Our flagship journal, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, is a wonderful, wonderful resource for our journey on becoming a better Jedi. So do you have a favorite article yet? Remember we emphasize on visual stuff, so yes, that means data and graphs.
Please join the study group if you haven’t. And say hi and comment, ya?
We usually dress for the occasion, and well it’s Halloween time, which means DRESS UP! If you ever dressed up, you had been reinforced one way or another. And maybe the reinforcement is strong enough to keep you wearing that silly costume!
Or Is It?
Maybe you never dressed up before, nor you ever will…. but when some little pirates, princesses, Yodas, Darth Vaders, and Jedi coming to your door, not many people can resist the EO to give them some candies, right?
Go have fun but don’t forget to hit the book, ya?
Comments, questions, suggestions are welcome. Come say hi and join the study group if you haven’t.
Dear Noam Chomsky criticized our Yoda, B. F. Skinner on his view on Behaviorism. Let’s turn the table and look at his great creation, Language Acquisition Device (LAD). Can someone pinpoint where this little black box is? Just sayin’
Attribution or Bust
I had made this card awhile back but now my boys in blue might need a little boost, so I decided to post this today. I mean I’ll get all the credits and no blames, right, Choms?
And people, which task list is this post related to?
This is just an example. Change it to food (i.e. sushi, steak, or chicken liver), movies (say the Godfather, the Lord of the Rings, or Top Gun), activities (say knitting, playing video games, hiking) or whatever if you like. My point is everyone is different. I like Star Wars but it doesn’t matter you will like it too. Maybe you’d prefer Star Trek… or you just simply cannot stand sci-fi at all.
See what I am getting at? One thing/activity that is reinforcing to person A DOES NOT necessarily have the same effect on person B! Or worse, it might have some punishing effect on person B!
Just because something appears to be reinforcing doesn’t mean it is. Everybody loves praises, right? Maybe but how do we determine if it is a reinforcer or a punisher?
Is it Up or Down?
This is what is the determining factor. Is the behavior increasing or decreasing due to the presentation of the stimulus? If the behavior increases, then the stimulus is a reinforcer. And if the behavior decreases, then it is a punisher. Sounds simple, no?
You think chocolate is reinforcing? Guess what someone might not like sweet. He/she will not work for it. Therefore, no, it’s not reinforcing to EVERYONE.
You think yelling is punishing? Guess what some people just enjoy that kind of attention (yes, that kind of attention, which some call NEGATIVE). So, yes the behavior (getting out of chair, talking out loud, destroying toys, etc.) increases. It is reinforcing.
How Do You Like That?
The truth is out there… with data it reveals, no? That’s what ABA is all about! (Get it, people?)
Changes on Weird Wednesday
This post is no.10 on Weird Wednesday. And I see this as quite an accomplishment. However, I have decided to “leave the words, keep the cards” which means it is up to you to hit the White book and crack my silly jokes. And yes, let me know if you want to guest post. Many of you can use a DRO project or two!
And for those who are going to FABA. Have a wonderful, wonderful time!!!
No, I am not talking about those super models. A mentor, a person you can learn, who is SUPER at whatever you want to learn… say shoe-tying, skiing, Lego-building, and behavior plan-writing, you name it. I had said this before… FIND A MENTOR! Luke got Obi-won and Yoda. Michael got Vito. Who do you have? Can you trace your ABA lineage?
This is a short post… and yes, now go learn about modeling from the White Book. For those who are sitting this month, you can do it! Remember: study hard, read carefully, read carefully, trust your instinct!
There is a Chinese saying, 同枱食飯 各自修行, which roughly translates as eating at the same table but working on different things… pretty much not on the same page… imagine at the Don’s house, and his people don’t understand his instructions and do the wrong (or right?) things… a few missteps might cost the Corleone Family dearly. Hey even going on the “winning the lottery would be easier” suicide mission, the Rebels get together to devise an assault plan before heading to attack Death Star for that 1 in a million chance to blow the man-made battle station up in the 2 -foot hole. Let’s get everyone on the same page!
Get on the Same Page the BCBA Way!
There are many ways to make sure every member on the team understands the definition of the target behaviors (what does it look like?), and goals of the intervention and so on. Two of the first things that pop up on my head is “train the trainer” and the Inter Observer Agreement (IOA). Both are in the White book. Don’t let that book hang with the dust bunny, okay?
And don’t be shy! Ask questions… whether you are a BCBA (you can be new on the case), a therapist, a parent, etc… learn more about the client, the family and the intervention plan. We want everyone to win, know what I am saying?
Until next time…
May the desired consequence be with you!
P.S. Pretty proud of myself for typing the first few Chinese characters up… and thank you Google as well!!!
I don’t get a chance to check but my guess is that the Death Star wasn’t built in a day. I am pretty sure we didn’t learn to walk in one day either. See where I am going?
Our pizza man here undoubtedly put in many, many hours to make the dough. I am putting money on it that his first attempt was not pretty. EVERYTHING TAKES TIME! Yes, skill acquisition takes time! Don’t I wish to pull some crazy martial arts move or play sweet killer guitar the moment I start? This ain’t no Matrix, my friends!
The initial attempt is most likely FAR from the end goal… but hey at least you got the latency part taken care of (you started, right?) Just modify your current/temporary goal and make adjustment along the way. Yes it takes time… and patience, a term which we would DE-MENTALIZE one of these days. For now, let’s say we need to reinforce ourselves with praise and tangibles for every little success… and we’ll thin the Sr+ ratio (saying working on your pizza dough longer, making it rounder…) and with more repetitions (i.e. practice), the pizza dough will be perfect.
The dictionary defines it as “to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.” and “to think of with a sense of loss” (Dictionary.com)
The behavioral term has something to do with thinking (a private event). Thinking that you could have or should have done something (i.e. eating another slice of pizza, saying hi to that girl or guy, watching The Empire Strikes Back, the Godfather, or Pride and Prejudice for the 17th time…) and you just keep thinking and thinking and thinking about it. (DRO, anyone?) I am here to make my private event public now.
My Lost Opportunity
Years ago, I met Tina, my next-door neighbor, when I moved into a new neighborhood. Since she was about my mother’s age, she joked that she was my other mom and she did exactly that: she would feed me, asked about my day and yes… give my roommate and me a drink or two when we ran out of beverages. Though everyone moved out of that neighborhood, we kept in touch. She called me every holiday and birthday. And when I had my own family, she would always ask about them. Tina even remembered my son’s birthday! Yes, that “grandson” she never met!
Awhile back, she told me that she had been diagnosed with cancer and she was going through chemo and treatments… “I am keeping it positive,” she told me and I truly believed that she would pull through.
I called her on Mother’s Day.
She texted me on Father’s Day. And I should have called.
Then came July 3rd, the exam results were in. I passed. I was ecstatic!!! I made it! I told everyone. No, I thought I told everyone.
A few days later, the party was over. I realized I didn’t tell everyone…. Tina! And I thought to myself, “she’ll call in a few days and I’ll tell her then. That would cheer her up!”
I did not get that chance. I received a text from my old roommate one night last week: Tina passed away earlier that day. I missed my chance.
I hope her family will find comfort and keep her memories alive. I will do the same.
Yes, I will miss you. And no, I will no longer have any excuses not to do anything.
What is your regret? And what are you going to do about that?
This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Mrs. Tina C., my other mother.