of DRO
o Can inadvertently reinforce another behavior that occurring at the end of the interval
o With momentary DRO, problem behavior can have occurred during most the interval but
you reinforce anyway
o Guidelines
§ Initial DRO interval should be put in a way where the learner will contact
reinforcement when the DRO contingency is applied
§ Gradually increase the intervals
• Increase by constant durations
• Increase proportionately
• Change the DRO intervals each session based on the leaner’s
§ More effective when combined with other procedures
- Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Responding (DRL)
o Delivers reinforcement following a response that has been preceded by increasingly
longer intervals of time without a response reduced the overall rate of responding.
§ Reduces the rate of responding
§ For behavior that occurs too frequently but do not want to eliminate the behavior
o Full session DRL
§ Reinforcement is delivered at the end of an instructional or treatment session if
during the entire session the target behavior occurred at a number of rate equal or
below a predetermined criterion
o Interval DRL
§ Practitioners divides a total session into a series of equal intervals of time and
provides reinforcement at the end of each interval in which the number of
occurrences of the problem behavior during that interval is equal to or below a
criterion limit
o Spaced-Responding DRL
§ The practitioner delivers a reinforcer following an occurrence of a response that is
separated by at least a minimum amount of time from the previous response
§ Good to teach that a certain behavior is acceptable, but only at a certain rate

o Guidelines for using DRL
§ DRL is slow, and therefore not good to treat behaviors that are severe such as
self-injurious behaviors, violent or dangerous behaviors
§ Gradually thin the DRL schedule
• With full session DRL, the practitioner can set a new DRL criterion using
the participant’s current DRL performance. Another option is to set a new
DRL criterion at slightly less than the mean number of responses emitted
during recent DRL sessions
• With interval DRL, the practitioner can gradually decrease the number of
responses per interval if the current criterion is more than one response
per interval; or gradually increase the duration of the criterion interval if
the current criterion is one response per interval
• With spaced responding DRL, the practitioner can adjust the IRT
criterion based on the mean IRT of recent session, or slightly less than
that average
§ Rule 1: practitioners may want to change the DRL criterion whenever the learner
meets or exceeds the criterion during three consecutive sessions
§ Rule 2: practitioners may want to change the DRL criterion whenever the learner
receives reinforcement for at least 90% of the opportunities during three
consecutive sessions

Chapter 23: Antecedent interventions

- Also called antecedent procedures, antecedent control, antecedent manipulations or antecedent

- Stimulus control = SD
- SD evokes behavior because they have been correlated with increased availability of
reinforcement. The evocative function of MOs, however, is independent of the differential
availability of effective reinforcement.
- Classifying functions of antecedent stimuli
o Contingency dependent
§ Dependent on the consequences of behavior for developing evocative and abative
• Function based interventions
o Contingency independent
§ Not dependent on the consequences of behavior for developing evocative and
abative effects. The antecedent event itself effects behavior-consequence
• Antecedent interventions
- Antecedent interventions
o Abolishing operations
§ Decrease the effectiveness of reinforcers that maintain problem behavior
o Temporary effects
§ MOs are temporary
§ Antecedent interventions by themselves will not produce permanent
improvements in behavior
o Three antecedent interventions
§ Non-contingent reinforcement
§ High probability request sequence
§ Functional communication training

- Non-contingent reinforcement (NCR)
o An antecedent intervention in which stimuli with known reinforcing properties are
delivered on a fixed-time (FT) or variable time (VT) schedule independent of the learner’s
o The enriched environment with positive stimuli may function as an abolishing operation
(AO), reducing the motivation to engage in the problem behavior
§ Positive reinforcement
• Social mediation
§ Negative reinforcement
• Escape
• Increases compliance and decreases problem behavior
§ Automatic reinforcement
• Without social mediation
• Free access to some objects
o Enhancing effectiveness
§ The amount and quality of stimuli with known reinforcing properties influence
the effectiveness of NCR
§ Most treatments include extinction with NCR interventions
§ Reinforcer preferences can change during intervention
§ Most often, FT schedule are used, but sometimes VR schedule are used
o Thinning time based schedules
§ Constant time increase
• Can increase FT and VT schedule intervals by using a constant duration
of time and decrease the amount of time that the learner has access to the
§ Proportional time increase
• Increase FT or VT schedule intervals proportionately, meaning that each
time, the schedule interval is increased by the same proportion of time
§ Session to session time increase or decrease
• Depending on the learner’s performances
- High-Probability Request Sequences (HPR)
o The teacher presents a series of easy to follow requests for which the participant has a
history of compliance
§ When the learner complies with several HPRs, the teacher immediately gives the
target request (low-p)
o The abative effects of an abolishing operation (AO) by reducing the value of
reinforcement for non-compliance to the low-probability requests (reducing the value of
escape from requests), and reducing the aggression and self-injury often associated with
low-p requests
o Non compliance is prevalent with individuals with developmental disorders
§ HPR provide a non-aversive procedure to reduce escape
o Also called
§ Behavioral momentum
§ Pretask requests
§ Interspersed requests
o Praise is provided immediately following each compliant response
o 5 HPR are more effective to increase compliance, but 2 HPR is more efficient
o HPR should be presented in rapid succession with short inter-request intervals
- Functional Communication Training (FCT)

o Establishes an appropriate communicative behavior to compete with problem behavior
evoked by an establishing operation (EO). Rather than changing EOs, functional
communication training develops alternative behaviors that are sensitive to the EOs
o It is an application of DRA because the intervention develops an alternative
communicative response as an antecedent to diminish the problem behavior
§ The alternative communicative response produces the reinforcer that has
maintained the problem behavior, marking the communicative response
functionally equivalent to the problem behavior
o Two step process
§ 1. With a FBA, identify the stimuli with known reinforcing properties that
maintain the problem behavior
§ 2. Using those stimuli as reinforcers to develop an alternative behavior to replace
the problem behavior
o Effective use of FCT
§ Dense schedule of reinforcement
§ Decrease verbal prompts
§ Behavior reduction procedures
• Enhances if uses FCT in combination with time-out or extinction
§ Schedule thinning
• Constant time increases, proportional time increases and session to
session time increase or decrease are NOT appropriate for FCT
• The alternative communicative behavior must remain sensitive to the
evocative function of EO to compete with the problem behavior
• Picture cues and external clocks to announce when reinforcement is
available is a possible way to control the undesirably high rate of the
communicative response
Part 9: Functional Analysis

Chapter 24: Functional Behavior Assessment

- Functional behavior assessments enables hypotheses about the relations among specific types of
environmental events and behaviors
o Goal: to obtain information about the purposes (functions) of behaviors
- Positive reinforcement
o Attention
§ Immediate attention from others
§ Head turns, facial expressions, reprimands, attempts to soothe, counsel or distract
o Tangible
§ Access to reinforcing items/materials
§ Stealing
o Automatic
§ Some behavior directly produce their own reinforcement
- Negative reinforcement
o Escape
§ Terminating or postponing aversive events
§ Aggression, self-injurious behavior, bizarre speech may terminate or avoid
unwanted interactions with others
o Automatic negative reinforcement
§ Termination of aversive stimuli (pain)

- Function: the conditions that account for a behavior
o Suggest what conditions need to be altered to change the behavior
- Topography: the form or shape of a behavior
- Altering antecedent variables
o FBA can identify some antecedents that occur with a problem behavior
o Motivating operations for problem behavior
o Discriminative stimuli that trigger problem behavior
- Altering consequences
o Extinction
o Modified schedule
- Teaching alternative behaviors
o Appropriate replacement behaviors
- Default technologies: using “time-out” without knowing why
- Prevention
o The accumulation of FBA data may further assist in prevention efforts by identifying the
conditions that pose risks for the future development of problem behaviors
- FBA methods
o Functional analysis (experimental)
§ Antecedents and consequences representing those in the person’s natural
environment are arranged so that their separate effects on problem behavior can
be observed and measured
§ Analog assessment
• Antecedents and consequences are similar to those occurring in the
natural routines
• Are represented in a systematic manner, but not in the natural
• They allow the experimenter to have more control over the different
variables involved
• Analog refers to the arrangement of variables rather than the setting in
which the assessment occurs
o It was found that experiments that run in the natural environment
and simulated settings yield the same results
§ Problem behavior is expected to be low in the play condition
§ Problem behavior in contingent attention condition suggest that problem behavior
is maintained by social positive reinforcement
§ Problem behavior in the contingent escape condition suggest that problem
behavior is maintained by negative reinforcement
§ Problem behavior in alone condition suggest the problem behavior maintained by
automatic reinforcement
§ If problem behavior occurs in all conditions (including play condition),
responding is considered undifferentiated
§ Advantages:
• Clear demonstration of the variables that related to problem behavior
§ Limitations:
• Risk to temporarily increase problem behavior
o Descriptive assessment
§ Encompasses direct observation of behavior
§ Unlike functional analyses, observations are made under naturally occurring
• A-B-C continuous recording

o The occurrence of a specified event is marked on the data sheet
(using partial intervals, momentary time sampling or frequency
o The targeted environmental events (antecedents and
consequences) are recorded whenever the occur, regardless of
whether problem behavior occurred with it
o Uses conditional probability (number of problem behavior
occurring with a certain antecedent)
§ The closer to 1, the more certain
§ Can be misleading
• A-B-C narrative recording
o Data are collected when the behavior of interest is occurring
o The recording is open-ended
o Because data are recorded only when the target behavior occurs,
narrative recording may be less time consuming than continuous
o Limitations: may identify functional relations that do not exist
because antecedent and consequent events are recorded only in
relation to the target behavior
• Scatterplots
o Procedure for recording the extent to which a target behavior
occurs more often at particular times than others
o Involves dividing the day into blocks of time (segments)
o Advantage: identifies time periods during which problem
behavior occurs
o Limitations: unclear whether temporal patterns are routinely
o Indirect assessment
§ Indirect functional assessment methods use many methods to obtain information
from persons who are familiar with the person exhibiting the problem behavior
§ They are indirect because they do not involve direct observation of the behavior,
but rather solicit information based on others’ recollections o the behavior
• Checklists
• Questionnaires
• Structured interviews
o Obtain clear and objective information about the problem
behavior, antecedents, and consequences
o Description of behaviors, when, where, and how often it occurs
o What are the antecedents and consequences
o What steps were taken before to treat problem behavior
• Rating scales
o Never, seldom, usually always
o Ask informants to estimate the extent to which behavior occurs
under specified conditions
o Ex: Motivation Assessment Scales (MAS) or Problem Behavior
Scale (PBS)
§ Advantages: good source of information
§ Limitations:
• Information not accurate because of recall
- Steps for conducting a functional behavior assessment

1. Gather information via indirect and descriptive assessment
a. Via indirect assessments, rating scales and such
2. Interpret information from indirect and descriptive assessment and formulate
hypotheses about the purpose of problem behavior
a. Results from indirect assessments should be analyzed for patterns of behavior,
and environmental events so that hypotheses regarding the function of the
problem behavior can be made
b. Hypothesis statements should be written in ABC format
3. Test hypotheses using functional analysis
a. Brief functional analysis
b. This technique involves implementing one session each of the control conditions
and each of the test conditions. If an increase in problem behavior is observed in
one of the test conditions, a contingency reversal is implemented to confirm the
hypothesis rather than conducting many repetitions of all the conditions
4. Develop intervention options based on the function of problem behavior
a. The intervention should be functionally equivalent to problem behavior
i. That is, if problem behavior serves an escape function, then the
interventions should provide escape for a more appropriate response or
altering task demands in a fashion that makes escape less reinforcing
b. Can alter antecedent (different time or setting), behavior (new alternative) or
consequences (continue placing demand…)
c. Assessment is an ongoing practice that continues when intervention is
i. Continue monitoring

Part 10: Verbal Behavior

Chapter 25: Verbal Behavior

- Verbal behavior is the ultimate socially significant behavior

o Plays a central role in most of the major aspect’s of a person’s life
- Formal properties of language (topography)
o Form and structure
o Structural linguistics
§ Phonemes, morphemes, lexicon, syntax, grammar, semantics
- Functional properties of language (function)
o Involves the cause of the response
- Theories of language
o Biological (Chomsky): language is innate to humans
o Cognitive (Bloom, Piaget): language is controlled by internal processing systems that
accept, classify, code, encode and store verbal information
o Environmental (Skinner): verbal behavior
§ Language is a learned behavior, and that is acquired, extended, and
maintained by the same types of environmental variables and principles that
control non-language behavior
- Verbal behavior: behavior that is reinforced through the mediation of another person’s behavior
o Defined by the function of the response, rather than its form
o Speaker: gain access to reinforcement
o Listener: reinforces the speaker

§ The listener not only plays a critical role as a mediator of reinforcement for the
speaker’s behavior, but also becomes a discriminative stimulus for the speaker’s
§ In functioning as a discriminative stimulus, the listener is an audience for verbal
• An audience is then a SD in the presence of which verbal behavior is
characteristically reinforced and in the presence of which, therefore is
characteristically narrow
§ The listener behaves simultaneously as the speaker
- Point to point correspondence: the beginning, middle and end of the verbal stimulus matches the
beginning, middle and end of the verbal response
- Formal similarity: the controlling antecedent stimulus and the response or response product
share the same sense mode, and physically resemble each other
- Verbal operant: unit of analysis of verbal behavior is the functional relation between a type of
responding and the same independent variables that control nonverbal behavior such as MOs, SD
and consequences
o Mand: a mand is a type of verbal operant in which a speaker asks for what he needs of
§ Under functional control of MOs
§ Early mands are usually crying
o Tact: type of verbal operant in which the speaker names things and actions that the
speaker has direct contact with through any of the sense modes
§ Verbal operant under the control of a non-verbal stimulus
o Echoic: speaker repeats the verbal behavior of another speaker
§ Controlled by a verbal discriminative stimulus that has point to point
correspondence and formal similarity with the response
§ Produced praise
§ Motor imitations have the same verbal properties as echoic behavior as
demonstrated by their role in the acquisition of sign language by children who are
§ Copying a text is a form of verbal behavior in which a written verbal stimulus has
point to point correspondence and verbal similarity with the verbal response
o Intraverbal: occurs when a verbal discriminative stimulus evokes a verbal response that
does not have formal similarity nor point to point correspondence
§ Conversation
§ Answer questions as well as think and talk about events that are not physically
o Textual: reading, without any implication that the reader understands what is being read
o Transcription: writing and spelling words that are spoken
§ Taking dictation

Mand MOs Specific

Tact Non-Verbal Generalized
stimulus conditioned
Echoic Verbal stimulus Point to point Formal similarity GCR
Intraverbal Verbal stimulus Without point to Without Formal GCR
point similarity

Textual Verbal Stimulus Point to point Without formal GCR
correspondence similarity
Transcription Verbal Stimulus Point to point Without formal GCR
correspondence similarity

- Automatic reinforcement may explain why a NT child engages in extensive babbling without the
apparent delivery of reinforcement
- 2 stage conditioning history in establishing vocal responses as automatic reinforcers
o First, a neutral verbal stimulus is paired with an existing form of reinforcement
o Second, the child’s vocal response as either random muscle movement of the vocal cords
or reflexive behavior produces an auditory response that on occasion may sound
somewhat like the mother’s words
- Tact extensions
o Generic extension: the novel stimulus shares all of the relevant or defining features of the
original stimulus
§ Stimulus generalization
o Metaphorical extension: the novel stimulus shares some but not all of the relevant
features associated with the original stimulus
o Metonymical extension: verbal responses to novel stimuli that share none of the relevant
features of the original stimulus configuration, but some irrelevant but related feature has
acquired stimulus control
o Solistic extension: when a stimulus property that is only indirectly related to the tact
relation evokes substandard verbal behavior such as malaprops
- Private events
o Public accompaniment
§ Occurs when an observable stimulus accompanies a private stimulus
o Collateral responses
§ Observable behavior that reliably occurs with private stimulus
o Common properties
§ A speaker may learn to tact temporal, geometrical, or descriptive properties of
objects and then generalize those tact relations to private stimuli
o Response reduction
§ The kinesthetic stimuli arising from the movement and positions can acquire
control over the verbal responses
- Multiple control
o Convergent multiple control: when the occurrence of a single verbal response is a
function of more than one variable
o Divergent multiple control: evoke a variety of intraverbal responses from different
people, and from the same person at different times
- Impure tact: MO affects the tact
- Autoclitic: verbal behavior about a speaker’s own behavior
o A speaker’s own verbal behavior functions as an SD or an MO for additional speaker
verbal behavior
Part 11: Special Applications

Chapter 26: Contingency Contracting, Token Economy and Group Contingencies

- Contingency contracting (behavioral contract): a document that specifies a contingent
relationship between the completion of a specified behavior, and access to or delivery of a
specified reward such as free time, activity or letter grade.
o Must sign the contract
o Components
§ TASK: who (the person), what (the behavior), when (the time it must be
completed) and how well (specifics of the task)
§ REWARD: who (will judge), what (is the reward), when (the reward can be
received) and how much (amount of reward)
§ TASK RECORD: recording task completion and delivery of reward on the
contract set the occasion for all parties to review the contract regularly.
• Also, if a certain number of task completion are required to get the
reward, can put a checkmark if the behavior has been done on X day
o Contingency contracts probably work because of rule-governed behavior. The contract
serves as a response prompt to perform the target behavior and enables the effective use
of a consequence. In addition, it is more likely a complex package intervention of related
positive and negative reinforcement contingencies and rule-governed behavior that
operate alone and together.
o Self-contract: a contingency contract that a person makes with herself, incorporating a
self-selected task and reward as well as personal monitoring of task completion and self-
deliver of reward.
o Contract development
1. Hold a meeting
a. The entire group is present (family or class), it is important the children
view contracting as behavior exchange process shared by all the members
of the group, not something as adults impose on them
2. Fill out list A
a. Fill in a form of self-identification of possible tasks for contingency
contract, including task that are already in place and completed
i. Things I do
ii. Things I could do better
3. Fill out list B
a. Fill in a form of potential tasks for others
i. Things he does
ii. Things he could do better
4. Fill out list C
a. Identifies the potential reward he would like to earn after completing the
contracted tasks
5. Write contract
a. It is the final step where the behavior is chosen
b. Everyone should write about: who, what, when, how well and the same
thing for the reward
c. Sign contract
o Guidelines for contracts
§ Fair: win-win situation
§ Clear: specifies each conditions
§ Honest: reward is delivered all the time the behavior is done
§ Build in several layers of rewards: bonus rewards
§ Add response cost contingency: fine (removal of rewards)
§ Post the contract in a visible space: everyone can track it

§ Renegotiate and change a contract when either party is consistently unhappy with
it: should remain a positive experience
§ Terminate a contingency contract: once independent and proficient performance
is achieved, the contract can be terminated
o Reading abilities are not necessary in a contingency contract. However, the individual
must be able to come under the control of visual or oral statements (rules) of the contract
- Token Economy: a behavior change system consisting of three major components
§ A specified list of target behavior
§ Tokens or points that participants receive for emitting the target behavior
• Function as generalized conditioned reinforcers for target behavior
• Token: medium of exchange
§ A menu of back-up reinforcers (preferred items, activities, privileges) that the
participants can exchange tokens for
• Back-up reinforcers: can be purchased with token
o Level System
§ It is a type of token economy in which participants move up (and sometimes
down) a hierarchy of levels contingent on meeting specific performance criteria
with respect to the target behavior
§ As participants move up from one level to the next, they have access to more
privileges and are expected to demonstrate more independence
§ Combined techniques called “package programs” are more effective than
individual contingencies introduced alone
§ Student behaviors and expectations must be stated explicitly
§ Differential reinforcement is necessary to reinforce closer and closer
o Designing a token economy
§ Selecting tokens that will serve as a medium of exchange
• Tangible symbol
§ Identify target behavior and rules
• Select measurable and observable behaviors
• Specify criteria for successful task completion
• Starting with a small number of behaviors, including some that are easy
for the individual to accomplish
• Being sure the individual possess the prerequisite skills for any targeted
§ Select a menu of backup reinforcers
• Activities, toys
§ Establish ratio of exchange
• Initially, the ratio between the number of tokens earned and the price of
back up reinforcers should be small to provide immediate success for
learners. Thereafter, the ratio of exchange should be adjusted to maintain
the responsiveness of the participants
o Keep initial ratios low
o As token-earning behaviors and income increases, increase the
cost of back-up reinforcers, devalue tokens and increase the
number of back-up items
o With increased earnings, increase the number of luxury backup
o Increase the prices of necessary backup items more than those of
luxury items

§ Write procedures to specify when and how tokens can be dispensed and
exchanged and what will happen if the requirements to earn a token are not met.
Will the system include a response-cost procedure?
• The more serious the inappropriate behavior is, the greater the token lost
should be
• Students should not be allowed to go into dept, which would likely
decrease the reinforcement value of the tokens. A learner should always
earn more tokens than she loses
§ Field-test the system before implementation
• Assess if the participant is deficient in the behavior
• Give reinforcement, but not tokens are delivered
o Students should be required to exchange at least some of their earned tokens periodically,
and students without the requisite number of tokens should not be permitted to participate
in an exchange. A final management issue relates o chronic rue breakers or students that
text the system every turn. Practitioners can minimize this situation by ensuring that the
token does not serve as a generalized conditioned reinforcer, conducting a reinforcer
assessment to determine that the backup reinforcers are preferred by the students, and
function as reinforcers, and applying response cost procedures for chronic rule breakers
§ Token presentation should always be paired with praise and social approval
§ The number of responses required to earn a token should be gradually increased
§ The duration the token economy is in effect should be decreased gradually
§ The number of activities and privileges that serve as backup items and are likely
to be found in the untrained setting should be increased gradually
§ The physical evidence of the token should be faded over time
o Considerations
§ Can be intrusive (time, energy, resources)
§ Self-perpetuating (learner can continue working for reinforcement that is not
normally available in the environment)
§ Cumbersome (require additional time and effort)
§ Federal mandates (does not violate the spirit or intent of federal mandates that call
for individualized programs)
- Group contingencies: a group contingency is one in which a common consequence (usually but
not necessarily, a reward intended to function as reinforcement) is contingent on the behavior of
one members of the group, the behavior of part of the group, or the behavior of everyone in the
o Independent group contingency: an arrangement in which a contingency is presented to
all members of a group, but reinforcement is delivered only to those group members who
meet the criterion outlines by the contingency
o Dependent group contingency
§ The reward for the whole group is dependent on the performance of an individual
student or small group
§ Hero procedure
o Interdependent group contingency
§ Contingency in which all members of a group must meet the criterion of the
contingency (individually or as a group) before any members earns the reward
§ Capitalizing on peer pressure and group cohesiveness
§ All or none arrangement
o Examples
§ Total group meets criterion
• When a can gets full of elastic loops, the group earned a reinforcer
§ Group averaging

• Extra minute of recess for each point of class improvement beyond the
previous weekly average
§ Good behavior game
• The group is divided in two. Prior to the game being played, the teams are
told that whichever team has the fewest marks against it at the end of the
game will earn the privilege (DRL schedule)
§ Good student game
• Independent seatwork periods when problematic behaviors surface
• The teachers chooses target behaviors to modify, determines the goals
and rewards, and determinates whether group or individual monitoring
will occur

Chapter 27: Self-Management

- Self-control: one response, the controlling response, affects variables in such a way as to change
the probability of the other, the controlled response. The controlling response may manipulate any
of the variables of which the controlled response is a function; hence, there are a good many
different forms of self-control
o Purposeful as the person labels her responses as designed to attain a specified result
- Self-management: behavior that a person emits to influence another behavior
o Also the personal application of behavior change tactics that produces a desired change in
o Related to a person acting
o Better to use the term self-management rather than self control
§ Self-control is inherently misleading that implies that the ultimate control of
behavior lies within the person
§ Attributing the cause of a given behavior to self-control can serve as an
explanatory fiction
• Seems to suggest controlling a separate self inside a self controlling
external behavior
§ Laypeople and behavioral researchers alike often use self-control to refer to a
person’s ability to delay gratification
- Self-management tactics can help people get out of behavioral traps. Reinforcement traps are two-
sided contingencies that work to promote bad habits while simultaneously working against the
selection of behavior that is beneficial in the long-term. Self-management provides one strategy
for avoiding the deleterious effects of reinforcement traps. A person can use self-management
tactics to arrange immediate consequences that will counteract the consequences currently
maintaining the self-destructive behavior.
- Self-monitoring: observing and recording one’s own behavior
o Has been used to increase on-task behavior, academic productivity and accuracy, job
success, independence, and decrease undesired behaviors such as habits and tics
- Self-selected reinforcement can be more useful than teacher-selected reinforcement
- Different types of control
o External control: someone chooses a behavior
o Shared control: two people discuss about choosing one behavior
o Internal control: the person choose a behavior, self monitoring procedures
- A person that doesn’t use self-control feels controlled, and someone that uses self-control feels
- Antecedent based self-management tactics
o Manipulating motivating operations

§ Behave in a way (controlling behavior) that creates a certain state of motivation
that, in turn, increases (or decreases as desired) the subsequent frequency of the
target behavior (controlled behavior)
§ Eat before going to do the groceries
o Providing response prompts
§ Extra cues
§ Engaging in self-instruction when putting on a generic response prompt may help
the person recall the task to be completed when seeing the cue later
§ Put post-its
o Performing initial steps
§ Behaving in a manner that ensures being confronted later with a discriminative
stimulus that reliably evokes the target behavior
§ Set up gym bag with clothes and required articles
o Removing all materials required for an undesired behavior
§ Alter the environment so that an undesired behavior is less likely or impossible to
§ Remove all chocolate from home not to eat it
o Limiting an undesired behavior to restricted stimulus conditions
§ A person may be able to decrease the frequency of an undesired behavior by
limiting the setting or stimulus conditions under which he engages the behavior
§ Only smoke cigarettes on a chair and then move that chair in another area
o Dedicating a specific environment for a desired behavior
§ A person may achieve some degree of stimulus control over a behavior that
requires diligence and concentration by reserving or creating an environment
where he will only engage in that behavior
§ For an insomniac, only sleep in the bed. If you don’t sleep, get up and do
something else and come back only when you want to sleep
- Self-monitoring (self-recording; self-observation): a procedure whereby a person observes his
behavior systematically and records the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a target behavior
o High in reactivity
o Often part of an intervention package that includes reinforcement for meeting either self
or teacher selected goals
o Some people suggest that self-monitoring works because it evokes self-evaluative
statements that serve either to reinforce desired behavior or to punish undesired behaviors
§ Guilt control
o Self monitoring is often part of a self-management package in which contingencies of
reinforcement, punishment, or both are included
- Self evaluation (self-assessment): compares her performance with a predetermined goal or
- Guidelines for self-monitoring
o Provide materials that make self-monitoring easy
§ Easy and efficient
§ Countoons: self-monitoring forms that illustrate a contingency with a series of
cartoon like frames
o Provide supplementary cues or prompts
§ Auditory, visual and tactile stimuli
• Visual cues, vibrating alarm,
§ Whatever form they take, prompts to self-monitor should be as unobtrusive as
possible to they don’t disrupt the participant or others in the setting
o Self-monitor the most important dimension of the target behavior
§ What dimension (frequency, duration?

§ Self monitoring improves both on-task behavior and productivity
o Self-monitor early and often
§ Start as soon as possible
o Reinforce accurate self-monitoring
§ When on the right track, give yourself reinforcement
- Self-administered consequences
o Do not use self-reinforcement or self-punishment
o Self-management analog of positive reinforcement
§ Doesn’t have to be self-delivered
§ You go get your teacher’s attention to get praise “look at my work”
o Self-management analog of negative reinforcement
§ Escape and avoidance
§ Each day I don’t do X, I have to do my friend’s chores
o Self-management analog of positive punishment
§ Heavy rubber band on the wrist, and every time there’s a bad thought he snaps the
o Self-management analog of negative punishment
§ Loss of reinforcers, small fines contingent on the occurrence of behavior
- Recommendations
o Select small, easy to deliver consequences
§ When its small, you can get it immediately and frequently
o Set a meaningful but easy to meet criterion for reinforcement
§ Not too low so that you don’t need to work, and not too high to create extinction
o Eliminate bootleg reinforcement
§ Bootleg reinforcement: access to the specified reward or to other equally
reinforcing items or events without meeting the response requirement of the
§ Don’t remove something that you don’t want to live without
o If necessary, put someone else in control of delivering consequences
§ Need to have some kind of reinforcement
o Keep it simple
§ Least complicated strategies
- Self-instruction: self-generated verbal responses, covert or overt, that function as response
prompts for a desired behavior
- Habit reversal: clients are thought to self-monitor their nervous habits and interrupt the behavior
chain as early as possible by engaging in behavior incompatible with the problem behavior
o Includes self awareness, response detection, response training, motivation training,
- Systematic desensitization: involves substituting one behavior, generally muscle relaxation, for
the unwanted behavior, the fear and anxiety
- Massed practice: forcing oneself to emit the undesired behavior over and over again

Part 12: Promoting Generalized Behavior Change

Chapter 28: Generalization and Maintenance of Behavior change

- The most socially significant behavior changes are those that last over time, are used by the
learner in all relevant settings and situations, and are accompanied by changes in other relevant
- A behavior change may be said to have generality if it proves durable over time, it is appears in a
wide variety of possible environment, or it is spreads to a wide variety of related behaviors

o Across time, settings and behaviors
- Response maintenance: the extent to which a learner continues to perform the target behavior
after a portion of all the intervention responsible for the behavior’s initial appearance in the
learner’s repertoire has been terminated
- Generalization: dual-purpose term, referring sometimes to types of behavior change and
sometimes to behavioral processes that can bring such changes about
- Setting/situation generalization: the extent to which a learner emits the target behavior in a
setting or stimulus situation that is different from the instructional setting
- Instructional setting: denotes the total environment where instruction occurs, including any
aspect of the environment, planned or unplanned, that may influence the learner’s acquisition and
generalization of the target behavior
- Generalization setting: any place or stimulus situation that differs in some meaningful way from
the instructional setting and in which performance of the target behavior is desired
- Response generalization: the extent to which a learner emits untrained responses that are
functionally equivalent to the trained target behavior
- Overgeneralization: a non technical but effectively descriptive term refers to an outcome in
which the behavior has come under the control of a stimulus class that is too broad
- Faulty stimulus control: the behavior comes under control of the restricted control of an
irrelevant and wrong stimulus
- Contingency adduction: process whereby a behavior that was initially selected and shaped under
one set of conditions is recruited by a different set of contingencies and takes on a new functions
of a person’s repertoire
- Generality across subjects: changes in the behavior of people not directly treated by an
intervention as a function of treatment contingencies applied to other people
o Also called vicarious reinforcement, spillover effect
- Selecting target behaviors that will meet naturally existing contingencies of reinforcement
o A behavior is functional only to the extent that it produces reinforcement for the learner
o Behaviors that are not followed by reinforcers on at least some occasions will not be
o Naturally existing contingencies: contingency of reinforcement (or punishment) that
operates independent of the behavior analyst’s or practitioner’s effort
o Contrived contingency: any contingency of reinforcement (or punishment) designed and
implemented by a behavior analyst to achieve the acquisition, maintenance and
- Specifying all desired variations of the behavior and the settings/situations where it should and
should not occur
- Strategies and tactics for promoting generalized behavior change
o Teach the full range of relevant stimulus conditions and response requirement
o Make the instructional setting similar to the generalization setting
o Maximize the target behavior’s contact with reinforcement in the generalization setting
o Mediate generalization
o Train to generalize
- Teaching sufficient examples: consists of teaching the student to respond to a subset of the
possible stimulus and response examples and then assessing the student’s performance on
untrained examples
o Teaching the learner to respond correctly to more than one example of antecedent
stimulus conditions and probing for generalization to untaught stimulus examples
- Generalization probes: show that the student responds correctly to untaught examples, then
instruction can be halted on this class of problems

- Multiple exemplars training: instruction that provides practice with a variety of response
topographies helps to ensure the acquisition of desired responses forms and also promotes
response generalization in the form of untrained topographies
o Stimulus and response variations
- General case analysis: systematic method for selecting teaching examples that represent the full
range of stimulus variations and response requirements in the generalization setting
- Negative teaching examples
o Sometimes it is not appropriate to exhibit a certain behavior
o Must be able to determinate when to do it and when not to do it
o Leaners must be taught to discriminate the stimulus conditions that signal when
responding is appropriate from stimulus conditions that signal responding is inappropriate
o Practitioners should not assume the natural environment will readily reveal sufficient
negative examples
- Programming common stimuli: including typical features of the generalization setting into the
instructional setting (practices, rehearsals)
- Teaching loosely: randomly varying noncritical aspects of the instructional setting within and
across teaching sessions, has two advantages or rationales for promoting generalization
- Indiscriminable contingency: a contingency in which the learner cannot discriminate whether
the next response will produce reinforcement
o Use intermittent schedules of reinforcement (VR the best)
o Delay rewards
- Behavior trap: some contingencies of reinforcement are especially powerful producing
substantial and long lasting behavior changes
o Easy to get in but hard to get out
- Contrived mediating stimulus: one tactic for mediating generalization is to bring the target
behavior under the control of a stimulus in the instructional setting that will function in the
generalization setting to reliably prompt or aid the learner’s performance of the target behavior
o Must be made functional for the target behavior during instruction and transported easily
to the generalization setting
- Lag reinforcement schedule: reinforcement only for a novel/different response from the previous
Part 13: Ethics

Chapter 29: Ethical Considerations for ABA

- Ethics refers to the behaviors, practices and decisions that address three basic and fundamental
o What is the right thing to do
§ Personal histories
• To decide to take a case or not
• Presumably, the analyst’s training and experiences will balance negative
biases and predispositions that may carry over his or her personal or
cultural background
• The practitioner can seek help from supervisors or colleagues, review the
research literature, consult case studies, to determine past courses of
successful actions or excuse herself from the case
§ The context of practice
• People work in homes, schools, community settings and more

• Ethical and legal concerns
• Something may be legal but unethical
§ Ethical codes of behavior
• All professional organizations have generated or adopted ethical codes of
behavior. There codes provide guidelines for association members to
consider when deciding a course of action or conducting their
professional duties.
o What is worth doing
§ Social validity
• Acceptable goals for the planned behavior change intervention
• Best treatment practices
§ Cost-benefit ratio
• A balance among planning, implementing, and evaluating a treatment or
intervention (the cost side) and projecting future potential gain by the
§ Existing exigencies
• Some behaviors are too severe and must be addressed quickly
o What does it mean to be a good behavior analyst
§ Following professional code of conduct
§ Golden rule: do not do to others as you would have them do unto you
§ Self regulating: the ethical practitioner seeks ways to calibrate decisions over time
to ensure that values, contingencies, and rights and responsibilities are integrated
and an informed combination of there is considered.
- Why is ethics important
o Produce meaningful behavior change of social significance for the persons enthused by
their care
o Reduce or eliminate harm (poor treatments, self-injury)
o Conform to the ethical standards of learned societies and professional organizations
- Professional standards: written guidelines or rules of practice that provide direction for
conducting the practices with an organization
o Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct
o The right to effective behavioral treatment
o The right to effective education
o Guidelines for responsible conduct for behavior analysts
o The BCBA and BCaBA behavior analyst task list
- Accreditation: regarding programs in schools
o The Association for BA accredits universities
- Certificate: regarding individual’s degrees and courses completed
o Universities certify individuals
- Credentials: regarding the BACB that gives credentials to individuals
- Informed consent: the potential recipient of services or participant in a research study gives his
or her explicit permission before any assessment or treatment is provided
o The person must demonstrate the capacity to decide
§ Adequate mental process of faculty by which he or she acquires knowledge
§ The ability to select and express his or her choices
§ The ability to engage in a rational process of decision making
§ When the person is deemed incapacitated, informed consent may be obtained
either through a surrogate or a guardian
• Surrogate consent: a legal process by which another individual (the
surrogate) is authorized to make decisions for a person deemed

incompetent based on the knowledge of that the incapacitated person
would have wanted
o Often family members
• Guardian consent: can be obtained through a guardian, a person whom a
court appoints as a legal custodian of an individual. Guardianship is a
complex legal issue that varies from state to state.
o May be sought when treatment is deemed necessary but a
surrogate is inappropriate because the client without capacity
refuses treatment
o May be limited in any way that the court deems appropriate
o The person’s decision must be voluntary
§ Consent is considered voluntary when it is given in the absence of coercion,
duress, or any under influence and when it is issued with the understanding that it
can be withdrawn at any time
o The person must have adequate knowledge of all salient aspects of the treatment
§ All aspects of planned treatment
§ All potential risks and benefits of the planned procedure
§ All potential alternative treatments
§ The right to refuse continued treatment at any time
- Treatment without consent
o List threatening emergency
o Imminent risk of serious harm
- Confidentiality: any information regarding an individual receiving or having received services
may not be discussed with, or otherwise made available to any third party, unless that individual
has provided explicit authorization for release of that information
o Limits to confidentiality: does not extend to abusive situations and when knowledge of
impending harm to the individual or others is known
- Conflict of interest: occurs when a principal party, alone or in connection with family, friends, or
associated, has a vested interest in the outcome of the interactions