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ABC Analysis

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Eric Schwartz

on 24 February 2014

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Transcript of ABC Analysis

A-B-C Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis
Antecedent- Environment, Sd, MO
Behavior- What is it? How can you tell?
Consequence- Reinforcement vs. Punishment
ABC practice

Branch of behavior analysis

(philosophy of behavior)
Experimental Analysis of behavior (EAB),
basic research
Applied Behavior Analysis,

responsible for applying principles of behaviorism to socially significant behaviors

Now let's get down to it...
Antecedent- any event or stimulus that occurs before a behavior occurs
There may be multiple antecedents
Why A-B-C analysis is important...

By analyzing the ABC's, we can determine what the behavior looks like, what happens in the environment before the behavior occurs, and what is the function of the behavior.

A-B-C analysis:
Helps us determine under what conditions behaviors occur

Motivating Operations (MO)
Discriminative Stimuli (Sd)
A variable which alters the
of a stimulus as reinforcement and either increases/decreases the occurrence of a behavior associated with that reinforcement
MO- Lack of food (hungry)
Student sees teacher

Student gets goldfish (no longer hungry)
Student signs "Food"
Because the student is
(motivating operations), food is going to be a reinforcer. Computer, for example, would not serve as strong of a reinforcer.
Student engaged in a behavior (signing food) which has been reinforced in the past
The behavior of signing "Food" is now stronger because it was immediately reinforced
- Lack of attention (lonely)
Student sees teacher
Teacher says "Relax, you need to calm down. I don't want to hear you scream"
Student screams and hits head
Because the student lacks attention (motivating operation), attention is going to be a reinforcer.
This behavior has been successful with accessing attention in the past
The behavior of hitting and screaming is now stronger because it satisfied the MO of wanting attention.
Motivating Operations (MO)
Discriminative Stimuli (Sd)
Discriminative Stimulus (Sd)- A stimulus in the presence of which a specific behavior will be reinforced
Basically, a cue in the environment to do something to get what you want
Example: You want to take a hot shower. The hot water faucet "H" would be the Sd because turning that on will give you reinforcement in the form of hot water
Discriminative Stimulus (Sd
)- Student sees teacher
Lack of food (hungry)
Teacher says "Relax, here is a snack" and then gives student some goldfish.
Student screams and hits his head
Because the student is hungry (motivating operation) , food will be a reinforcer.
Teacher is
for access to food because teacher has given food to student in the past.
As staff, we are typically Sd’s for access to everything (food, attention, tangibles). We want to transfer control to natural Sd’s (schedule, peers, actual items).

Definition of behavior- What is it??
Dead Man's Test
Behavior can be described by its
(what it looks like),
(the intensity of the behavior),
(how often it occurs), and
(how long it occurs)
Events that immediately follow behavior and either
the occurrence of the behavior
Consequences affect future behavior…all behavior is controlled by consequences, things that happen immediately after a response is emitted

Increase= reinforcement
Decrease= punishment
+ -
When discussing reinforcement and punishment....
Positive +
to the environment
Negative -
taken away
from the enviornment
Antecedent Behavior Consequence Operation
Student sits at desk alone with Ipad.
Student throws Ipad.
Teacher " Pick it up! Ipad is finished! Go to work!"'

Student throws objects the rest of the day.
Positive Reinforcement
Teacher "Time to go to work"
Student goes to work desk and bangs his head.
Teacher gestures to student to go to padded break area.

Student bangs head against desk when told to go to work next day.
Negative Reinforcement
Student sits at desk alone with Ipad.
Student throws Ipad.
Teacher " Pick it up! Ipad is finished! Go to work!"'

Student doesn't throw objects for rest of day.
Positive Punishment
Student walks into class and sits at his desk with his music and headphones.
Student begins singing out loud along with music.
Teacher takes music away.

Student doesn't sing out loud next time he has music.
Negative Punishment

Now we can implement behavior strategies before (antecedent), during (behavior), and after the behavior occurs (consequence).
Watson -> Skinner = ABA as we know it

Allows us to determine the function of the behavior
Think Motivation.....
The teacher was an Sd, or cue, to the student that if he engaged in a certain behavior, he could get access to what he wanted (food).

What should be the natural Sd in school for our students to access food?
- Snack icon on schedule
- Cafeteria
- Actual food item

Motivating Operations decide whether something is going to be reinforcing or not!

How can we use MO's to change behavior?

Remove access to objects so they become more valuable...i.e. the MO increases
Example: Limit access to computer throughout morning, allow access to computer only after completion of tasks. Student's MO for computer will be greater and will be more likely to engage in the behaviors you want to access computer
Increase access to stimuli (objects, people, etc) so that the MO decreases
Example: Allow student unlimited access to attention in the morning when they come into school. Student's MO for attention will be decreased and will be more likely to engage in behaviors that don't result in attention.
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