AU Task Analysis Discussion

AU Task Analysis Discussion

Sample Answer for AU Task Analysis Discussion Included After Question

AU Task Analysis Discussion


If you search the term task analysis on the Internet, you will get over 800,000 hits giving directions on how to conduct a task analysis as well as examples with a multitude of both physical and cognitive behaviors. Task analysis involves taking a complex skill and breaking it down into its competent parts so you end up with a sequentially ordered list of steps or tasks making up the complex skill.

With this in mind, you will conduct a task analysis on completing this Assignment. You might wonder why this Assignment was designed this way. The answer is because task analysis has been demonstrated to be an effective way to teach complex skills. There are literally thousands of unique skills on which you could conduct a task analysis. However, whether you are doing a task analysis on this Assignment or tying a shoe with a child with an intellectual disability, it always needs to be personalized for the individual.To prepare:

Review the readings and weekly video introduction to gain an understanding of conducting a task analysis.

Search the Internet to find examples of task analyses on which you can model your Assignment.

Examine the steps you take to complete your weekly Discussions and Assignments.

  • Develop a task analysis (minimum of 10 steps) on completing this Assignment.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Chapter 18, “Imitation, Modeling, and Observational Learning” (pp. 527-538)

Chapter 22, “Shaping” (pp. 541-555)

AU Task Analysis Discussion
AU Task Analysis Discussion

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Chapter 23, “Chaining” (pp. 558-578)

Klett, L. S., & Turan, Y. (2012). Generalized effects of social stories with task analysis for teaching menstrual care to three young girls with autism Links to an external site.Sexuality and Disability, 30, 319–336.

STEVEN LITTLE: Hello, and welcome to week eight of Psychology 6401, Principles of Behavior Analysis for Children and Adolescents. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked about strengthening behaviors and weakening behaviors. Well, this week, we’re going to talk about developing new behaviors. The focus on my lecture this week is going to be on modeling, and much of what I talk about can be used not only in developing new behaviors, but also in strengthening behaviors that may be already part of an individual’s repertoire. Let’s get started. We’re going to start off by just doing a little overview. I’m going to start by talking about modeling, the functions of modeling, how to use modeling effectively, promoting imitation, which is what the book uses as a term, but modeling. Imitation and modeling can be used interchangeably. I’m going to talk about a modeling procedure. I’m also going to talk about an area in which I’ve done a lot of research and that’s self modeling, a really, really promising area in working with children, especially higher functioning children with autism. I’m going to talk about shaping, prompting, and we’ll end the lecture today on chaining. Let’s get started talking about modeling. I know I’m excited about all this stuff, but modeling is great stuff. What we have is, can we explain the acquisition of everything through classical and operant conditioning? I know we focused on operant conditioning in this class, classical conditioning we touched on briefly in the first week, are the two types of learning that occur behaviorally. Now, can we explain everything through those two things? No, we can’t. That’s impossible to explain all of human behavior solely through classical and operant conditioning. For example, in classical conditioning, some fears cannot be explained in the classical framework. We think of fears developing from classical conditioning and that we’re exposed to something that causes a fear, classically in conditions when we see it again, we feel the sensations, the autonomic nervous system arousal that comes with seeing a feared stimulus, and then we escape it, which perpetuates it. But can we explain the onset of all fears via this classical conditioning framework? No, we can’t. People are afraid of flying that have never been in a plane before, for example. There are things out there that cannot be explained solely through classical conditioning. Similarly, with operant conditioning, people perform apparently novel behaviors in the absence of reinforcement. Things seem to come up, especially with young children. Back in the 1950s, there was a huge debate between B. F. Skinner and Chomsky in regard to language acquisition in the fact that Skinner was trying to explain language acquisition in young children solely from an operant perspective and he couldn’t. Noam Chomsky wasn’t completely right either. He proposed some sort of language acquisition device. That itself is insufficient, but you combine the and you combine modeling, seeing people doing things, and you get a much better explanation of these things. So Albert Bandura– you may have heard that name– in the early 1960s first proposed a model of what he called social learning theory. Basically, it’s an observational learning type of model. You can learn rapidly complex behaviors without having to learn each component. It can be used in many different ways, but it’s done by observing somebody else. It only works, however, if the observer, the target child, in the cases which we’ll be talking about here, can already perform the components of the behavior. We’re establishing a novel behavior. We’re establishing a new behavior sequence for them, but they have to have the capabilities to perform the behaviors to start off with. Let me talk first about this acquisition performance distinction. Behavior can be acquired but not performed. You can learn a behavior by observing somebody else engage in the behavior, but you may never actually engage in that behavior. The way that operant conditioning comes in, the way that reinforcement comes in, and it’s a critical component of it, it’s not in the acquisition part. We can acquire the behavior by observing, but it comes in the performance part. If we expect reinforcement, then we can engage in the behavior. In other words, if we expect a positive outcome for ourselves from a behavior, then we are more likely to do it. If we’ve seen somebody else do it, we may have learned it. Let me give you an example, and it’s an example you may think is a little bit far out there, but how many of you know how to murder somebody? Think about it. How many TV shows, movies have you seen where somebody’s been murdered? You all know the behaviors in which to engage. You all know that you could shoot somebody, you could stab somebody, you could poison somebody, you could strangle somebody. You could do all sorts of different techniques, and you know them all. You may have some very novel techniques on how to do that. But my guess is that, and my hope, is that none of you have actually murdered somebody. So you have the skills. You know what to do. You could do it but you don’t do it. Why? For two reasons, and it comes back to operant conditioning. One has to do with there’s not a reinforcing condition for you. You don’t think that the outcome is going to be positive enough for you. But also, the punishment position perspective. You could also be punished. And it’s not just punished by society. You think you may be able to get away with it, but you may have been conditioned morally. Your moral code would not allow you to cause harm to somebody like that. So therefore, you don’t do it because it would result in a self punishment. It’s something you just don’t do. So there are a lot of other factors that come in there, but the fact is you have all acquired knowledge. You all have the motoric skills. You all have the cognitive ability to plan. You could all do that but you don’t because there is a distinction between acquiring a behavior and performing a behavior. Now, we’re going to be focusing, obviously, not on murder. We’re going to be talking about acquiring things such as social skills in children, but recognize the timing of things. The acquisition and the performance can occur almost simultaneously. They can occur at the same time. They see something, they do it. You see this fairly frequently in young children, preschool children. But very often, there’s going to be a time delay between when they see a behavior performed, when they learn how to do the behavior, how to engage in the behavior, and when they actually perform the behavior. One factor may be that they’re unable to perform the model skill at that time, the modeled behavior. They just lack the physical capabilities of doing it. When they then better develop physically, their maturation and physical development, it extends to being able to perform that behavior. Maybe that’s when they’re going to engage in the behavior. A second thing. The situation they are in is different, so they prospect the outcome would be different. They learn a behavior by saying somebody else engaging in that behavior, but they don’t see reinforcement coming to them in that environment and they wait until they’re in an environment where it’s optimal for them. They think, they believe, that it will lead to the desired outcome. And the third thing is that socially undesirable behaviors may have severe inhibitions that prevent their performance. That’s murder, obviously, and a lot of other behaviors that we do not consider socially acceptable. There are certain inhibitions that are conditioned in us from a very early age as to why those behaviors are inappropriate. What responses can modeling serve? Let’s look at this. Acquisition. We just talked about the acquisition performance distinction. Acquisition. You can establish a novel response. You learn a new behavior. This is one of the main ways that modeling takes place. We learn a lot or we acquire behaviors by watching other people engage in those behaviors. Response facilitation is a second one, and that is that we see a model engage in a certain behave in a certain situation, and it sort of cues us that if we perform the behavior in that same situation, we’ll also result in a positive outcome. So it facilitates the response that we’re already capable of performing. Inhibition. This is you see a model engage in a behavior. They get punished and you’re less likely, the child is less likely, to engage in that behavior because they see the model punished for that behavior. Teachers use this all the time. They punish one child as a model and they say, if you do this, you’re going to get the same punishment. That also is one of the ways that modeling can affect behavior. The fourth one is disinhibition, and that is you have a behavior that you used to engage in. It was part of your behavioral repertoire. It became inhibited by something, some reason. It could have been your own desires. It could have been seeing somebody being punished for a behavior, but you have removed that behavior from your regular repertoire. And you see a model engage in the behavior. They don’t get punished or they get rewarded, and the behavior that you used to engage in comes back into your behavioral repertoire. We see all of these things with children. We probably see more response facilitation and disinhibition. There’s a fine distinction between response facilitation and disinhibition. Response facilitation, you’ve learned it, you just have not performed it, whereas disinhibition, you used to perform it and it has been inhibited and the inhibition has been removed. Whatever was holding you back from engaging in the behavior has been removed. And of course, there’s acquisition. We acquire behaviors. We’re going to be focusing a lot on acquisition and some on response facilitation in today’s lecture. Now, the processes by which observational learning occurs. This comes from Bandura’s original research. In order for modeling to occur, and this is especially important when you want someone to learn a behavior via modeling, first of all, they have to be able to pay attention to the model. If you don’t pay attention to a model, you don’t see the behavior, then the modeling is not going to go to occur. You can’t model something which they’re not really paying attention to. You have to see the behaviors. You’re going to have to understand the behaviors. So the first step is they have to attend to the model. So when we’re dealing with children, the first step we do if we want to model behavior is we have to make sure they’re paying attention to the model. Once I go through these four things, I’ll talk about some of the factors that affect attention in more detail. The second one is retention. You have to be able to remember what you observed. It can be a verbal remembering, it could be imaginative, or in most cases, it’s probably going to be some components of both a verbal coding and an image type of coding, but you have to be able to remember it. If you don’t have the memory capabilities, which you won’t see in very young children, then they may not be able to remember the behaviors, especially complex behaviors. The third thing, and especially important with young children, is motor reproduction. To perform a behavior, you have to be capable of doing it. You have to have the motoric capabilities to be able to engage in that behavior, to do that behavior. I can give you an example with me. I play golf. I don’t play necessarily well, but I do play golf. I can watch golf on TV, and I can watch right now Rory McIlroy is probably the best golfer in the world. I can watch him hit a golf ball. I can watch him tee off all day long. Am I ever going to be able to hit a golf ball as long and as straight as he can in his tee shots? No. I will never be able to do that. I’m 60 years old. I don’t have the muscle strength to be able to do that. I’m not going to have enough club head speed when I hit the ball to be able to hit it as far as he does. I also have a bad shoulder. I’ve had surgery on my left shoulder, and even though the surgery was more than 10 years ago, it still hurts. I have somewhat limited movement in my left shoulder, so I can’t even get into the position that he has. So I lack the motor reproduction. I can pay attention to it as much as I want. I can remember what he does until the day I die, but I lack the motor capabilities. We have things like that also in young children because they are developing physically as well as cognitively. They may just lack the motor capabilities of engaging in certain behaviors. The final thing is motivation. Whether we engage in the behavior or not depends on whether there is reinforcement for it or our potential for reinforcement. Now, we think we have to successfully accomplish the task, and it’s a self reinforcement type of task, or that we’re going to receive a reward from somebody else. In many cases, it’s a self reinforcement type of conditioning that’s going on, that we believe we can do it. And Bandura went on– I’m not going to talk about it so much in here in this class, but it’s the concept of self-efficacy which Bandura developed, which I tend to prefer using over self esteem. Self-efficacy is your belief that if you engage in a certain task, you will be successful, and it came out of this work. But you have to have the motivation. You have to see or believe that you can accomplish the task successfully in order to do it. So these four things are necessary for observational learning to occur. I should say for the behavior to be learned and exhibited. We may have learning of the behavior in the first two steps and lack the ability or the motivation to perform the behavior, but we remember the beginning parts, but we have to have all four if we want to see the behavior actually being produced by the individual. Getting on from that, let’s talk about using modeling effectively, and first of all, prompting imitation. I will talk a little bit more about prompting later on, but we want to see imitation. We want to get the individual to model the behavior which we are using in their treatment. It could be social skills, it could be any type of daily living skill for someone who’s lower functioning. We want them to imitate, so how do we do this? One is that we’re going to highlight the resemblance between the observers and the models. We want our model to be somewhat like the observer. If they’re too different, then they’re going to say, well, they can do it but I can’t do it, just like I can see Rory McIlroy hitting that ball. He can do it. I can’t do it. So there has to be some resemblance between them. Once we’ve done that, we’ve picked a model that they can identify with, we want them to practice or rehearse the behavior. They can see the behavior. They then role play the behavior. So first it’s observation– they see somebody– then they’re going to practice and rehearse the behavior, usually in a more controlled environment. There’s going to be rationale that’s going to be provided for the individual on why they should model the observer’s behavior. We also want to maintain a simplicity of the modeled performance. The more complex the behavior is, the more we need to break it down into components and model each component separately. There are some behaviors that we can talk about as far as just the behavioral set and that we need to keep them together, but there are others that we need to break them down into their component parts and model each one, and then have the individual gradually put them together. They have to be reinforced in the modeling sessions. If we’re doing this in more of a therapy session, then we need to reinforce them, praise them, possibly even using some sort of tangible reinforcement, but we want to reinforce them so they see there’s a positive outcome coming to it. Yes, we want to get them to the point where they’re using self reinforcement, but we need to get them sometimes jump started on it to see a connection, so we want to reinforce it very heavily at first. And then provide consequences for the imitations. Obviously, reinforcing, which I just talked about, but sometimes, there’s going to be sufficient reinforcement. that’s going to be really clear in the natural environment and we can use just the reinforcement that’s going to be coming in the natural environment. Other times, we’re going to have to add on some extra reinforcement. So now we talked about imitation. Let’s talk about characteristics that promote imitation. We’re going back to those four things that Bandura identified. What are we going to pay attention to? What are we going to want to model? Who are we going to focus on? First of all, the distinctiveness of the model of the behavior. Does the model or the behavior get our attention? Again, going back to that first of Bandura’s four criteria, attention. Does the model get our attention? Is it somebody that we’ll look at, we’ll watch? Now, the exception is a model who’s distinctive but unusual. We want them similar but not too dissimilar, like a clown. So somebody dressed up like a clown, I’ve seen people who have tried to use clowns as model behavior, but children don’t see themselves as the clown. Some may, but not all of them. We definitely don’t want to have somebody like a clown for a young child or a professional athlete for me because I’m not going to be able to do those things. I lack a lot of the skills. So even though I can see them, they’re distinctive, I pay attention to them, or the child pays attention to that clown, they may not do it because, hey, I’m not that clown. That clown’s an adult. That clown is a clown. I can’t focus on that. We need to have somebody that is going to be somewhat similar yet attention getting. They have to be somebody that is not so distinctive, not so different that they think, well, yeah, they can do it but I can’t. The second thing I have on here is the attention getting characteristics of the procedure. The model of behavior sometimes may not be as distinctive, but the behavior itself, or something that you can do to get the individual’s attention. One thing I put on here is tapping the leg of a child with autism. If they’re not paying attention to it, you can do something in your procedure, in the prompting procedure, to get them to pay attention to it. I put tapping the leg of a child with autism, and that’s just tapping their leg to get them to pay attention to something besides maybe their self stimulation. It could be any type of thing that you’re using to direct the child to the model, to the procedure to which you want them to pay attention. Keep all those things in mind, that you can put some sort of artificial prompting characteristic into the procedure when you’re doing it in a contrived environment, in the lab or office environment. A third thing is the aspect of valence of the behavior. That’s fancy words for saying, is the behavior itself one that is– I probably shouldn’t use the word “intrinsically,” but I did– intrinsically pleasant? Is it something that that child or most children are going to find pleasant? If they engage in the behavior, it’s going to take our naturally reinforcing qualities right away. Or does it have aversive qualities? Things like assertiveness. A lot of assertiveness training, not done so much with younger children, but with older elementary school children and adolescents especially, assertiveness. Not aggressiveness, assertiveness, which goes along with social skills development. It can be aversive for the individual. They may get very anxious about approaching somebody else or standing up for their perspective. Any of those things may have aversive qualities and you have to use other factors. More reinforcement may be necessary when there are some aversive qualities to a behavior you want them to engage in, and that, once they get over the aversive qualities, the anxiety, it’s probably going to decrease. I can almost assure you it will decrease as they get proficient in the behavior, as they get reinforcement from their environment. But initially, it’s going to cause anxiety. It’s going to be aversive, so you have to keep that in mind and you may need to put something in there to increase the external reinforcement for them to do it. I mentioned this before, complexity of the behavior. Complex behaviors may just be too much. There may be too many components of the behavior. You need to break it down into its component parts. I can give you an example for me in golf. I’ve had lessons from golf pros, and they video me with my swing. I’ll take the back and they’ll break it down, and they’ll show me my back swing. They’ll show me my head, and they’ll try to get me to model aspects of it, not doing the hole swing at once, but rather getting the feel for the back swing first, keeping my head down, keeping my eye on the ball. You always hear that term. All of those things are done in steps, and then eventually putting it all together and comparing my overall swing. Another thing is the functional value of the behavior. Is the behavior needed to succeed? If the individual wants to succeed, such as, I’m using more of an adult example here, but a job skill. Could be an adolescent. Is it a behavior that they need, that they know that they need, that they want to acquire? And that could be assertiveness, that could be social skills with some children. Although some prefer to escape and not, but as they get older, the social skills aspect becomes more they can possibly see that I need to develop social skills in order to better succeed in school or make friends and in life. So if it has clear functional value, they may be more motivated to go through all the steps. The prevalence of the model. Are there a lot of people around that are modeling the behavior? If they see the behavior from many different people in many different settings, and we’re talking primarily in the naturalistic environment, then we can start getting them to pay attention to all these models around them. If it’s a relatively unique behavior, we don’t have this, but it can definitely play into our treatment modality or methodology if we can get them to start observing others in their environment who are doing this. Again, something that I use a lot with adolescents in social skills development. Proximity. Obviously, the model must be close enough to see them, to hear them if it’s a verbal behavior. They have to be visible. You need to be able to see the behaviors. Again, it goes closely to attention. They have to attend. They have to also be able to be close enough to be able to see what the behavior entails. And the level of arousal. There is going to be an optimal level of arousal. You get this in different classes, but we don’t want to be too relaxed. We don’t want to be too excited or too anxious. When you’re working with children and adolescents, it’s the anxiety aspects of things. Sometimes you have to work on the anxiety before you can really get into the model behavior because even doing very analog, office-based modeling of behaviors can still produce anxiety. So sometimes you have to do that. You have to think about it they are on any type of medication. Are they particularly tired? All these things are important when you’re working with any child or adolescent, whether you’re using an ABA approach, whether you’re using a Rogerian counseling approach. It doesn’t matter. You still need to consider level of arousal. There are different types of modeling procedures. We’re going to go through these relatively briefly. These are things that you will get in much greater detail if you go on into ABA or in very areas of clinical psychology and school psychology. These are things that you’ll learn, that I learned when I was in graduate school. First of all is training imitation. You don’t get as much of this in graduate school, but if you work with a low functioning clientele, you will get the opportunity to do this. Early in my career, I worked in a residential facility for individuals with intellectual disability. I did a lot of this, training them how to imitate. They may actually lack the ability to even imitate a behavior, which you see with young children when you do things, maybe like peek-a-boo. That type of thing is, in essence, working on imitation skills in young children. When you’re dealing with low functioning children, they may not even be able to do simple imitation like that, so the first thing you have to do is you have to teach them how to imitate. It’s relatively straightforward, giving them commands. Do this, you perform the action, like raising your arm, and you reinforce any approximation of the desired behavior. You shape the behavior. You gradually train it until they can imitate simple motor behaviors relatively well, and then you can move on. But you sometimes have to do it as simple as, raise your hand, and doing very simple motor behaviors so they can learn, and then you can eventually get to the point of, do what I do. You may have to guide them using some of the procedures. You may have to sometimes, even, use your hand and raise their hand to show them, depending on their functioning level and their baseline level of imitative abilities. Reinforced guided performance simply involves modeling the desired behavior and guiding the individual’s performance. You’ll see speech therapists do this a lot with the mouth, trying to get them to move their mouth in such a way to make certain sounds. That’s why I put shaping of the mouth sound to sound out a word. You guide the performance and you, again, reinforce successive approximations. It can be training imitation, but a lot of times, they can imitate but they can’t just see you and imitate you. You have to actually guide them through the motoric performance of the behavior to get them to be able to recognize. And again, it’s shaping the behavior, reinforcing successive approximations of the desired behavior, again, used mostly with young children and those who are very low functioning. Guided behavior rehearsal. This is what we’re most likely to do, unless we’re dealing with people who are very low, and this is where we’re going to guide them. We may verbally guide them through the steps. A client practices the behavior on their own. They model what you as the therapist shows them what to do, and then they do it on their own. They do it over and over again. They practice. The old line, a person goes to New York City and sees a cop on the street and says, can you tell me how do you get to Carnegie Hall? The cop says, practice, practice, practice. It’s the same type of thing. We learn these behaviors. Practice, practice, practice. Motoric behaviors, even things like reading. There’s no magic bullet to get a child or an adult to become a good reader. How do you become a good reader? By reading. Just read, read, read, or practice, practice, practice. But here, and same thing with reading, you’re practicing but you’re getting feedback from the therapist, the ABA therapist, as to, you did this well. Let’s try that again until you know they’re proficient with it. They get feedback from you, and eventually, you get them to the point where they can provide their own feedback on how well they did it. This is what I use a lot with social skills. Motor behaviors with low functioning individuals, but mostly, I do it with social skills training in individuals with autism. I work primarily with higher functioning children with autism, but it can work very well in getting them to see these skills. Finally we get to this point of no matter how much you do, no matter how well somebody can do this in your office, no matter how well they can do this in a contrived situation, even when you’re bringing in peers to a contrived situation, we get to this in vitro in vivo aspects of things, in vitro meaning in the laboratory, in vivo is in real life, in the natural setting. So we’re going to start out mainly in an analog setting, in vitro, in your office, in some type of controlled setting and get them to practice the behaviors until they’re proficient, but then have the client practice the behaviors in a natural setting. If you don’t bring it into the natural setting, you’re less likely to have the behavior successfully modeled in that setting. You have to provide supports. You have to have the individual prepared so that they are proficient, and you need to do it gradually in the natural setting. It’s not going to work just by working with somebody in the office. You have to bring them into the natural setting. It eventually gets us into the in vivo setting. Self modeling. I put this in here because this is my major area of research right now. I’ve done quite a bit, and I’ll give you an example of one the studies that I’ve done that was done with one of my graduate students that has been published. Self modeling, the individuals observe themselves successfully performing a target behavior, and it’s done by creating a video of a child. They can be role playing. You can do it in a couple of different ways. One way is you can just video a child for a long period of time and then splice out those irrelevant behaviors and just put in the exemplary performance of the behaviors. When we’re doing self modeling, the individual has to have the capability of engaging the behavior, so it’s not purely establishing a behavior. It’s strengthening a behavior. It’s taking a behavior that may be inhibited, but it may be one that we just need to get either disinhibited or show them the reinforcing qualities of engaging in the behavior. We can do it by doing a long videotaping session of them and splicing out the bad stuff and just having the exemplary performances. What I usually do, though, is have the child role play. I enlist other individuals from the environment in the classroom, from their home environment, and they role play certain things. In some cases, I even have the target child, usually a child with autism, play with me or with somebody that they usually do it, who they play with a lot of time. And then we have a peer from the classroom engaging in similar types of behavior like playing catch. The child will be videotaped throwing a ball to an aide or to a teacher or to a parent and then catching a ball from the teacher, the aide, or the parent. And then we’ll do a videotape of a preferred peer doing the same thing, throwing and catching a ball, and then we’ll splice together and make it look like they’re playing catch together. Things like that can be used. We edit video so that we create a video, usually it’s only a three to five minute video, that we play back for the child. The child can see themselves engaging in these behaviors. In other words, the child becomes their own model. There are certain qualifications. The child must possess the cognitive skills necessary for role playing so you can get them to engage in the behaviors to create the video. And obviously, they have to have the motoric skills to be able to do it, also. They must also have the ability to attend to the video when it’s played back. Not only does it teach skills or disinhibit skills, strengthen skills, but it increases the child’s self-efficacy. Seeing themselves engaging in these behaviors, behaviors in which they’re not usually engaging in, it shows them, hey, I can succeed if I do this. I’ve done it a lot, mostly with social skills, social engagement behavior with children with autism. I’ve done it with other things. I’m not going to go into all of those, but you can always get into Psych Info and search for me. You’ll be able to see some of the publications I have in this area. It increases the child’s self-efficacy, and that’s Bandura’s construct, that watching your behaviors will lead to a desired outcome in the behavior. It’s really, really a great procedure. Let me give you an example. This is done with a student of mine and my wife. Her name, Holly Victor. She was a graduate student when I was at the University of California, Riverside. She’s now a school psychologists somewhere in Orange County. I can’t remember. I think maybe in Anaheim. She did her master’s thesis. She did it with me and with the help of my wife. The publication that came out in 2011, she, obviously, was the first author, I’m second author, and my wife, Angeleque Akin-Little, is the third author. We had two boys. It was an n of two. Most applied behavior analytic research uses that single subject methodology that we talked about a few weeks ago with a small n. In this case, we had two. We had an eight-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy. They were both diagnosed with Asperger’s. I say Asperger’s. One actually had an Asperger’s diagnosis. Another had a diagnosis of high functioning autism. Behaviorally, they were pretty much identical. They were very, very similar. In DSM-5, they’ve gotten rid of Asperger’s, so they would be the highest functioning children with autism using the DSM-5. These children were diagnosed with the DSM-IV-TR. They attended a special day school, which was a great school. This was as good a school as you could think of. It was affiliated with the University of California, Irvine. The services that they had were better than you’ll find in 99% of public schools. They had a teacher who had a master’s degree, and they had two aides which were bachelor’s level behavior specialists in the classroom. They had traditional social skills training on a daily basis in the class as part of their curriculum. These individuals had limited social engagement, and the social skills training that they were getting and all of the great treatment that they were getting in this school, it just was not working. So we created a video and we edited it to show them socially engaged with peers. We had each one select a couple of peers in the class that they liked the most, that they would most like to play with, to be friends with, and we did exactly that I told you, the ball throwing example. We had them videotaping them throwing the ball to an aide, catching a ball from an aide. Then we videotaped a peer doing the same thing and we spliced them together so they were playing catch. We had them playing follow the leader where we spliced in the child in a line. We had other children in the school playing follow the leader, and then we spliced in the child to make it look like they were engaged in that game. We had other things. The child was talking to an aide and we other child in the classroom was socially adept and was capable of following a script, so that child acted like they were talking with the child. We spliced it together to make it look like they were having a conversation. These videos were approximately three minutes long. We showed it to them before class for five days. That’s it, five days. We showed it before they started the school day for five days. They watched a three minute video. The results were absolutely incredible. It resulted in not just increased social interactions, dramatically increased social interactions, and it acted quickly. Their baseline levels were next to nothing in social interactions on the playground. They were sitting by themselves almost the entire time. They were not initiating any type of social behaviors. They were not interacting with their peers. They were sitting by themselves. They may have been watching, but they were not engaging in any activities. Within the first day of observing themselves in these videos, they were doing it about 80% of the time and it worked really quickly. Again, we’re talking five days, only five days of looking at this. We didn’t show it to them again, but they started doing it after one way of doing it. They started doing it. It stayed up for both of them at about 80% to 90% level of social engagement during the treatment phase. We came back later for a follow up phase, and the gains were maintained. What was happening was, by seeing themselves engage in these behaviors, by being their own model for these behaviors, they got increased sense of self-efficacy, they thought they could engage in the behaviors, so they tried them out. They worked in the naturalistic environment. They received positive feedback, positive reinforcement, by engaging in these behaviors, and the behaviors were maintained over time. It was amazing. It really, really worked, and it was fun to see. I’ve done other research in this area, but this was the first study that I did and this is the one that got me so excited about this area. It’s an incredibly promising area. We’ve done another one with preschool children, with their peers. Getting away from children with autism, we did one with reading that was published in the New Zealand Journal of Psychology earlier this year. This is 2014, earlier in the winter edition of the New Zealand Journal of Psychology. That was done was reading and increasing reading skills in children who were otherwise normal functioning. We’ve done with off task behavior in a regular education classroom. That’s currently under review. There are many different settings in which this has worked and it’s a very, very promising technique to use. Shaping. I’ve used this term. Maybe I should have done this earlier, but shaping is simply the use of successive approximation of a desired behavior, or reinforcing successive approximations of a desired behavior. The example here is a child cleaning his or her room. You can reinforce, first of all, making his or her bed, then reinforce picking up the clothes on the floor, then reinforce putting the toys away. It comes out of Skinner’s work in a Skinner box with the rats picking a key or rats pressing a bar. They reinforce the behavior. First it’s just proximity to the bar, say, on the rat. The closer the rat came to the bar, the more they reinforce, eventually requiring the rat to touch the bar, and then press the bar down. They can get the rats to become very proficient in pressing the bar by reinforcing the successive approximation of that behavior. We do this all the time with all sorts of regular behaviors that normally developing children are engaging in. We reinforce behaviors in the home, such as cleaning their room, such as eating. Individuals that are lower functioning, we reinforce behaviors that are related to eating and grooming and all of these things. We shape the behaviors. Any type of complex behavior needs to be broken down into its component parts via shaping and reinforcing the component parts before you get to try to put them all together. So to start behavior in which the individual is not engaging, we have to usually start off with shaping the behavior. Prompting is another important area in trying to establish a behavior. Prompting simply involves giving help to the child that assists them in learning the skill. The prompts should focus the child’s attention to the discriminative stimulus or the desired behavior. It should prompt them to pay attention, to look at the stimulus, look at the discriminative stimulus to which you want them to respond. It could be just a verbal, pay attention. It could be a verbal, look at me, look me in the eyes. It could be anything like that. It could be a physical prompting in which you actually guide them through the stages of the behavior physically. Either of those can be used. You want to use as weak a prompt as possible because you don’t want the individual to become dependent on the prompts for engaging the behavior. You want a naturally occurring factors, discriminative stimuli, to prompt and signal the behavior for the individual. We want to use as weak a prompt as possible. We use verbal over physical if we can. If we physical, we want to use as mild, just gradually help guide their hand, instead of going through every single thing for them. Too much in the way of prompting makes them become more dependent on the prompts, makes it more difficult to fade, because they want to be faded. You want to get them to engage in the behavior without the prompt, so you want to fade it as rapidly as possible. You want to use as weak as prompt as possible, but you want it to work. So verbal prompts are what we use probably more than anything else. The last technique that I want to talk about in terms of establishing behavior has to do with chaining. Chaining is reinforcing individual responses occurring in a sequence to form a complex behavior. I’ve talked about this. We go through breaking the behavior down into its component parts. Chaining is just ordering those component parts and then reinforcing from start, the first one, and then the second time, they have to do the first two parts of the chain. Then you reinforce all three, so you’re gradually shaping the overall complex behavior by reinforcing the component parts of the behavior. So forward chaining, you begin by teaching the first link in the chain. You do that until it’s mastered. When that’s mastered, you move on to the next step. The child may be required to perform steps simultaneously. They may be reinforced at each step or you may gradually get to the point where first you reinforced one, then they have to do one and two before you reinforce. There are different ways you can do forward chaining, but it is like teaching a skill that we’ve been talking about in prompting where you’re reinforcing and shaping, reinforcing component parts until you get to the desired behavior and then everything overall is reinforced. Backward chaining is an interesting way to do it. It’s less in terms of establishing a behavior and used more in a behavior in which they can get engaged but in which they’re not. In this, you start with the overall behavior. You reinforce the overall behavior, or the last component of it first, and then you go backwards. Most of my backward chaining that I’ve used has been in schools when children are engaging in school refusal. People use the term “school phobia.” I prefer to use the term “school refusal.” School phobia implies a fear, and it’s not always a fear of school. They just don’t want to go to school. It’s more fun to stay at home. There are other things that are better for them. It may develop to a fear, but in all the cases, it’s not always a fear. But whether it’s a true phobia or whether it’s just refusal, I find it better to use a backward chaining procedure. By using a backward chaining procedure, we have them go to school the end of the day. We don’t start them at the beginning of the day and then gradually increase the day. We start at the end of the day so that they can experience the reinforcement of school ending at the end of the day and going home. So we start off with they have to go to school for the last half hour of the day. Then it’s the last hour, then maybe last two hours and so on, but we do it backwards. It’s a very interesting procedure, works less well with establishing a behavior and better with a behavior in which we know that it’s been inhibited somehow, such as school refusal. Most children who refuse to go to school, they initially went to school and something happened and they stopped going to school. Even those children who have never gone to school, they’re capable of engaging in those behaviors, so backward chaining allows reinforcement of the end of the day, which, we’ll be realistic. Most children like the end of the day better than the beginning of the day, so it’s an effective procedure. All of these you’ll learn in much greater detail if you go into a more focused behavior analysis program to become a board certified behavior analyst, or if you’re going into child clinical psychology. Interesting stuff. All of this stuff works really well and all of these things can be used in combination with one another or individually. A couple of references here. The Bandura, Ross, and Ross, which is the initial study that Bandura did with the Bobo doll, and I actually have a Bobo doll here. People hit it and knock it over. The Bobo doll was given to me by a student of mine many years ago. After I lectured on this, she brought a little present for me and gave me a Bobo doll. I walked into the classroom and the Bobo doll was set up in the front of the class. The Bandura, Ross, and Ross was the classic Bobo doll study which you can go back and read if you find that interesting. The other one is the self modeling study that I did, the Victor, Little, and Akin-Little. It was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Practice for Schools, and you can see how we actually did it and the details of it if you’re interested. This is the end of week eight. We’ve now gone through 80% of the lectures. You have three weeks left in the class, two weeks left with lectures. I hope you’ve been enjoying it. Again, I’ve been enjoying creating these videos for you. I know that sometimes I may get a little bit off track and tell little stories, but hopefully that can aid in your learning. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I hope you like this enough that you decide to pursue this more in your career. Have a good day and I’ll talk to you next week when we’re going to be talking about generalization and maintenance. Bye.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: AU Task Analysis Discussion

Title: AU Task Analysis Discussion