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143 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The number of responses emitted during an observation period
A ratio of count per observation time; often expressed as count per standard unit of time (e.g., per minute, per hour, per day)
The change (acceleration or deceleration) in rate of responding over time
The amount of time that a behavior occurs
Response Latency
The point in time when a response occurs with respect to the occurence of an antecendent stimulus
Interresponse Time (IRT)
The point in time when a response occurs with respect to the occurence of the previous response
A proportion, expressed as a number of parts per 100; typically expressed as a ratio of the number of responses of a certain type per total number of responses (or opportunities or intervals in which such a response could have occurred)
Trials to Criterion
Number of responses, instructional trials, or practice opportunities needed to reach a predetermined performance criterion
The form or shape of behavior
The strength, intensity, or force of behavior
The process of assigning numbers and units to particular features of objects or events...[It] involves attaching a number representing the observed extent of a dimensional quantity to an appropriate unit. The number and the unit together constitute the measure of the object or event
(also called countability)

Instances of a response class can occur repeatedly through time (i.e., behevaior can be counted)
Temporal Extent
Every instance of behavior occurs during some amount of time (i.e., the duration of behavior can be measured)
Temporal Locus
Every instance of behavior occurs at a certain point in time with respect to other events (i.e., when behavior occurs can be measured)
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 condition (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 (also called reversal design, withdrawal design)
abative effect (of a motivating operation)
A decrease in the current frequency of behavior that has been reinforced by the stimulus that is increased in reinforcing effectiveness by the same motivating operation. For example, food ingestion abates (decreases the current frequency of) behavior that has been reinforced by food
ABC recording
See anecdotal observation
abolishing operation (AO)
A motivating operation that decreases the reinforcing effectiveness of a stimulus, object, or event. For example, the reinforcing effectiveness of food is abolished as a result of food ingestion
accuracy (of measurement)
The extent to which observed values, the data produced by measuring an event, match the true state, or true values, of the event as it exists in nature. (See observed value and true value)
adjunctive behavior
Behavior that occurs as a collateral effect of a schedule of periodic reinforcement for other behavior, time-filling or interim activities (e.g., doodling, idle talking, smoking, drinking) that are induced by schedules of reinforcement during times when reinforcement is unlikely to be delivered. Also called schedule-induced behavior.
affirmation of the consequent
A three-step form of reasoning that begins with a true antecedent-consequent (if-A-then-B) statement and proceeds as follows: (1) If A is true, then B is true; (2) B is found to be true; (3) Therefore, A is true. Although other factors could be responsible for the truthfulness of A, a sound experiment affirms several if-A-then-B possibilities, each one reducing the likelihood of factors other than the independent variable being responsible for the observed changes in behavior.
alternating treatments design
An experimental design in which two or more conditions (one of which may be a non-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)
alternative schedule
Provides reinforcement whenever the requirement of either a ratio schedule or an interval schedule--the basic schedules that makeup the alternative schedule--is met, regardless of which of the component schedule's requirements is met first.
anecdotal observation
A form of direct, continuous observation in which the observer records a descriptive, temporally sequenced account of all behavior(s) of interest and the antecedent conditions and consequences for those behaviors as those events occur in the client's natural environment (also called ABC recording).
An environmental condition or stimulus change existing or occurring prior to a behavior of interest.
antecedent intervention
A behavior change strategy that manipulates contingency-independent antecedent stimuli (motivating operations). (See noncontingent reinforcement, high-probability request sequence, and functional communication training)
antecedent stimulus class
A set of stimuli that share a common relationship. All stimuli in an antecedent stimulus class evoke the same operant behavior, or elicit the same respondent behavior (See arbitrary stimulus class, feature stimulus class)
applied behavior analysis (ABA)
The science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for the improvement in behavior.
arbitrary stimulus class
Antecedent stimuli that evoke the same response but do not resemble each other in physical form or share a relational aspect such as bigger or under (e.g., peanuts, cheese, coconut milk, and chicken breasts are members of an arbitrary stimulus class if they evoke the response "sources of protein"). (Compare to feature stimulus class).
An outcome or result that appears to exist because of the way it is measured but in fact does not correspond to what actually occurred.
ascending baseline
A data path that shows an increasing trend in the response measure over time. (Compare with descending baseline).
Anyone who functions as a discriminative stimulus evoking verbal behavior. Different audiences may control different verbal behavior about the same topic because of a differential reinforcement history. Teens may describe the same event in different ways when talking to peers versus parents.
A secondary verbal operant in which some aspect of a speaker's own verbal behavior functions as a discriminative stimulus or an MO for additional speaker verbal behavior. The autoclitic relation can be thought of as verbal behavior about verbal behavior.
automatic punishment
Punishment that occurs independent of the social mediation by others (i.e., a response product serves as a punisher independent of the social environment).
automatic reinforcement
Reinforcement that occurs independent of the social mediation of others (e.g., scratching an insect bite relieves the itch).
automaticity (of reinforcement)
Refers to the fact that behavior is modified by its consequences irrespective of the person's awareness; a person does not have to recognize or verbalize the relation between her behavior and a reinforcing consequence, or even know that a consequence has occurred, for reinforcement to "work" (Contrast with automatic reinforcement)
aversive stimulus
In general, an unpleasant or noxious stimulus; more technically, a stimulus change or condition that functions (a) to evoke a behavior that has terminated it in the past; (b) as a punisher when presented following behavior; and/or (c) as a reinforcer when withdrawn following behavior
avoidance contingency
A contingency in which a response prevents or postpones the presentation of a stimulus (compare with escape contingency)
B-A-B design
A three-phase experimental design that begins with the treatment condition, 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.
backup reinforcers
Tangible objects, activities, or privileges that serve as reinforcers that can be purchased with tokens.
backward chaining
A teaching procedure in which a trainer completes all but the last behavior in a chain, which is performed by the learner, who then receives reinforcement for completing the chain. When the learner shows competence in performing the final step in the chain, the trainer performs all but the last 2 behaviors in the chain, the learner emits the final 2 steps to complete the chain, and reinforcement is delivered. This sequence is continued until the learner completes the entire chain independently.
backward chaining with leaps ahead
A backward chaining procedure in which some steps in the task analysis are skipped; used to increase the efficiency of teaching long behavior chains when there is evidence that the skipped steps are in the learner's repertoire.
Bar Graph
A simple and versatile graphic format for summarizing behavioral data; shares most of the line graph's features except that it does not have distinct data points representing successive response measures through time. Also called a histogram.
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 (see steady state strategy).
The activity of living organisms; human behavior includes everything that people do. A technical definition: "that portion of an organism's interaction with its environment that is characterized by detectable displacement in space through time of some part of the organism and that results in a measurable change in at least one aspect of the environment" (Johnson & Pennypacker, 1993a, p. 23.) (See operant behavior, respondent behavior, response, response class)
Behavior-altering effect (of a motivating operation)
An alteration in the current frequency of behavior that has been reinforced by the stimulus that is altered in effectiveness by the same motivating operation. For example, the frequency of behavior that has been reinforced with food is increased or decreased by food deprivation or food ingestion.
Behavior chain
A sequence of responses in which each response produces a stimulus change that functions as conditioned reinforcement for that response and as a discriminative stimulus for the next response in the chain; reinforcement for the last response in a chain maintains the reinforcing effectiveness of the stimulus changes produced by all previous responses in the chain.
Behavior chain interruption strategy
An intervention that relies on the participant's skill in performing the critical elements of a chain independently; the chain is interrupted occasionally so that another behavior can be emitted.
Behavior chain with a limited hold
A contingency that specifies a time interval by which a behavior chain must be completed for reinforcement to be delivered.
Behavior change tactic
A technologically consistent method for changing behavior derived from one or more principles of behavior (e.g., differential reinforcement of other behavior, response cost); possesses sufficient generality across subjects, settings, and/or behaviors to warrant its codification and dissemination.
Behavior checklist
A checklist that provides descriptions of specific skills (usually in hierarchical order) and the conditions under which each skill should be observed. Some checklists are designed to assess one particular behavior or skill area. Others address multiple behaviors or skill areas. Most use a Likert scale to rate responses.
Behavior trap
An interrelated community of contingencies of reinforcement that can be especially powerful, producing substantial and long-lasting behavior changes. Effective behavior traps share 4 essential features: (a) they are "baited" with virtually irresistable reinforcers that will "lure" the student to the trap, (b) only a low-effort response already in the student's repertoire is necessary to enter the trap, (c) once inside the trap, interrelated contingencies of reinforcement motivate the student to acquire, extend, and maintain targeted academic and/or social skills; and (d) they can remain effective for a long time because students show few, if any, satiation effects
Behavioral assessment
A form of assessment that involvews a full range of inquiry methods (observation, interview, testing, and the systematic manipulation of antecedent or consequence variables) to identify probably antecedent and consequent controlling variables. Behavioral assessment is designed to discover resources, assets, significant others, competing contingencies, maintenance and generality factors, and possible reinforcer and/or punishers that surround the potential target behavior
Behavorial contract
see Contingency contract
Behavioral contrast
The phenomenon in which a change in one component of a multiple schedule that increases or decreases the rate of responding on that component is accompanied by a change in the response rate in the opposite diection on the other, unaltered component of the schedule
Behavioral cusp
A behavior that has sudden and dramatic consequences that extend well beyone the idiosyncratic change itself because it exposes the person to new environments, reinforcers, contingencies, responses, and stimulus controls (see pivotal behavior)
Behavioral momentum
A metaphor to describe the rate of responding and its resistance to change following an alteration in reinforcement conditions. The momentum metaphor has also been used to describe the effects produced by the high-probability (high-p) request sequence
The philosophy of a science of behavior; there are various forms of behaviorism. (See methodological behaviorism, radical behaviorism)
The extent to which the researcher convinces herself and others that the data are trustworthy and deserve interpretation. Measures of interobserver agreement (IOA) are the most often used index of believability in applied behavior analysis (See interobserver agreement, IOA)
Bonus response cost
A procedure for implementing response cost in which the person is provided a reservoir of reinforcers that are removed in predetermined amounts contingent on the occurrence of the target behavior
Any procedure used to evaluate the accuracy of a measurement system and, when sources of error are found, to use that information to correct or improve the measurement system
The assumption that the universe is a lawful and orderly place in which phenomena occur in relation to other events and not in a willy-nilly, accidental fashion
The objective observation of the phenomena of interest; objective observations are "independent of the individual prejudices, tastes, and private opinions of the scientist...Results of empirical methods are objective in that they are open to anyone's observation and do not depend on the subjective belief of the individual scientist"
A carefully controlled comparison of some measure of the phenomena of interst (the DV) under 2 or more different conditions in which only one factor at a time (the IV) differs from one condition to another
Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB)
A natural science approach to the study of behavior as a subject matter in its own right, founded by B.F. Skinner; methodological features include rate of response as a basic DV, repeated or continuous measurement of clearly defined response classes, within subject experimental comparisons instead of group design, visual analysis of graphed data instead of statistical inference, and an emphasis on describing functional relations between behavior and controlling variables in the environment over formal theory testing
Explanatory fiction
A fictitious or hyptothetical variable that often takes the form of another name for the observed phenomenon it claims to explain and contributes nothing to a functional account or understanding of the phenomenon, such as "intelligence" or "cognitive awareness" as explanations for why an organism pushes the lever when the light is on and food is available, but does not push the lever when the light is off and no food is available
Functional relation
A verbal statement summarizing the results of an experiment (or group of related experiments)that describes the occurrence of the phenomena under study as a function of the operation of one or more specified and controlled variables in the experiment in which a specific change in one event (the DV) can be produced by manipulating the other event (the IV), and that the change in the DV was unlikely the result of other factors (confounding variables)
Hypothetical construct
A presumed but unobserved process or entity (e.g., Freud's id, ego, and superego)
An approach to explaining behavior that assumes that a mental, or "inner," dimension exists that differs from a behavioral dimension and that the phenomena in this dimension either directly cause or at least mediate some forms of the behavior, if not all
Methodological behaviorism
A philosophical position that views behavioral events that cannot be publicly observed as outside the realm of science
The practice of ruling out simple, logical explanations, experimentally or conceptually, before considering more complex or abstract explanations
Philosophic doubt
An attitude that the truthfulness and validity of all scientific theory and knowledge should be continually questioned
Radical behaviorism
A thoroughgoing form of behaviorism that attempts to understand all human behavior, including private events such as thoughts and feelings, in terms of controlling variables in the history of the person (ontogeny) and the species (phylogeny)
(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
A systematic approach to the understanding of natural phenomena (as evidenced by description, prediction, and control) that relies on determinism as its fundamental assumption, empiricism as its primary rule, experimentation as its basic strategy, replication as a requirement for believability, parsimony as a value, and philosophic doubt as its guiding conscience
Conditioned negative reinforcer
A previously neutral stimulus change that functions as a negative reinforcer because of prior pairing with one or more negative reinforcers
Conditioned punisher
A previously neutral stimulus change that functions as a punisher because of prior pairing with one or more other punishers; sometimes called secondary or learned punisher
Conditioned reflex
A learned stimulus-response functional relation consisting of an antecedent stimulus (e.g., sound of refrigerator door opening) and the response it elicits (e.g., salivation); each person's repertoire of conditioned reflexes is the product of his or her history of interactions with the environment (ontogeny)
Conditioned reinforcer
A stimulus change that functions as a reinforcer because of prior pairing with one or more other reinforcers; sometimes called a secondary or learned reinforcer
Conditioned stimulus
The stimulus component of a conditioned reflex; a formerly neutral stimulus change that elicits respondent behavior only after it has been paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US) or another CS
A stimulus change that follows a behavior of interest. Some consequences, especially those that are immediate and relevant to current motivational states, have significant influence on future behavior; others have little effect
Refers to dependent and/or temporal relations between operant behavior and its controlling variables
Describes reinforcement (or punishment) that is delivered only after the target behavior has occurred
The state of an organism with respect to how much time has elapsed since it has consumed or contacted a particular type of reinforcer; also refers to a procedure for increasing the effectiveness of a reinforcer (e.g., witholding a person's access to a reinforcer for a specified period of time prior to a session)
Discriminated avoidance
A contingency in which responding in the presence of a signal prevents the onset of a stimulus from which escape is a reinforcer
Discriminated operant
An operant that occurs more frequently under some antecedent conditions than others
Discriminative stimulus
A stimulus in the presence of which responses of some type have been reinforced and in the absence of which the same type of responses have occurred and not been reinforced; this history of differential reinforcement is the reason an SD increases the momentary frequency of the behavior
Discriminative stimulus for punishment
A stimulus condition in the presence of which a response has a lower probability of occurrence than it does in its absence as a result of response-contingent punishment delivery in the presence of the stimulus
The conglamorate of real circumstances in which the organism or referenced part of the organism exists; behavior cannot occur in the absence of environment
Escape contingency
A contingency in which a response terminates (produces escape from) an ongoing stimulus
The discontinuing of reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior; the primary effect is a decrease in the frequency of the behavior until it reaches a prereinforced level or ultimately ceases to occur
Free-operant avoidance
A contingency in which responses at any time during an interval prior to the scheduled onset of an aversive stimulus delays the presentation of the aversive stimulus
Generalized conditioned punisher
A stimulus change that, as a result of having been paired with many other punishers, functions as punishment under most conditions because it is free from the control of motivating conditions for specific types of punishment
Generalized conditioned reinforcer
A conditioned reinforcer that as a result of having been paired with many other reinforcers does not depend on an EO for any particular form of reinforcement for its effectiveness
A decrease in responsiveness to repeated presentations of a stimulus; most often used to describe a reduction of respondent behavior as a function of repeated presentation of the eliciting stimulus over a short span of time; some researchers suggest the concept also applies to within-session changes in operant behavior
Higher order conditioning
Development of a conditioned reflex by pairing of a neutral stimulus (NS) with a conditioned stimulus (CS). A.K.A. secondary conditioning
History of reinforcement
An inclusive term referring in general to all of a person's learning experiences and more specifically to past conditioning with respect to particular response classes or aspects of a person's repertoire
Motivating operation
An environmental variable that

(a) alters (increases or decreases) the reinforcing effectiveness of some stimulus, object, or event


(b) alters (increases or decreases) the current frequency of all behavior that have been reinforced by that stimulus, object, or event
Negative punishment
A response behavior is followed immediately by the removal of a stimulus (or a decrease in the intensity of the stimulus), that decreases the future frequency of similar responses under similar conditions; sometimes called Type II punishment
Negative reinforcement
A contingency where the occurence of a response produces the removal, termination, reduction, or postponement of a stimulus, which leads to an increase in the future occurence of that response
Negative reinforcer
A stimulus whose termination (or reduction in intensity) functions as a reinforcement
Neutral stimulus
A stimulus change that does not elicit respondent behavior
The history of the development of an individual organism during its lifetime
Operant behavior
Behavior that is selected, maintained, and brought under stimulus control as a function of its consequences; each person's repertoire of operant behavior is a product of his history of interactions with the environment (ontogeny)
Operant conditioning
The basic process by which operant learning occurs; consequences (stimulus changes immediately following responses) result in an increased (reinforcement) or decreased (punishment) frequency of the same type of behavior under similar motivational and environmental conditions in the future
A behavior change tactic based on P+ in which, contingent on the problem behavior, the learner is required to engage in effortful behavior directly or logically related to fixing the damage caused by the behavior. Forms are restitutional ______ and positive practice _______.
The history of the natural evolution of a species
Positive practice overcorrection
A form of overcorrection in which, contingent on an occurence of the target behavior, the learner is required to repeat a correct form of the behavior, or a behavior incompatible with the problem behavior a specified number of times; includes and educative component
Positive punishment
A behavior is followed immediately by the presentation of a stimulus that decreases the future frequency of the behavior; sometimes called Type I punishment
Positive reinforcement
Occurs when a behavior is followed immediately by the presentation of a stimulus that increases the future frequency of the behavior in similar conditions
Positive reinforcer
A stimulus whose presentation or onset functions as reinforcement
Premack principle
A principle that states that making the opportunity to engage in a high-probability behavior contingent on the occurrence of a low-frequency behavior will function as reinforcement for the low-frequency behavior
Principal of behavior
A statement describing a functional relation between behavior and one or more of its controlling variables with generality across organisms, species, settings, behaviors, and time (e.g., extinction, R+); an empirical generalization inferred from many experiments demonstrating the same functional relation
A stimulus change that decreases the future frequency of behavior that immediately precedes it
Occurs when stimulus change immediately follows a response and decreases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar conditions
A stimulus-response relation consisting of an antecedent stimulus and the respondent behavior it elicits (i.e., bright light-pupil contraction). Unconditioned and conditioned reflexes protect against harmful stimuli, help regulate the internal balance and economy of the organism, and promote reproduction
Occurs when a stimulus change immediately follows a response and increases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar conditions
A stimulus change that increases the future frequency of behavior that immediately precedes it
Reinforcer assessment
Refers to a variety of direct, empirical methods for presenting one or more stimuli contingent on a target response & measuring their effectiveness as reinforcers
All of the behaviors a person can do; or a set of behaviors relevant to a particular setting or task (e.g., gardening, mathematical problem solving)
Respondent behavior
The response component of a relfex; behavior that is elicited, or induced, by antecedent stimuli
Respondent conditioning
A stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure in which a neutral stimulus (NS) is presented with an unconditioned stimulus (US) until the NS has become a CS that elicits the conditioned response (a.k.a., Pavlovian or classical conditioning)
Respondent extinction
The repeated presentation of a CS in the absence of the US; the CS gradually loses its ability to elicit the conditioned response until the conditioned reflex no longer appears in the individual's repertiore
A single instance or occurrence of a specific class or type of behavior

Technical definition: an action of an organism's effector...
Response blocking
A procedure in which the therapist physically intervenes as soon as the learner begins to emit a problem behavior to prevent the completion of the targeted behavior
Response class
A group of responses of varying topography, all of which produce the same effect on the environment
Response-deprivation hypothesis
A model for predicting whether contingent access to one behavior will function as reinforcement for engaging in another behavior based on whether access to the contingent behavior represents a restriction of the activity compared to the baseline level of enagagement
Restitutional overcorrection
A form of overcorrection in which, contingent on the problem behavior, the learner is required to repair the damage or return the environment to its original state, and then engage in additional behavior to bring the environment to a condition vastly better than it was in prior to the misbehavior
A decrease in the frequency of operant behavior presumed to be the result of continued contact with or consumption of a reinforcer that has followed the behavior; also refers to a procedure for reducing the effectiveness of a reinforcer (e.g., presenting a person w/ copious amounts of a reinforcing stimulus prior to a session
Selection by consequences
The fundamental principle underlying operant conditioning; the basic tenet is that all forms of (operant) behavior, from simple to complex, are selected, shaped, and maintained by their consequences during an individual's lifetime
An energy change that affects an organism through its receptor cells
Stimulus class
A group of stimuli that share specified common elements along formal (e.g., size, color), temporal (e.g., antecedent or consequent), and/or functional (e.g., discriminative stimulus) dimensions
Stimulus control
A situation in which the frequency, latency, duration, or amplitude of a behavior is altered by the presence or absence of an antecedent stimulus
Stimulus preference assessment
A variety of procedures used to determine the stimuli that a person prefers, the relative preference values (high vs. low) of those stimuli, the conditions under which those preference values remain in effect, and their presumed value as reinforcers
Stimulus-stimulus pairing
A procedure in which 2 stimuli are presented at the same time, usually repeatedly for a number of trials, which often results in one stimulus acquiring the function of the other stimulus
Three-term contingency
The basic unit of analysis in the analysis of operant behavior; encompasses the temporal and possibly dependent relations among an antecedent stimulus, behavior, and consequence
Unconditioned punisher
A stimulus change that decreases the frequency of any behavior that immediately precedes it irrespective of the organism's learning history with the stimulus. They are the products of the evolutionary development of a species (phylogeny)
Unconditioned reinforcer
A stimulus change that increases the frequency of any behavior that immediately precedes it irrespective of the organism's learning history with the stimulus. They are the product of the evolutionary development of the species (phylogeny). A.k.a. primary or unlearned reinforcer
Unconditioned negative reinforcer
A stimulus that functions as a negative reinforceras a result of the evolutionary development of the species (phylogeny); no prior learning is involved (e.g., shock, loud noise, intense light, extreme pressures against the body)
Unconditioned stimulus
The stimulus component of an unconditioned reflex; a stimulus change that elicits respondent behavior without any prior learning