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RBT Module 7
Transcript of RBT Module 7
Direct assessment methods are considered more valid since you are directly evaluating a person
Registered Behavior Technician
Dr. Michael Cameron
As a Registered Behavior Technician, you will strengthen a person's skills, and increase behaviors that may be alternative to, or incompaticle with, an aberrant behavior. Therefore, you will need to identify a divese array of reinforcers that will allow you to effectively support the person you are
Registered Behavior Technician Module:
Conduct Preference Assessments
Competency Based Quiz (5 questions)
The goals of this module are: (1) to discuss the rationale for conducting
preference and reinforcer assessments, (2) to introduce you to Behavior Intervention Technologies (BITs), (3) to review Indirect
Preference Assessment Techniques, (4) to review Direct Preference Assessment Techniques, and (5) to discuss some practical considerations when selecting an assessment method.
At the conclusion of this training,
your BCBA supervisor to review the preference and reinforcer assessments they use,
the process of conducting a preference and reinforcer assessment, and
your ability to assess an indiviudal you are supporting. Finally, consider (and this is an option) Behavioral Intervention Technologies (BITs) to plan and conduct an assessment
Interviewing is one of the most common
ways of gathering information from a
person receiving services and stakeholders
In the unstructed
interview, the care providers are simply asked
to name the items that the individual likes
During the structured
interview, care providers (or other
stakeholders) will ask questions about
potentially reinforcing items. An example of
an interview tool is the Reinforcer Assessment
for Individuals with Severe Disabilities (RAISD).
Here is a sample question:
Some children really enjoy certain sounds, such
as listening to music, car sounds, whistles,
beeps, siren, clapping, and people singing.
What are the things you think "Peter" most likes
to listen to?
Note: The RAISD is available on-line
The indiviudal is shown items in pairs and asked to pick one. Here are the steps to follow:
Gather items to test.
Prepare your survey
(you may want to
restrict yourself to 6
Allow the person to "sample" the items you will assess
Start presenting combinations (use a
combination calculator to
ensure all combination possibiites and record the selection)
Rank order the preferences
by calucating the "preference percentage". That is, the number of times
was selected divided by the total number of choice-pairs that included item
( ___ X ___) X 100 =
Single Stimulus Assessment
An option for individuals that do not have choice-making skills
Present items one at a time and record whether the
individual approached (e.g., touched or picked-up) the item. You could also record the "latency" to respond (i.e., how much time it took to respond)
Single Stimulus Engagement
Data are collected on whether the
person approached the item, and
if so, how long did they engage
(i.e., a duration measure, which
allows for differentiation across
items, is used)
Preference and reinforcer assessments are essential when developing a skill acquisition program and a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). In consequence, both preference and reinforcer assessments are an essential part of the Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) process. To effectively strengthen and increase a behavioral repertoire (e.g., functionally equivalent replacement behaviors that are part of your BIP or skills addressed in your skill acquisition program), a Registered Behavior Technician must know which items or activities (from the 8 categories) will act as effective consequences. Moreover, we know from research studies that have been conducted that caregivers, and even the individual receiving services, do not always have complete informaton about true preferences. Finally, preferences shift over time (and across behavioral and physical states), therefore, it is important to conduct preference assessments, on an ongoing basis, to ensure that the consequneces you are planning are having the desired effect.
. The purpose of this assessment is: (1) to gather information from the individual you are supporting, (2) to gather information from stakeholders (e.g., parents, siblings, teachers, nurses, and other professonals), and (3) to use your knowledge about
reinforcers to plan the consequences you will deliver as part of your Behavior Intervention and Skill Acquisition programs.
. The purpose of this assessment is to validate the effectivess (or ineffectiveness) of a consequnece you plan to use, or are currently using, to change behavior.
Rationale and Terms
Behavioral Intervention Technologies (BITs).
According to the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, behavioral intervention technologies include web, mobile and sensor technologies that help people make positive behavior changes to support health, mental health, and wellness.
A list of potential reinforcers is presented and the interviewee is asked to select preferred items. Specially, the interviewee may be asked to check-off all preferred items, rank the items in order of preference, state how much they or their child likes an item, or pick between two items. An example of a clinican survey is the
Child Reinforcement Survey
Designed to present the same questions in the same order to stakeholders.
Child Reinforcement Survey (e.g., 2 to 6, 6 to 12)
Child's Strengths Checklist
Family Support and Natural Ecology Chart
Multiple Stimulus With Replacement (MS)
In the multiple stimulus with replacement procedure, multiple items are presented to the participant simultaneously. Once an item has been selected, it is replaced prior to the next trial so that all items are presented in each trial.
Multiple Stimulus Without Replacement (MSWO)
The MSWO procedure is similar to the MS procedure with the exception of the replacement component. Positional effects are controlled by moving (after a stimulus selection) an item from the far left to the far
Brief Stimulus Preference Assessment/Free Operant Assessment
The free operant assessment (i.e.,
the person is "free" to "operate"
on the environment) could involve a
person being exposed to an array
of reinforcers around a table for a
brief period of time (e.g., 5 minutes).
Data are collected on engagement
with items. The free operant has no
inter-trial interval; after a reinfocer is
accessed, even more reinforcers are
available so long as the person
keeps on responding.
Observing people in the natural
environment (not contrived) and
collecting data on activity. Many
people can be observed at the same
Acknolwedgement: An excellent publication on preference assessments by Rush, Mortenson, and Birch (
International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy
) served as the basis for information presented within this module
Does the person have choice-making skills?
Is the person's attention span appropriately matched to assessment type?
Will the assessment process affect the person's behavioral state?
Is there a goodness of fit between items or
activities selected and the: (a) age of the person, (b) culture in which the potential reinforcers will be used (e.g., a classroom, car), and (c) the social
Motivating operatons (e.g., unlearned and learned)
True or False. A preference
assessment and a reinforcer
assessment are terms that can
be used interchangeably
No. During a reinforcer
assessment you are verifiying the
effectiveness or ineffectiveness of
an item (or activity) as a reinforcer
True of False. The effectiveness
of your BIP and Skill Acquisition
programs will be linked to your
ability to identify and use reinforcers.
What is more reliable, a
direct or indirect preference
What is relevant measure
when conducting a single
stimulus engagement preference
Which assessment method requires
you to "replace" the stimulus that was
selected on a preference assessment
Multiple Stimulus With
This training program is based on the Registered Behavior Technician Task List and is designed to meet the 40-hour training requirement for the RBT credential. The program is offered independent of the BACB.