Content Area 5: Experimental Evaluation of Interventions

Created by erickdubuque Teacher

53 terms · "Applied Behavior Analysis, 2nd Edition" (a.k.a. "The White Book") by John O. Cooper, Ed.D., Timothy E. Heron, Ed.D., and William L. Heward, Ed.D. is THE comprehensive resource for the behavior scientist practitioner. In this text, the reader will find an in depth account of the principles and procedures used by the behavior analytic practioner. Study Guides for this text are based on the content taken from the extensive Glossary in the text. These Study Guides are broken dow…

A-B design

A two-phase experimental design consisting of a pre-treatment baseline condition (A) followed by a treatment condition (B).

A-B-A design

A three-phase experimental design consisting of an initial baseline phase (A) until steady state responding (or countertherapeutic trend) is obtained; an intervention phase in which the treatment condition (B) is implemented until the behavior has changed and steady state responding is obtained, and a return to baseline conditions (A) by withdrawing the independent variable to see whether responding "reverses" to levels observed in the initial baseline phase.

A-B-A-B design

An experimental design consisting of (1) an initial baseline phase (A) until steady state responding (or countertherapeutic trend) is obtained, (2) an initial intervention phase in which the treatment variable (B) is implemented until the behavior has changed and steady state responding is obtained. (3) a return to baseline conditions (A) by withdrawing the independent variable to see whether responding "reverses" to levels observed in the initial baseline phase, and (4) a second intervention phase (B) to see whether initial treatment effects are replicated.

alternating treatments design

An experimental design in which two or more conditions (one of which may be a no-treatment control condition) are presented in rapidly alternating succession (e.g. on alternating sessions or days) independent of the level of responding ; differences in responding between or among conditions are attributed to the effects of the conditions (also called concurrent schedule design, multielement design, multiple schedule design).

ascending baseline

A data path that shows an increasing trend in the response measure over time.

B-A-B design

A three-phase experimental design that begins with the treatment conditions. After steady state responding has been obtained during the initial treatment phase (B), the treatment variable is withdrawn (A) to see whether responding changes in the absence of the independent variable. The treatment variable is then reintroduced (B) in an attempt to recapture the level of responding obtained during the first treatment phase.

baseline

A condition of an experiment in which the independent variable is not present; data obtained during baseline are the basis for determining the effects of the independent variable; a control condition that does not necessarily mean the absence of instruction or treatment, only the absence of a specific independent variable of experimental interest.

baseline logic

A term sometimes used to refer to the experimental reasoning inherent in single-subject experimental designs; entails three elements: prediction, verification, and replication.

changing criterion design

An experimental design in which an initial baseline phase is followed by a series of treatment phases consisting of successive and gradually changing criteria for reinforcement or punishment. Experimental control is evidenced by the extent the level of responding changes to conform to each new criterion.

component analysis

Any experiment designed to identify the active elements of a treatment condition, the relative contributions of different variables in a treatment package, and/or the necessary and sufficient components of an intervention. Component analyses take many forms, but the basic strategy is to compare levels of responding across successive phases in which the intervention is implemented with one or more components left out.

delayed multiple baseline design

A variation of the multiple baseline design in which an initial baseline, and perhaps intervention, are begun for one behavior (or setting, or subject), and subsequent baselines for additional behaviors are begun in a staggered or delayed fashion.

descending baseline

A data path that shows a decreasing trend in the response measure over time.

differential reinforcement of alternative behavior reversal technique

An experimental technique that demonstrates the effects of reinforcement; it uses differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior (DRA) as a control condition instead of a no-reinforcement (baseline) condition, the stimulus change used as reinforcement in the reinforcement condition is presented contingent on occurrences of a specified behavior that is an alternative to the target behavior. A higher level of responding during the reinforcement condition than during the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior condition demonstrates that the changes in behavior are the result of contingent reinforcement, not simply the presentation of or contact with the stimulus event.

differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior reversal technique

An experimental technique that demonstrates the effects of reinforcement; it uses differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior (DRI) as a control condition instead of a no-reinforcement (baseline) condition, the stimulus change used as reinforcement in the reinforcement condition is presented contingent on occurrences of a specified behavior that is incompatible with the target behavior. A higher level of responding during the reinforcement condition than during the differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior condition demonstrates that the changes in behavior are the result of contingent reinforcement, not simply the presentation of or contact with the stimulus event.

differential reinforcement of other behavior reversal technique

An experimental technique for demonstrating the effects of reinforcement by using differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) as a control condition instead of a no-reinforcement (baseline) condition. During the differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) condition, the stimulus change used as reinforcement in the reinforcement condition is presented contingent on the absence of the target behavior for a specified time period. A higher level of responding during the reinforcement condition than during the differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) condition demonstrates that the changes in behavior are a result of contingent reinforcement, not simply the presentation of or contact with the stimulus event.

direct replication

An experiment in which the researcher attempts to duplicate exactly the conditions of an earlier experiment.

double-blind control

A procedure that prevents the subject and the observer(s) from detecting the presence or absence of the treatment variable; used to eliminate confounding of results by subject expectations, parent and teacher expectations, differential treatment by others, and observer bias.

experimental control

Two meanings: (a) the outcome of an experiment that demonstrates convincingly a functional relation, meaning that experimental control is achieved when a predictable change in behavior (the dependent variable) can be reliably produced by manipulating a specific aspect of the environment (the independent variable); and (b) the extent to which a researcher maintains precise control of the independent variable by presenting it, withdrawing it, and/or varying its value, and also by eliminating or holding constant all confounding and extraneous variables.

experimental design

The particular type and sequence of conditions in a study so that meaningful and comparisons of the effects of the presence and absence (or different values) of the independent variable can be made.

experimental question

A statement of what the researcher seeks to learn by conducting the experiment; may be presented in question form and is most often found in a published account as a statement of the experiment's purpose. All aspects of an experimenter's design should follow from the experimental question (also called the research question).

external validity

The degree to which a study's findings have generality to other subjects, settings, and/or behaviors.

extraneous variable

Any aspect of the experimental setting (i.e. lighting, temperature) that must be held constant to prevent unplanned environmental variation.

general case study

A systematic process for identifying and selecting teaching examples that represent the full range of stimulus variations and response requirements in the generalization setting(s).

internal validity

The extent to which an experiment shows convincingly that changes in behavior are a function of the independent variable and not the result of uncontrolled or unknown variables.

irreversibility

A situation that occurs when the level of responding observed in a previous phase cannot be reproduced even though the experimental conditions are the same as they were during the earlier phase.

multiple baseline across behaviors design

A multiple baseline design in which the treatment variable is applied to two or more different behaviors of the same subject in the same setting.

multiple baseline across subjects design

A multiple baseline design in which the treatment variable is applied to the same behavior of two or more subjects (or groups) in the same setting.

multiple baseline design

An experimental design that begins with the concurrent measurement of two or more behaviors in a baseline condition, followed by the application of the treatment variable to one of the behaviors while baseline conditions remain in effect for the other behavior(s). After maximum change has been noted in the first behavior, the treatment variable is applied in sequential fashion to each of the other behaviors in the design. Experimental control is demonstrated if each behavior shows similar changes when, and only when, the treatment variable is introduced.

multiple probe design

A variation of the multiple baseline design that features intermittent measures, or probes, during baseline. It is used to evaluate the effects of instruction on skill sequences in which it is unlikely that the subject can improve performance on later steps in the sequence before learning prior steps.

multiple treatment interference

The effects of one treatment on a subject's behavior being confounding by the influence of another treatment administered in the same study.

multiple treatment reversal design

Any experimental design that uses the experimental methods and logic of the reversal tactic to compare the effects of two or more experimental conditions to baseline and/or to one another (e.g. A-B-A-B-C-B-C, A-B-A-C-A-D-A-C-A-D, A-B-A-B-B+C-B-B+C).

noncontingent reinforcement reversal technique

An experimental control technique that demonstrates the effects of reinforcement by using noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) as a control condition instead of a no-reinforcement (baseline) condition. During the noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) condition, the stimulus change used as reinforcement in the reinforcement condition is presented on a fixed or variable time schedule independent of the subject's behavior. A higher level of responding during the reinforcement condition than during the NCR condition demonstrates that the changes in behavior are the result of contingent reinforcement, not simply the presentation of or contact with the stimulus event.

parametric analysis

An experiment designed to discover the differential effects of a range of values of an independent variable.

placebo control

A procedure that prevents a subject from detecting the presence or absence of the treatment variable. To the subject the placebo condition appears the same as the treatment condition (e.g. a placebo pill contains an inert substance but looks, feels, and tastes exactly like a pill that contains the treatment drug).

practice effects

Improvements in performance resulting from opportunities to perform a behavior repeatedly so that baseline measures can be obtained.

prediction

A statement of the anticipated outcome of a presently unknown or future measurement ; one of three components of the experimental reasoning, or baseline logic used in single-subject research designs.

procedural fidelity

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 treatment. Also called treatment integrity.

replication

(a) Repeating conditions within an experiment to determine the reliability of effects and increase internal validity. (b) Repeating whole experiments to determine the generality of findings of previous experiments to other subjects, settings, and/or behaviors.

reversal design

Any experimental design in which the researcher attempts to verify the effect of the independent variable by "reversing" responding to a level obtained in a previous condition; encompasses experimental designs in which the independent variable is withdrawn (A-B-A) or reversed in its focus (e.g. DRI/DRA).

sequence effects

The effects on a subject's behavior in a given condition that are the result of the subject's experience with a prior condition.

single-subject designs

A wide variety of research designs that use a form of experimental reasoning called baseline logic to demonstrate the effects of the independent variable on the behavior of individual subjects. Also called single-case, within-subject, and intra-subject designs.

stable baseline

Data that show no evidence of an upward or downward trend; all of the measures fall within a relatively small range of values.

steady state responding

A pattern of responding that exhibits relatively little variation in its measured dimensional quantities over a period of time.

steady state strategy

Repeatedly exposing a subject to a given condition while trying to eliminate or control extraneous influences on the behavior and obtaining a stable pattern of responding before introducing the next condition.

systematic replication

An experiment in which the researcher purposefully varies one or more aspects of an earlier experiment. A systematic replication that reproduces the results of previous research not only demonstrates the reliability of the earlier findings but also adds to the external validity of the earlier findings by showing that the same effect can be obtained under different conditions.

treatment drift

An undesirable situation in which the independent variable of an experiment is applied differently during later stages than it was at the outset of the study.

treatment integrity

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 treatment. Also called procedural fidelity.

trend

The overall direction taken by a data path. It is described in terms of direction (increasing, decreasing, or zero trend), degree (gradual or steep), and the extent of variability of data points around the trend. Trend is used in predicting future measures of the behavior under unchanging conditions.

Type I error

An error that occurs when a researcher concludes that the independent variable had an effect on the dependent variable, when no such relation exists; a false positive.

Type II error

An error that occurs when a researcher concludes that the independent variable had no effect on the dependent variable, when in truth it did; a false negative.

variable baseline

Data points that do not consistently fall within a narrow range of values and do not suggest any clear trend.

verification

One of three components of the experimental reasoning, or baseline logic, used in single-subject research designs; accomplished by demonstrating that the prior level of baseline responding would have remained unchanged had the independent variable not been introduced. Verifying the accuracy of the original prediction reduces the probability that some uncontrolled (confounding) variable was responsible for the observed change in behavior.

withdrawal design

A term used by some authors as a synonym for A-B-A-B design; also used to describe experiments in which an effective treatment is sequentially or partially withdrawn to promote the maintenance of behavior changes.

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