So at the beginning of the semester I stated I would update everyone on whats happening in my Behavior Modification class. My goal is to keep a record of what I learn about what real behavior modification is and the proper way to apply it (think teaching a roommate to clean the dishes regularly and stupid pet tricks). Hoping that the readers of this blog will be able to apply a little of what they have learned from here.
But not much interesting has been going on this week. Had a long weekend for MLK day and mostly ignored the homework that wasn't due on Monday. But I have an exam coming up and I need to look at the class notes before I take it, so here are some things I learned about how we know when a behavior has actually changed, we have to measure the undesired behavior before we try and modify it.
Researches tend to use the strategy of measuring behavior more so then us laypeople because they are using the scientific method to discover answers that we may know nothing about yet. It is very important for researchers to keep a written history of behaviors so that they have definitive proof of what may have changed after a treatment, or if there was really a problem in need of changing in the first place.
As I look at this it is pretty dry and boring and it seems that most classes at the beginning of the year start off that way. I do not want to sit here to bore both of us with the details of what a distant researcher is doing when it has no applicable use to you! I could drone on about the fancy way to name the x and y-axis as the abscissa and ordinate but how will you apply that to changing behavior you see in your life?
The most important thing mentioned in class recently was the emphasis on defining a target behavior, which was already written about in my last post in detail.
Next week however things get a little interesting with the discussion of reinforcement and likely how to identify when reinforcement is either positive or negative and to discuss the possible benefits and pitfalls of the kind of reinforcement used.
Remind me to touch on A-B Design and Changing Criterion Design, because these designs are directly applicable in every day situations and you can find a way to implement them yourself!
Anyway, if you got this far and figured out that this post was just a bunch of fluff, here is a cute Amazon parrot to make it worth your time. :-)
Copyright 2013 Caitlin Bird
The Sequential Psittacine Blog
Miltenberger, Raymond. Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures. 5th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2011. 1-16. Print.