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Behavior modification- ch 23
Terms in this set (16)
A functional assessment of the causes of a problem behavior involves asking what two questions?
(a) What are the antecedents of the behavior, and
(b) what are the immediate consequences of the behavior?
What does the term functional assessment refer to?
Functional assessment refers to a variety of approaches for attempting to identify antecedents and consequences for problem behaviors.
Define the term functional analysis.
Functional analysis refers to the systematic manipulation of environmental events to experimentally test their role as antecedents or as consequences in controlling and maintaining specific problem behaviors.
Briefly describe the four conditions in the multielement design that Iwata et al. (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982, 1994) used in the functional analysis they carried out on self-injurious behavior.
(a) In an attention condition, a child and an adult were in a room with toys available and the adult pretending to do paperwork, and the adult only interacted with the child following instances of self-injurious behavior.
(b) In a demand condition, the adult and child were in a room together and the adult prompted the child to perform a task that was difficult for the child. If the child engaged in self-injurious behavior, the adult stopped making demands on the child for 30 seconds.
(c) In an alone condition, the child was alone in a room with a one-way mirror and with toys available.
(d) In a control condition, the child and an adult were in a room together, toys were available, and the adult reinforced the child's appropriate play behavior.
Briefly discuss, with examples, what the results of Iwata et al.'s research suggest for the treatment of severe self-injurious behavior.
Iwata et al.'s results suggest that even though the form of self-injurious behavior may be very similar from one individual to another, the treatment should be based on the function of the behavior, not on the form. For example, if a functional analysis indicates that a child's problem behavior is maintained by adult attention, then the recommended treatment would be withholding attention following instances of the behavior and providing attention for desirable behavior. On the other hand, if a functional analysis indicated that a problem behavior was maintained by escape from demands, then the recommended treatment would include more or longer non-demand periods when working with that individual and perhaps persisting with demands if a problem behavior occurred to a demand.
Describe three limitations of functional analyses.
(a) If the problem behaviors occur at low frequencies, experimental functional analysis requires a great deal of time before sufficient data can be obtained to draw valid conclusions;
(b) it cannot be applied to extremely dangerous behaviors, such as suicide threats;
(c) because they require a number of observational sessions, the expense and manpower requirements may be prohibitive.
What are three indicators that a problem behavior is probably maintained by the social attention that follows it?
(a) Attention reliably follows the behavior;
(b) the individual looks at or approaches a caregiver just before engaging in the behavior; and
(c) the individual smiles just before engaging in the behavior.
What were the results of the functional analysis of the causes of excessive delusional statements made by Mr. Jones, and what was the treatment of the delusional statements based on the results of the functional analysis?
The results with Mr. Jones showed that far more delusional statements occurred in the attention condition than in the alone, demand, or control conditions. Therefore the treatment involved reinforcing Mr. Jones with attention when he said reasonable things, and when he made a delusional statement he was ignored for approximately 10 seconds.
What is another name for "sensory reinforcement," and what assumption is the other name based on?
Another name for sensory reinforcement is automatic reinforcement, because it is assumed that the behavior itself is automatically reinforcing without producing any consequence that another person can detect or control.
What is an indicator that a problem behavior is being maintained by self-stimulatory reinforcement?
An indicator that a problem behavior is being maintained by self-stimulatory reinforcement is that the behavior continues unabated at a steady rate although it has no apparent effect on other individuals or the external environment.
What were two plausible explanations of the behavior of the child flushing jewelry down the toilet? How did the treatment procedure take both possibilities into account?
(a) It may have been maintained because of external sensory positive reinforcement (i.e. the appearance of the jewelry swirling around the toilet bowl may have functioned as a sensory reinforcer). It may have been maintained as a link in a behavioral chain that was reinforced by the mother's attention when the child told the mother about flushing the jewelry down the toilet.
(b) The treatment procedure accounted for both possibilities in that it established a new chain that included taking jewelry and placing it in a jar in the kitchen (instead of flushing it down the toilet), which produced an audible tinkling sound as a sensory reinforcer, and the new chain was highly reinforced by the mother's attention.
What is a strong indicator that a problem behavior is being maintained as a way of escaping from demands? Give an example illustrating this indicator.
The individual engages in the behavior only when certain types of requests are made of him or her. For example, Suzy was self-abusive when staff requested her to do things, but not when she was left alone. Other appropriate examples are acceptable.
Suppose that a nonverbal child screams loudly as a way of escaping from demands by adults in various training settings. Describe two alternative strategies that the adults might follow to deal with the problem behavior.
(a) Remove the escape function of the behavior by continuing to place demands on the child until the child stops screaming; and
(b) teach the child an alternative way of communicating (such as by hand raising) that the task is aversive and that she does not want to perform it.
Briefly describe how a functional analysis indicated that Susie's self-injurious behavior was likely maintained because it enabled her to escape from demanding adults. How did the treatment condition confirm the functional analysis?
In Susie's case, the staff directly compared the rate of Susie's self-abusiveness under three conditions:
(a) when it was followed by attention from well-meaning adults;
(b) when it enabled Susie to escape from performing various tasks; and
(c) when there were no programmed consequences. Susie's self-abusiveness was highest when it allowed her to escape from a demand condition. The conclusion that her abusiveness was maintained by escape conditioning was confirmed through an escape extinction program. Instead of backing off from demands placed on Susie following instances of self-abuse, staff continued to require Susie to respond to the demands. Under these conditions, self-abuse decreased to near zero.
Describe how internal sensory negative reinforcement might be a cause of some cases of binge eating.
Researchers have provided evidence that some cases of binge-eating can be maintained because it leads to a decrease (at least temporarily) in unpleasant emotional responses.
Describe an example of how external sensory negative reinforcement could produce undesirable behavior.
For example, a child might repeatedly remove her shoes because they squeeze her toes too tightly. Any appropriate example is acceptable.
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