Applied Behavioral Analysis Essay Sample

Behavior alteration is field within psychological science that specializes in placing relationships between a specific behaviour and environmental events every bit good as making and establishing processs that help persons to alter a peculiar behaviour. When behavior analysts conduct research they use research designs that help them to place whether a alteration in the targeted behaviour or dependant variable was consequence of execution of a specific intervention program or independent variable ( Miltenberger. 2008 ) . This paper addresses the usage of research design methods in a instance survey affecting Martin. an ABA psychologist. who has implemented a intervention program for his patient. a 14 twelvemonth old miss named Sara that exhibits self-injurious behaviours. Case Study – Martin

1. What type of research design did Martin employ when working with Sara?
Martin used a multiple baseline across behaviours design when working with Sara. The multiple baseline design is one of the most often used research designs when measuring intervention in behavior alteration. This design allows analysts to analyze the effects of intervention across multiple scenes. multiple behaviours. or multiple persons without holding to halt the intervention. return back to baseline. and re-establish intervention in order to verify that the alteration in behaviour was a consequence of intervention ( Cooper. Heron. & A ; Heward. 2007 ) . In a multiple baseline across behaviours design two or more behaviours are measured for a individual patient. When a steady rate of responding is established for the behaviours. intervention is initiated to one behaviour while go forthing the other behaviours at baseline. When a steady rate of behavior alteration is shown for the first behaviour. intervention is so initiated on the 2nd behaviour. This continues until intervention is applied to all behaviours ( Cooper. Heron. & A ; Heward. 2007 ) . 2. Harmonizing to the information did the intercession that Martin selected work in modifying Sara’s self-injurious behaviour?

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When looking at the information presented. it does look that intercession worked. All three behaviours showed a lessening in frequence from baseline to intervention with hair drawing and caput slaming demoing a greater lessening in frequence. Although it looks as though intervention was effectual for Sara other confusing variables may besides hold been involved therefore it does non show a strong experimental control In each instance. merely one case of baseline was recorded and one case of intervention was recorded. 3. Martin had considered utilizing an ABAB reversal design. What are some ethical deductions of choosing a reversal design when working with the type of behavior Sara was exhibiting?

An ABAB reversal design is similar to the AB design in that it records behaviour during initial baseline ( A ) and during intervention ( B ) but it so removes the intervention and reverts back to baseline. Behavior is once more recorded at the 2nd baseline ( A ) . Once a steady rate of reacting has once more been established the independent variable ( intervention B ) is so re-introduced. Reintroducing a 2nd intervention stage allows the analyst to retroflex the alteration in behavior shown in the first intervention stage and besides helps to turn out that no confusing variable caused the alteration in behaviour ( Miltenberger. 2008 ) .

The ethical deductions that may hold been involved if Martin had used an ABAB design with Sara would be that during the first intervention stage the frequence of Sara’s self-injurious behaviour decreased in all three behaviours. A dramatic lessening was shown in two out of three behaviours ( hair drawing and heading banging ) . Removing the intervention and returning back to baseline conditions would increase Sara’s self deleterious behaviours doing her to once more acquire hurt. To extinguish as much injury as possible and depending on the nature of the ego deleterious behavior a much shorter reversal period could be used such as a twenty-four hours or a twosome of hours. For some self deleterious behavior taking intervention even for a twosome of hours may do excessively much injury to the patient so other research designs should be considered ( Cooper. Heron. & A ; Heward. 2007 ) .

Another facet to see in this type of design would be the clip lost in learning Sara new behaviours during the reversal stage and the possibility that behavior alterations shown in the first intervention stage may non happen once more when intervention is reintroduced the 2nd clip ( Cooper. Heron. & A ; Heward. 2007 ) . 4. Martin’s supervisor requested a graph of the information he collected when working with Sara. Why are graphs utile in measuring behavior alteration? Using Sara’s instance. what variable would be plotted on the x-axis and the y-axis?

A graph is an unsophisticated. ocular assistance that allows different persons to see how things have changed over a period of clip. For a behavior analyst. the graph allows them to see how behaviour has changed over clip. Ploting informations on a graph after observation allows for an immediate visual of behavior alteration as it occurs and allows the analyst to compare behavioural alterations prior to intervention. during intervention. and after intervention ( Miltenberger. 2008 ) . Another large advantage of a graph is that it allows single reading of informations alternatively of trusting on the decisions of the analyst. Each individual can organize their ain determination every bit far as whether they feel intervention has worked ( Cooper. Heron. & A ; Heward. 2007 ) .

On a graph. a unit of clip ( hours. yearss. hebdomads ) is typically represented on the x-axis. It is normally marked in equal intervals and is most frequently a longer line than the y-axis. The y-axis typically represents some degree of behaviour or scope of values of the dependant variable ( frequence of seize with teething. hours of analyzing. figure of Calories consumed ) . Each point upward on the perpendicular line represents an addition in value of the behaviour. For Sarah. each behaviour would be represented on its ain separate graph. The variable listed on the x-axis would be a unit of clip such as yearss. Sessionss. hours. and the y-axis would stand for the figure of times in which the ego deleterious behaviour occurred such as 5. 10. 15. and 20. 5. Discourse what a functional relationship is and how an ABA professional would utilize his/her apprehension of functional relationships when planing an intercession.

A functional relationship occurs when a alteration in the dependant variable ( targeted behaviour ) can be made by pull stringsing the independent variable ( using intervention ) and that the alteration in the dependant variable ( targeted behaviour ) was non caused by something other than the intervention. It must besides demo that behavior alterations each clip the experiment is repeated ( Miltenberger. 2008 ) .

As an ABA professional the primary concern would be to happen out the ground behind the behaviour in inquiry. To make this. a functional appraisal should be performed. A functional appraisal is used to garner information in order to understand why the behaviour occurs ( flight. attending. turning away. or touchable ) . Sometimes the map of the behaviour is non inappropriate it is the behavior itself that is inappropriate ( Cooper. Heron. & A ; Heward. 2007 ) . If a kid is seeking attending by throwing a pique fit. a intervention program can be developed to learn the kid a more appropriate manner to have attending and another intervention program can be developed to diminish the inappropriate behaviour. Without carry oning a functional appraisal. alternatively of developing a intervention program for the kid that throws a temper fit to derive attending. a program may be developed for turning away or flight. The intervention may demo a lessening in frequence of the targeted behaviour during the first intervention stage but will non demo a alteration in behaviour in the 2nd intervention stage if a reversal design is used. It may besides non demo a consistent alteration in behaviour in different scenes or with different people.


Cooper. J. . Heron. T. . & A ; Heward. W. ( 2007 ) . Applied Behavior Analysis ( 2nd ed. ) . Upper Saddle River. New jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Miltenberger. R. ( 2008 ) . Behavior Alteration: Principles ad Procedures ( 4th ed. ) . Belmont. Calcium: Wadsworth.


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