The study of fundamental relationships between behavior and context
What is adaptive behavior "controlled" by?
What does the environment include?
Objects, people, events, etc
What are the two characteristics of behavior?
Overt: physically visible
Covert: cannot be seen directly
What are the three branches of behavior analysis?
Behavior Modification (Applied Behavior Analysis)
What is the goal of the experimental branch of behavior analysis?
To understand how it is that behavior relates to environment
What is the goal of the theoretical/conceptual branch of behavior analysis?
To put things together to come up with a theory of how behavior works
What is the goal of the behavior modification (applied behavior analysis) branch of behavior analysis?
To apply fundamental principles to practical issues
To discover the environmental causes in individual cases
To develop or change behavior by changing environment
To contribute to understanding
What are the three functional relationships between behavior and environment?
More Complex Adaptions
What are examples of primitive adaptions?
They are genetically determined and reflexive
Kinesis: movement in response to environmental stimulation (rolypolies become more active in dry areas and less active in humid areas)
Taxis: directed movement in response to environmental stimulation (trout automatically swim upstream for food)
What are examples of coordinated adaptations?
Fixed Action Pattern (FAP): a sequence of unlearned, innate behavior. It's stereotyped; once initiated, it's usually carried to completion; it's triggered by an external sensing stimulus ("the sign-stimulus")
ex:male stickleback fish have a red underside & attack when they see anything with a red underside
What are examples of more complex adaptations?
Classical Conditioning (Respondent/Pavlovian)
What are the steps of behavioral assessment?
Step 1: Define the target behavior
Step 2: Choose Observers
Step 3: Choose Settings
Step 4: Choose Methods
Step 5: Avoid Problems
What do you do when you define the target behavior?
Use operational definitions; They are:
objective & unambiguous
Who are the possible observers in a behavioral assessment?
Others (parents, teachers, clinicians, etc)
What are the possible settings in a behavioral assessment?
Natural or contrived
At times and places the behavior is likely to occur naturally
What are the possible methods in a behavioral assessment?
How is direct observation conducted?
What does interval recording consist of?
Event Recording: mark whenever it occurs; better for countable behavior
Duration Recording: mark only if it occurred throughout the interval; better for uncountable behavior (ex. crying)
Terminal Event Recording: mark only if it occurs at the end of the interval
Time Sampling: observation of subject in every other interval
How is indirect observation conducted?
Gather information about the behavior
Trait ratings - ask the target person or observer to give a number to rate a trait
How are combinations of direct and indirect observations conducted?
Frequency counts within intervals
Duration recording within time-sampled intervals
Trait ratings across different observation periods
What problems should be avoided in a behavioral assessment?
Problems with indirect observation
Problems with direct observation
What are possible problems with indirect observation?
Observer's basis for comparison
What are possible problems with direct observation?
Developing a coding instrument
Checking reliability (agreement that the behavior occurred - intraobserver and interobserver)
Ethics (privacy, confidentiality, and use of information)
What is the difference between privacy and confidentiality?
Privacy: people should be able to have private behaviors that aren't usually publicly observed
Confidentiality: the observed are assured that the recorded stuff will not be made public
When it is appropriate to create research designs?
When things happen in a study over an interval
What is a variable?
A characteristic that differs across people, settings, and times
They can be: manipulated (assigned), measured, pre-existing (subject variables), controlled or held constant, "confounded" (an alternative explanation of results; ways that the group differs)
What is the goal of research?
To discover the relationships between variables
In behavioral interventions: does the type of treatment affect the frequency, duration, or latency of the behavior?
What are the categories of research designs?
What variables are involved in experimental research designs?
Independent variables (IV)
Dependent variables (DV)
What variables are involved in non-experimental research designs?
What are possible problems with experimental controls?
Maturation/Change over time
Demand Characteristics (Subject Reactivity)
Expectancy Effects (Experimenter Bias)
What do group comparison research designs consist of?
Characteristics: Each group is assigned to a different condition; DV is measured during or after treatment
Methods of Experimental Control: Randomly assign subjects to groups or equalize groups
Example: Juvenile delinquents are randomly assigned to one of three treatments; DV: Recidivism
What do small-n and single-subject research consist of?
Reversal/Withdrawal Designs (ABA, ABAB)
Multiple Baseline Designs
What do reversal designs consist of?
A: Baseline measurement of DV
B: Treatment phase
A: Return to baseline conditions
Methods: Return to baseline controls for maturation effects; subject is own control
ex: Child is observed for "crying behavior"; treatment of "no attention"; return to baseline conditions of "attention" for crying
What do multiple baseline designs consist of?
Staggered onset of treatment across: subjects, settings, behaviors
Methods: Compare treated subject with not-yet treated subject; Compare subject's treated behavior with not-yet treated behavior
Ex: Treatment for "hitting behavior" introduced at a later time than treatment for "crying behavior"
What do combinations of reversal and multiple baseline designs consist of?
Multiple methods control for many extraneous variables
Ex: Return to baseline for each subject; treatment
What are the basic graph components?
Axis titles and labels
Line and bar graphs
Who is associated with instrumental conditioning?
What are the components of instrumental conditioning?
Theory: Behavior that is rewarded will be repeated (Law of Effect)
Method: Cats learn to escape a puzzle box; measure of latency
Conclusion: behavior is strengthened by favorable consequences
Who is associated with operant conditioning?
What are the components of operant conditioning?
Theory: Behavior depends on both antecedents and consequences (ABC's)
Method: "Skinner boxes" with pigeons/rats/humans; cumulative frequency graphs
Conclusion: Behavior is strengthened in situations in which the behavior has previously been rewarded & behavior is hindered in situations in which the behavior has previously been punished
What are Skinner's ABC's of behavior?
Antecedent: stimuli preceding a specific behavior
Behavior: the individual's response
Consequence: stimuli that follow and are contingent on the behavior
Outcome: as a result of the consequence, the behavior is either more likely or less likely to occur again
How do you know if a consequence is contingent?
A specific environmental consequence occurs only after a specific behavior
The consequence doesn't occur after the absence of the behavior or after other behaviors
Contingent behaviors are categorized into different outcomes
What is reinforcement?
A specific behavior is followed by a specific contingent consequence, and the future outcome is increased in likelihood of behavior
What is punishment?
A specific behavior is followed by a specific contingent consequence, and the future outcome is decreased in likelihood of behavior
Who is associated with observational learning?
What are the components of observational learning?
Theory: social/cognitive learning; behavior, thoughts, emotions can be learned vicariously; reciprocal determinism
Method: humans in laboratory settings; "Bobo dolls" and aggression
Conclusions: Modeled behavior may be imitated by observers; "personality" results from an ongoing, reciprocal interaction of environment, behavior, and cognition
What factors influence reinforcement and punishment?