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					             Chapter 3

           Behavior Analysis

 A description of the essential features
of behavior analysis as a natural science
       approach to development.
        Are Theories of Learning
According to Skinner
   Not those that appeal to hypothetical, internal
    events as explanations of behavior
           Diversion from analysis of behavior as
            function of objective variables
           More parsimonious explanations exist
           Led to misconception of Skinner as
            “Antitheory” and behavior analysis as
    Remember Scientific Theory
        from Chapter 1?
A theory* is:
1) An analysis of a set of facts in their relation to
  one another
2) The general or abstract principles of a body of
  fact or a science
3) A plausible or scientifically acceptable
  general principle or body of principles offered
  to explain phenomena
*Webster's Seventh new Collegiate Dictionary (1965)
               Scientific Theory

In other words,
   Theories are summaries (statements or
    equations) of classes of functional relations
    (scientific facts) that have been ordered into
    scientific laws which:
           Explain observed events
           Used to interpret novel empirical
            observations (scientific interpretation)
           Skinnerian Theory
       (Behavior Analytic Theory)
   Concepts that express “empirical functional
    relationships between behavioral and
    environmental variables” (Zuriff, 1985)
   Based on an organized collection of empirical
    facts and scientific laws
           Explain observed behavior
           Interpret novel behavioral relations
           Concerned with lawful behavior-environment
         Skinnerian Theory
     (Behavior Analytic Theory)
Behavior analysis consists of laws and
 principles derived from experimental analysis
 that describe known functional relationships
 between behavior and environment

Thus, Skinner's theory of learning (behavior
 analysis) is a scientific theory
    Basic Units in Behavior Analysis

   Scientific laws emerge from discovery of basic
    units of analysis
   In science, basic unit of analysis = smallest
    functional relation that displays order
   In behavior analysis, basic unit= the 3-term
                   R SR
    Basic Units in Behavior Analysis

   Skinner described basic units of behavior
           Defined as functional classes rather than
            independent structural units
           Defined by respective effects on one another
   Fundamental units include operants,
    respondents, discriminative operants
     Based on the Basic Units,
        Behavior Analysis
1) Is a scientific theory of adaptive behavior
2) Distinguishes between structural and
functional approaches to behavior
1)Can bring order, clarity and unity to
developmental psychology
            The Environment

                                Behavior Analytic View
     Traditional View
     Molar, Structural
                                 A set of scientific facts,
                               abstract principles derived
e.g., physical environment,
                                therefrom, and the use of
 people, and institutions in
                               those principles to explain
        a child's life
                                        new facts
                 Locus of Control

   Where do the determinants of behavior lie?
          Inside the child (developmental psychology)
                 Infants seen as initiators (agents) of their own
                  behavior AGENT           ACTION
          In the environment (behavior analysis)
                 Changes in environment are responsible for
                  changes in behavior
   Example: sucking patterns of infants
(Kalnins and Bruner, 1973)

   Skinner maintained that inferring hypothetical
    events or processes in development are not
    necessary to explain behavior
   Behavior analysis makes inferences about
    potentially observable environmental events
    based on observing behavior in its context
           Thus the behavior analytic approach can be
            directly tested
    A Behavior Analytic Taxonomy

   Taxonomy = principles of classification
   In behavior analysis= functional classification
             Stimulus Functions
   Evocative Functions
           Environmental operations that immediately,
            but momentarily, strengthen behavior
           “evoke” = elicit (respondent) or occasion
   Functional- Altering Operations
           Environmental operations producing a more
            lasting effect
           Strengthen or weaken evocative stimulus
           Establish other function-altering operations
    Traditional View of Development

   “Development” as a concept in developmental
    text books refers to “change related in an
    orderly fashion to time.”
          Time-related variables
          Focus on age as variable correlated with
           behavior change
          Biological or cognitive inferences are made
             Behavior Analytic
           View of Development
   “Development” is considered change in
    behavior over time
          Variables are not invented, time-related
          Variables are “processes that produce,
           facilitate or retard change”
Psychological development:
Progressive changes in interactions between the
 behavior of individuals and the events in their
 environment (Bijou & Baer, 1978)
     Genes, Brain, and Behavioral
Behavior analysts:
   Acknowledge the role that genes play in
    development of behavior by determining brain
   Agree with evolutionary biologists that human
    evolution is characterized behavioral plasticity
   Assert that genetic and neurobiological
    variables are not necessary to a fruitful study
    of behavior in its context
Proximate and Ultimate Causation

   Proximate causes- events that evoke behavior
   Behavior analysts want to understand how
    proximate events come to affect behavior and
    emphasize ultimate causation, such as
    conditioning history
   Developmental/Cognitive psychology
    acknowledge inferred, internal and
    hypothetical structures as proximate causes of
example: schizophrenia
    Cognitive and Behavior Analytic
       Approaches to Behavior
   Developmental psychology is largely based on
    inferred, hypothetical events
   Many terms and theoretical questions in
    psychology imply a cognitive approach to
    behavior and cannot be reconciled by behavior
    analysis (e.g. memory)
   Behavior analysis is tasked with examining the
    behavior from which the hypothetical events
    are inferred
          Focus on processes rather than outcomes of

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