Understanding Behavior: Basics of ABA

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Today, I had a private event…

So, as I was driving today, I suddenly became aware of how powerful a science ABA is. It is a world-changing science, and as such, I find that we are moving closer to a larger systems change. Changes in litigation, insurance, etc. are all moving forward, and it is a pretty incredible time for a behavior analyst to be practicing.

And here is the private event: I am looking for people who are interested in looking at major social change potential. I’ve got some gears cranking (or some private events that seem to be perseverative), and I’m thinking that here is what I need.

1. Legal expertise in educational settings
2. Teachers currently working in school settings
3. Criminologists
4. Professionals working in corrections (or some similar field)
5. Medical doctors
6. Any profession that may need to address some ongoing social concerns

See me here if you are interested. I see big things in the future (based on risk assessment, potential response effort, and overall reinforcement, of course!).

Filed under aba applied behavior analysis social change behavior analysis skinner behavior B.F. Skinner bcba

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CEU Event

Hello everyone! Our next CEU course will take place on February 28, 2014 at 6pm. “The Future of Behavior Analysis” or, “ABA and Robots? Who Knew?” To celebrate our first year of operation, we are offering the 1 hour course for 5 dollars! Come check us out at www.NewArchitectsLLC.com 

Filed under aba applied behavior analysis behavior behavior analysis continuing education ceu robots operant behavior training bcba bcaba certification ceu event ace provider

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New CEU Agency

Hello everyone!

My word, I have been busy at work and getting my agency off the ground, and now here we are. I’ll be teaching my first CEU course on Robotics and Behavior Analysis for 1 type II CEU. Here’s the course info:

Course Title: The Future of Behavior Analysis: Implications of Hutchison’s (2012) Article ‘The Central Role for Behavior Analysis in Modern Robotics, and Vice Versa.’Presenter: Shane Spiker, MS, BCBA
Date: January 31, 2014
Time: TBD
Location: Online
Cost: $5

Come sign up at my site www.NewArchitectsLLC.com and have some fun!

I look forward to hearing from you all soon!


Filed under Behavior Analysis behavior behavior analyst Applied Behavior Analysis B.F. Skinner robots robotics behaviorism ABA

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Yeah, that’s not really how that works.
Me, way too often explaining behavior analysis to people.

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I’m a Jerk for Being Gone for so Long, but Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Hey everyone. I feel like I apologize a great deal for not posting much. But I have been way busy lately. Aside from having a baby and getting back to school (Ph.D. programs can be demanding), I’ve been working on getting my own agency started. So check this out:


This is my new agency. I started it as a company that is for analysts, by analysts. The idea is that we are a community working to develop competent and ethical behavior analysts. The idea is to develop training topics based on what analysts want to learn about and provided by analysts, just like us. So, please, pass the word on, join the movement, do what you like. I’ll try to update here every now and again. But for now, please check us out!

Thank you,

Shane and New Architects, LLC

Filed under aba applied behavior analysis behavior operant conditioning continuing education distance learning remote supervision supervisino training learning education skinner

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Extinction: The Soda Machine Refuses to Cooperate, So I Tipped it and it Broke My Legs

So, today you’re thirsty. You walk to a nearby soda machine and put your dollar in. You press the button for “Coke,” but the soda doesn’t come out. You press it again, but still,nothing happens.In a futile attempt, you press the button again with your thumb. Again,nothing.You press the “Sprite” button, and againnothing happens.You even press the iced tea button (which you hate), but still,nothing.

It is at this point that you decide that you aren’t that thirsty and just want your money back. When you press the return change button, the machine keeps your dollar.You begin yelling, cursing, screaming, shaking the machine, etc. You punch the machine. You kick the machine. You tell other people that the machine is a “hunk of junk” and you never go back to that machine for soda again, or you tip the soda machine onto your body, crushing your legs.

On this day, the soda machine put your soda buying behavior on extinction. Simply put, there was a discontinuation of reinforcement for soda buying behavior. The minute the soda machinewithheldany sort of refreshment (and your money), it put your behavior on extinction.When a behavior is put on extinction, nothing changes in the environment.There is NO direct consequence for the behavior.

At a certain point, the behaver (you) will do whatever it takes to get reinforcement. You change the behavior in a desperate attempt to get what you initially wanted. This is called the extinction burst.Essentially, behavior will change in form, duration, intensity, etc. until the end result is either nothing or some reinforcing consequence. For extinction to work, however, reinforcement must be withheld, i.e. NOTHING HAPPENS.

Another example: A friend calls you and tells you to call them back as soon as you can. You call back, and they don’t answer. You text, and there is no response. Your calls become more frequent. Your texts become more frequent. You begin to panic, yell, curse, etc. until finally your friend answers: “I was in the bathroom, dude. Chill.”

It is important to note that this can get quite dangerous at times, especially for individuals with problem behaviors. Ethical considerations have behavior analysts look at the behavior itself and determine whether or not extinction is going to do more harm than good. For example, if a child engages intantrums,extinction is less likely to get to extremely dangerous levels and would probably benefit the learner. If we are talking abouteye-gouging,however, it is likely that an analyst would use a procedure that would not likely increase the intensity, frequency, or duration of the behavior. An extinction burst in eye-gouging behavior could lead to permanent damage or even sight loss.

Additionally, extinction procedures should not be used without specific training and behavior analyst oversight due to the nature of the effects.

But, if you want to see some immediate change in behaviors, refuse to answer a friend’s call for a day or two, just because.

Filed under ABA Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Analysis Extinction Education Learning Science

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An establishing operation is an event that momentarily alters the reinforcing effectiveness of a stimulus.  For example, drinking water after eating salty food.  The salty food momentarily increased the reinforcing effectiveness of the water.

Deprivation can also be an establishing operation that momentarily alters the reinforcing effectiveness of a stimuli.  For example, when cookies no longer strengthen behavior because of satiation, parents can place the cookies under deprivation by not giving them to the child for a period of time.  Placing the cookies under deprivation will increase the reinforcing effectiveness of the cookies.

This is HUGE in communication training.

Filed under Communication Skills Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Analysis

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Ok ok ok

So, I’ve passed my exam! That doesn’t make up for me not posting on here more. I’ll make it up to you all soon!