Introduction to ABA

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www.BehaviorAdvisor.comThis slide show is part of a workshop given by Tom McIntyre (Dr. Mac)*

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*OPERANT BEHAVIOR: An Introduction to ABATom McIntyre, Ph.D. www.BehaviorAdvisor.com Your “Do Now” Activity… Cute cartoon. Can you decipher the humor? Many slides have been adapted from a slideshow by Dr. Rosa Martinez

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*Behaviorist Categories Of BehaviorRESPONDENT Unlearned actions that are elicited by “antecedent stimuli” OPERANT Acquired actions that are evoked by learned antecedent-behavior-consequence strings (The A-B-C paradigm)

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*Crying: Respondent or Operant?

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*Respondent or Operant?

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*Respondent Behavior & “Conditioning” of New BehaviorsIn the presence of an “antecedent stimuli”, a response occurs In other words… “Something causes a naturally occurring reaction.” (“Unconditioned” behavior… no “conditioning” or training needed) What are some naturally occurring, “un-conditioned” behaviors? Salivate at the smell (or even the thought) of food Fall asleep when tired Jump at loud sound

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*Who was the major figure associated with respondent behavior being “conditioned” (trained ) to appear under other circumstances? (The “Classical” School of Behaviorism) Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

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*Does the Name “Pavlov” Ring a Bell?What do you remember about Dr. Pavlov?

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*Hey! Who’s doing the conditioning here?

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*What if Pavlov Worked with Cats?

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*Old SchoolIn “classical conditioning” there is a Strong machine-like connection A “fizzy” (Alka-seltzer) response Between a Happening (“stimulus”), and The behavior that follows (“response”) These connections can be Naturally occurring Trained (“conditioned”) Bag/Balloon

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*Fido welcomes you back to the homestead ~Blow in eyes ------- Dog blinks (Reason?) Thumb nose ------- Dog blinks (Reason?) Which is the: Unconditioned stimulus? Unconditioned response? Conditioned stimulus? Conditioned response?

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*Albert & The White Lab RatAny recollection of this “experiment” from “Psych 101”?

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*Adding a Letter to the Behaviorist AlphabetThe “classical” school of behaviorists was familiar with the “A” & the “B”. Operant folks added the “C”. ANTECEDENT BEHAVIOR CONSEQUENCE

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*Operant ConditioningAn Antecedent spurs a Behavior to occur. Whether the behavior occurs again in the future will depend on the Consequence that follows the action. In other words: In recurring situations (Antecedent), we keep doing the same things (Behavior) because it has brought benefits (Consequences) during those times. We don’t show other behaviors because they didn’t bring benefits in those situations, OR we don’t see new actions as bringing any more benefits than the action that is working for us right now.

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*“I don’t want any stupid milk!”Possible… Antecedent: __________ ________________ Behavior: _____________ ________________ Consequence: __________ ________________

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*Operator, can you tell me the name of the prominent figure in this “newer” school of Behaviorism?Hint. Hint…

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*Burrhus Frederick Skinner 1904-1990

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*Who was B.F. Skinner?

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*The Behavior Of Organisms (Skinner, 1938) Provided a model & descriptive analysis of how mammals learn. Premise? The environment teaches us. We learn from the consequences that follow our actions. There are 3 “teachers” (5 if counting sub-types)

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*The “Teachers”: Consequences Positive Reinforcement – Showing a behavior results in a “reward” (Something desirable occurs) Negative Reinforcement – Demonstration of a behavior removes or avoids an “aversive stimulus” (Something undesirable never happens OR goes away) Positive Punishment – An exhibited behavior results in the appearance of an aversive stimulus (Something undesirable happens to the person) Negative Punishment – Showing an action results in the removal of positive stimulus (Something desirable is taken away) Extinction – The disappearance of a behavior due to lack of reinforcement (“Ignoring”)

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*Press 2 for ABASkinner did not work with humans (except for his daughter). Applied behavior analysis developed from the experiments and ideology of operant conditioning with animals. ABA focuses on another mammal… humans.

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*What is Applied Behavior Analysis? (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 1987)Applied behavior analysis is the science in which procedures derived from the principles of learning are systematically applied to improve socially significant behavior & to demonstrate experimentally that the procedures used were responsible for the improvement in behavior.

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*Skinner’s Theory “All we need to know in order to describe and explain behavior is this: Actions followed by good outcomes are likely to recur, and actions followed by bad outcomes are less likely to recur.” (Skinner, 1953)Simplistic, but profound.

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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