Although Dr. Friedman is not well known in the dog arena (yet!), she is very well known in the parrot and academic communities. Dr. Friedman is an Applied Behavior Analyst and what Bob Bailey has done for training, Dr. Friedman is doing for behavior assessment and analysis. This two part series will give you a serious taste of what Dr. Friedman has to offer. In 2007 Dr. Friedman will be doing her 8-week course on behavior assessment and analysis via telecourses -- if you are serious about working with problem behaviors, this course is a must!
Part 1: Assessing Predictors and Purposes
Behavior is not something an animal “has” but rather something it “does” given some conditions and not others. When we think that problem behaviors are due to something inside the animal we naturally consider it the animal’s problem. When we think that problem behaviors are due to the conditions under which the behavior is demonstrated, we try to change the conditions, that part of behavior we can do something about. In this presentation, a model for assessing how conditions set the occasion for and reinforce problem behaviors is discussed. This model, called functional assessment, reveals answers to the three fundamental behavior-change questions: What (identify the problem behavior in observable, unambiguous terms); when (predict the conditions under which it will occur and not occur); and, why (what purpose does it serve for the bird).
Part 2: Building Behavior Change Plans Systematically
After completing a functional assessment of a problem behavior to determine the conditions under which the behavior occurs, the next step in the process of solving behavior problems is to systematically design a behavior change plan. The most successful interventions are those that arrange conditions to make the problem behavior irrelevant (provides the same, or more, reinforcement for desirable alternative behaviors); inefficient (makes it easier to perform the right behavior than the problem behavior); and ineffective (reduces or eliminates reinforcement for the problem behavior). In this workshop, a model for designing interventions is discussed as well as the ethical standard for selecting behavior change strategies known as the “most positive, least intrusive” procedural hierarchy.