Definitions of Behavior Terminology

Acquisition Programming (Skills)

The programming used to teach a new skill. This is also a component of positive programming. A task analysis is used to specify the discrete components of the behavior, and a data sheet is used to record progress. Training methods may include forward chaining, backward chaining, graduated guidance, standard teaching procedure, try another way, and others.

Active Listening (Assessment / Treatment)

A de-escalation and communicative procedure used to assist the client with understanding what is bothering them and identify possible solutions. The process is also helpful in establishing a supportive relationship with the client while maintaining their responsibility for their own choices and actions.

Adaptive Behavior (General)

Any behavior that is acceptable, increases ones ability to perform functionally or socially, or provides accommodation for a disability.

Additive Procedures (General)

These are reinforcement and skills training procedures that add other aspects or levels to the existing procedure. An example is the addition of a weekly reinforcing event to a list of reinforcers that are earned daily.

Aggression Control Techniques (Emergency Management)

Those techniques which use physical management and control to interfere with dangerous or violent behavior. These are not a part of active treatment for the behavior, but methods of protecting the client and others in emergencies. Wherever possible non-contact methods of controlling and preventing danger should be used first. Those include active listening, contingent relaxation, and verbal direction to a safe place. Aggression Control Techniques (A.C.T.) is also the name for one group of such techniques approved for use in Florida. Other specific techniques go by different names such as RIGHT RESPONSE, S.E.C.U.R.E., CPI, MAB, Mandt, or PART. Some systems are more physical and therefore more likely to lead to injury of the client or staff. In all cases, staff attempting to control a client physically should be trained by a trainer certified to teach one of the methods approved by the state or other authority.

Alter Ego (puppet or doll as an aid to communication) (Treatment)

This is a role playing technique used to assist individuals who have difficulty with direct confrontation, are shy, or are afraid to express themselves directly to others. The goal is to build verbal skills and over time fade the use of the puppet as an aid.

Antecedent (General)

A event or chain of events that precedes a behavior of interest. Antecedents can be environmental events, social events, perceptions, thoughts, body sensations, or changes in internal conditions (medical).

Antecedent Analysis. (General / Treatment)

As defined by Willis and LaVigna in their writing guide "the antecedent analysis attempts to identify the conditions that control the problem behavior. Some of the specific antecedents explored include the setting, specific persons, times of the day/week/month, and specific events that may occur regularly in the client's everyday life".

Apology Training (Treatment / Skills)

This is often an anachronism used for Social Reassurance Training which is an aversive program. Care should be taken to clarify the use of this term particularly if the meaning is teaching the client the normal accepted behavior of saying excuse me or I'm sorry. Such Training needs to be clearly not a form of overcorrection, or other punishment regimen if it is to be a positive social skill.

Assertive Behavior / Assertion Training (Behavior / Treatment)

Assertive behavior is that behavior which is not aggressive but clearly expressive of the wants and needs of the individual. Assertion training is the training in communication skills that allow the individual to express their feelings, wants, and needs in socially acceptable ways.

Assessment (General)

Assessment is the process of evaluating the needs and target services appropriate for a given client. Functional Analysis is a part of the total assessment, which also includes medical, social, and other needs.

Assistance (Skills Training)

This is the process of prompting, guiding, or structuring a task such that the client can succeed. This is not to be mistaken for doing a task for the client which he otherwise could learn to perform himself. Assistance is to be faded as the client learns to perform the skill more independently.

Assumptions (General)

These are statements of our beliefs about a given situation. Wherever possible these should be specified and considered open for revision as more information is available.

Aversive Stimulus (General / Treatment)

Any possible outcome which a person would normally work to avoid. These include obnoxious, unpleasant, painful or otherwise limiting or degrading events. Such stimuli are used in Aversive (punishment) procedures. Aversive procedures for the most part can be recognized by their being easily stated in terms of "If you do x you will have to do Y , or Z will happen", or "If you do x, Z will happen".

Back-up Reinforcer (Treatment)

An object or event which has been demonstrated to have the qualities of a reinforcer, and is used as one choice for a client to exchange tokens or other secondary reinforcers for once a significant number have been earned.

"Balanced" Token Economy (Treatment)

This is a token economy which is designed so that the client earns approximately the number of tokens at maximum performance which s/he would spend given free access to tokens. It is pointed however that a balanced system is not necessary in all cases. Some people tend to be savers and the growth in their number of points or tokens is itself a reinforcing event. Therefore one need only be concerned if the clients level of performance is directly affected by a gross surplus. Expanding the views of normalization and community appropriate behavior it is pointed out here that it is normal to earn vacations, sick days (often used as "mental health" or kickback days). Therefore such opportunity should be available to the client.

Baseline (General)

This is the initial period of recording a behavior prior to the implementation of a behavioral procedure. The degree of change in a behavior and the effects of programming are compared to this recording. It is important to realize that while this is necessary, it may be impractical, unethical, or impossible to create a true non-treatment baseline, however it is important to collect as accurate a database as possible and include statements about unclear, or confounding events occurring during this period. In addition to duration and frequency of behaviors, some attempt at recording strength of the behavior is highly recommended.

Behavior Management (General)

This is the process of changing another persons behavior through a variety of controlled responses to their behavior. While this is classically used to refer to programs in hospitals, group homes and similar facilities it is important to note that behavior management techniques are used in business management, supervision of staff, self help programs (such as smoke enders), and the fields of public relations and advertising.

Behavioral Contract (General / Treatment)

This is an agreement between two or more people that targets change in behavior. In an institutional setting behavior contracting commonly is an agreement that a client will change a target behavior in trade for some privilege or access to a range of specified reinforcers. In families such contracts may target mutual change on the part of all parties. For a contract to be effective the rules governing reinforcer schedules, and adequacy of the strength of the reinforcer must be attended to as in any other program. For contracts to work they should be in writing and include the specifics of the target behaviors and reinforcers earned. They should also be time limited with specific time to review and modify it set in the contract.

Behavior Probes (Assessment)

A behavior probe is a experimental introduction of stimuli to a client. The goal of such probe is to more clearly identify the events that control the behavior, and those which do not. Such a behavior probe can be dangerous as it can escalate the behavior and/or lead to other behavior problems if not monitored carefully. A behavior probe should never be undertaken by direct care staff, unless under the direct supervision of (in the presence of) a qualified behaviorist.

Behavior(al) Programming (General / Treatment)

This refers to the collective activities which are used to change the behaviors of an individual or group. Programming includes those elements based on learning theory which focus on: 1) the acquiring of new skills (or re-learning lost skills); 2) the increase in the frequency of a desirable behavior that while present is infrequent; 3) the reduction in the frequency (or elimination) of an undesirable behavior; 4) teaching appropriate choices in socially relevant behaviors (stimulus control); 5) maintaining and increasing the opportunity for independence and generalization of behaviors; and 6) exposure to more opportunities for normalization and community integration.

Behavior(al) Program (General / Treatment)

This is most frequently a plan of action aimed at the staff responses to targeted behaviors of a client. the plan should include teaching alternative behaviors, modifying the environment to reduce the frequency of behaviors while training is taking place, tolerance training (systematic desensitization), a system to reinforce the absence of the behavior or the engaging in targeted incompatible behaviors, and the response to the occurrence of the behavior. Additionally it is pointed out that such a program must be initiated in a setting which provides those opportunities which are referred to as positive programming.

Behavior(al) Program Review Committee (General)

This refers to a committee which is responsible for the review of behavior programs and in some states their approval. Some times these are referred to as Level III committees, Behavior Management Committees, or Peer review committees. In some parts of the country there is a state wide Peer Review Committee which oversees and monitors activities of local Behavior Management Committees. When working with clients who are taking psychotropic drugs, it is advisable to create a review committee which monitors the interaction of the medication, behavioral program, and other events in the clients life. As a minimum such a committee should consist of the behavior program designer, the facility administrator, a representative of the staff working with the client, and the physician. Additionally representatives of human rights boards, family members, and involved social service agencies are appropriate members. While no guideline for the frequency of such meetings is given here it is pointed out that some states mandate such meetings, the frequency of review, and who must attend.

Behavior Protocols

A set of directions that clarifies what the method of implementation of behavior procedures is. Each Protocol is based on the description of the behavior and should include at a minimum what related training programs are, what reinforcement methods and approaches are to be used, and what responses should occur if the behavior occurs.

Chain (Behavior(al) chain) (Skills)

This is a group of sequentially linked discreet behaviors which when viewed as a whole make up a more complex behavior. Each step in the activity is viewed as one component of the complex behavior which can be taught separately.

Chemical Restraint (Emergency Management)

This refers to the use of psychotropic medication to control behavior. It is not always clear if psychotropic medication is used to alleviate a suspected psychiatric disorder, such as in a psychiatric patient; or to simply lower the activity level of the client. Whenever possible the level of medication should be reduced or eliminated in conjunction with the proscribing physician, and clear data on the behavior of the client. Care should be taken that medication does not reduce the communication ability, or access to community or training programs designed to increase their quality of life. Medications should not routinely be used on an as-needed basis (PRN) for the control of behavior. This often leads to increases in behavior to gain the drug effect and escape uncomfortable reality. It also interferes with behavior programming, training, and lends itself to at least the appearance of possible abuse by care givers. Additionally the American Psychiatric Association has published guidelines against such use for psychiatric problems.

Cognitive Behavior (General)

Refers to those behaviors which can not be seen or observed by others and occur as thoughts. Such behaviors may be directly or indirectly related to overt behaviors which are observable. Cognitive behaviors are also referred to as covert behaviors.

Cognitive Behavior Modification (General)

Refers to those procedures designed to alter thought processes. Such procedures often use guided images, relaxation training, role play, value training, or other visual or sensory input. Some other procedures in this category relate teaching self control through a variety of cognitive exercises which are designed to retrain cognitive processes.

Compliance Training (Treatment)

This refers to a behavioral program designed to reward the client for following directions regularly and routinely. Care should be taken that the problem does not train blind obedience, or otherwise punish the client for refusing to engage in behaviors a normal person might also refuse to do in a similar situation.

Communicative Function (behavior)

Many times the function of a behavior is to communicate a need or desire that the client is not able to communicate in other ways. M. Charlopp and others have demonstrated a variety of ways to identify routine meanings of frequent behaviors. These approaches to understanding the communications aspect of some behaviors point to communications training needs in those clients.

Conditioning (Treatment)

The pairing a cue with an event. Over time the cue and event are linked cognitively and the cue then elicits the behavior associated with the event. This is the paradigm of "Pavlov's dogs salivating when they hear a bell" that most people are aware of from high school science classes. The principle is useful in teaching cues for common behaviors to individuals with severe disabilities.

Conditioned Reinforcer (Secondary Reinforcer) (Treatment)

This is a category of reinforcers which derive their reinforcing value from learned pairing with primary reinforcers. Common conditioned reinforcers are money, tokens, frequent flyer coupons, and punched trading cards from stores. The key to such methods is that the item in itself is not valuable, however it may be exchanged in adequate quantity for valued items. There are a variety of methods of teaching the value of such items to people with severe disabilities. These include the use of modeling, direct pairing (conditioning) and shaping some existing reinforcer into a token.

Correction (Natural Consequence) (Treatment)

This refers to a consequence for behaviors in which the client is requested to put things back as they were, or at least help put them back. An example is when milk is spilt, regardless of the reason, in a matter of fact way the client is directed to help clean up the mess. This is not to be confused with punishment procedures of overcorrection or restitution in which the client is forced to correct the environment to at least as good as prior to the incident.

Consequate (Treatment)

This is the delivery of a specified or planned response to a target behavior. Most often used to refer to a punishment, however any response that is a clear artificial, planned consequence to a target behavior may be referred to.

Consequent Analysis. (General / Treatment)

As defined by Willis and LaVigna in their writing guide "the consequence analysis attempts to identify the reactions and management styles that might contribute to and/or ameliorate the presenting problems. It also focuses on the effects that the behaviors might have on the immediate social and physical environment, on the possible function(s) served by the problem behaviors, and on the possible events that might serve to maintain or inhibit their occurrence."

Consequence (General / Treatment)

This is any feedback to an individual following or during the last phase of a behavior. It may refer to natural consequence such as the loud noise of a book hitting the floor when it is thrown or human responses designed to change the relationship of a behavior to its naturally occurring reinforcer.

Consistency (General / Treatment)

In program monitoring this usually refers to the level of accuracy of staff responding to a client behavior in the planned manner. One of the tenants of behavior change is that the more consistent the response (reward, ignoring, or punishment) to a behavior is the quicker the learning. Program consistency is usually reported in percentage and represents the number of correct responses by the staff divided by the number of times the behavior occurred in their presence. If reinforcers are not consistently delivered the effect is similar to random punishment, conversely inconsistent punishment or ignoring may act as accidental reinforcement. See Reliability.

Contingent / Contingency (General / Treatment)

A response is contingent if its occurrence is "dependent upon" the occurrence of the behavior. Some consequences have natural occurring (or expected) contingent effects such as pulling a fire alarm switch causes the sound of the alarm to ring or an object falling off a table breaking when it hits the floor. Once the initial event occurs it is expected that the following event will happen. In some cases the contingent event however is set up by society or its agents and is expressed as a rule (contingency rule). If the rule is not properly stated or enforced in a consistent manner it may lead to confusion, aggression, and an increase in the behavior it is associated with. Program contingencies usually are expressed as "if ... then .... " statements (i.e.. "if John has his shoes on when he goes to the door he may go outside"). This is the starting point for teaching rule governed behaviors. Care should be taken in formulating reasonable and practical contingencies as problems often occur which lead to staff confusion and inconsistency. In the example above what is the staff to do when John shows up naked except for his shoes, or if the situation outside is dangerous to his safety?

Contingency Management Handbook (Facility Rule Book) (Treatment)

This is an attempt to address common problems of a group of clients residing together by creating a master behavior problem. To the extent that this means schedules of activities, skills training, and choices of clients are posted (positive programming) and followed consistently this is important for all facilities. The concept of such programs outlining group consequence for individual behavior (group punishment, or reward) is a violation of client rights. Additionally the concept of one proscription being the "cure" for all similar behavior is clearly rejected by the preponderance of the research into Functional Analysis.

Continuation Criterion (Fail-Safe Procedure) (Treatment)

This is the stipulation in some states that within a set period of time a given outcome must be achieved or the program will be stopped. Such criterion obviate the need for good clinical practices, such as ongoing evaluation and monitoring. It is recommended that any procedure be monitored on a regular basis and that immediate consultation be sought if new behaviors arise or behaviors become more frequent or violent.

Continuous Reinforcement (CRF Schedule of Reinforcement) (Treatment / Skills)

This means that each time a behavior occurs it is reinforced immediately. In most settings this is not possible due to constraints on staff time and attention. Missing reinforcing some events creates a random schedule.

Cue (General / Skills)

This is the stimulus which elicits a behavior. In training procedures a hierarchy of cues is developed which may be faded over time such that the behavior will occur in response to normal environmental cues. We all respond to a variety of environmental and artificial cues. Appointments on a calendar, alarm clock going off, etc. are all examples of artificial cues. Natural cues are hunger, the sun going down, etc.

Covert Desensitization (Covert Counter Conditioning) (Treatment)

This is a variation of systematic desensitization. It is used with a variety of events that can not be manipulated in real life at a rate or in ways that would be useful for treatment purposes. Such events as rear of flying are often addressed in this way.

Covert Modeling (Treatment)

A series of procedures that encourage the individual to visualize or otherwise imagine someone much like himself engaging in a positive behavior that it is desired for the person to learn. For this procedure to be effective the basic rules of modeling must be applied and a script written. The abilities of the individual to engage in visualization or other imaginary activity should be established prior to planning to use covert procedures.

Covert Reinforcement (Treatment)

A series of procedures that encourage the individual to visualize or otherwise remember or imagine a desired or pleasurable event. The use of the procedure is to reinforce those behaviors which have just been covertly practiced or modeled. Ideally they are associated with the practiced or modeled behavior in as natural a way as possible to increase the impact of the learning.

Covert Sensitivity Training (Treatment)

Refers to procedures that focus on the use of guided imagery and relaxation training to achieve the goals of teaching sensitivity to the feelings, needs etc. of others. Such procedures are usually carried out in individual sessions with a trained therapist.

Custodial Care (General)

This refers to care for a client which is limited to meeting only basic needs of food, shelter, cleanliness, and supervision. It does not meet the guidelines for the right to active treatment, or constitutional rights of the clients.

Data (General)

Is all information gathered on the functioning, behavior, history, and development of a client, or of staff activity. Such data should be reliable and valid. Data collected on a specific behavior most commonly refers to frequency, duration, and strength. There are several other types of data necessary to the ongoing analysis of the function of the behavior. These are a description of the behavior, time of occurrence, description of the environment at the time of occurrence, description of events leading to the behavior, and the results of the behavior.

Discriminative Stimulus (General / Skills / Treatment)

The cue that when presented leads to a given behavior instead of another. While there are a number of stimuli available to all individuals at any given time that specific cue or cue set that leads to the behavior is the DS.

Description of the Problem. (General / Treatment)

As defined by Willis and LaVigna in their writing guide "this analysis attempts to describe the presenting problem in such detail that it can be objectively measured. It presents the topography of the behavior, the cycle (beginning and ending) of the behavior (if applicable), and the strength of the behavior (i.e., frequency, rate, duration, intensity)". An adequate description will present these facts in such a manner that when an independent observer views the behavior there is no doubt as to it being the behavior described. The accuracy of the description and its use in clinical work is more important than naming the behavior, or behavioral category.

Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors (Alt.-R) (Treatment)

This is the reinforcement of behaviors other than the target behavior. They are not necessarily incompatible with target behaviors, or in any way related to the behaviors of concern, other than that they are not behaviors of concern. Such alternative behaviors are the skills building, and maintenance portions of a comprehensive training model.

Differential Reinforcement of High Rates of Responding (DRH) (Treatment)

This reinforcement strategy is used to increase the frequency of a behavior that is not frequently used but is desirable. An example would be reinforcing a young child each time they read a word on a sign; thus increasing the number of times they tried to read signs.

Differential Reinforcement of Low rates of Responding (DRL) (Treatment)

This reinforcement strategy is designed to lower the frequency of a behavior. It targets the maximum number of incidents in a given time interval a behavior can occur while still being able to receive the chosen reinforcer. Typical target behaviors are acceptable behaviors that occur to frequently to be acceptable (such as getting up to sharpen a pencil 40 times per hour). Other uses of this approach are to reduce a very high behavior to a level that it would be realistic to implement a DRO to eliminate the behavior.

Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors (DRO) (Treatment)

This is the reinforcement of the behavior not occurring during a specific interval of time. Depending on the behavior frequency and other constraints on programming individual sessions, and other variations in scheduling may be used.

Differential Reinforcement of Non-Responding (DRO)

See Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors (DRO) (Treatment)

Ecological Analysis (General)

The analysis and evaluation of the effects of all social, environmental, and other external background "noise" on a behavior, its antecedents, and consequence.

Extinction (General / Treatment)

Extinction is the with holding of all reinforcing events with the expectation that if not reinforced the behavior would go away, or become extinct This approach has been most often used with behaviors that are thought to be maintained by attention or other apparently easily manipulated events. More often than not it has not worked in non-research settings as the real reinforcers are not easily controlled. Each time the reinforcer accidentally occurs the behavior becomes more resistant to extinction.

Functional Analysis (General)

As defined by Willis and LaVigna in their assessment writing guide "functional analysis of behavior endeavors to identify the events that control the emission and non-emission of clinically important problems. This analysis is divided into five specific levels of analysis: (1) Description of the Problem. This analysis attempts to describe the presenting problem in such detail that it can be objectively measured. It presents the topography of the behavior, the cycle (beginning and ending) of the behavior (if applicable), and the strength of the behavior (i.e., frequency, rate, duration, intensity). (2) History of the Problem. This analysis presents the recent and long-term bistory of the problem. The purpose here is to better understand the client's learning history and the historical events that might have contributed to the problem. (3) Antecedent Analysis. The antecedent analysis attempts to identify the conditions that control the problem behavior. Some of the specific antecedents explored include the setting, specific persons, times of the day/week/month, and specific events that may occur regularly in the client's everyday life. (4) Consequent Analysis. The consequence analysis attempts to identify the reactions and management styles that might contribute to and/or ameliorate the presenting problems. It also focuses on the effects that the behaviors might have on the immediate social and physical environment, on the possible function(s) served by the problem behaviors, and on the possible events that might serve to maintain or inhibit their occurrence. (5) Impressions and Analysis of Meaning. In this section, the material described in the previous analyses is drawn together in an effort to determine the specific functions served by the analyzed problem. Additionally, an outline of possible treatment strategies may be presented".

Gating procedures (Treatment)

These are the common schedule procedures where the client must finish one task or activity in order to go on to the next scheduled activity. They are most useful when there is a clear normal cause and effect link and the next activity is highly desirable. For example the expectation that a child will put their coat on before going out in the cold.

History of the Problem. (General / Treatment)

This analysis presents the recent and long-term history of the problem. The purpose here is to better understand the client's learning history and the historical events that might have contributed to the problem.

Instructional Control (Skills / Treatment)

This is the control over behavior of a client that is exhibited when one directs them to carry on specific activities that they know how to do. This control combined with chaining smaller activities that the client knows to make larger activities should provide the basis for all ongoing programming.

Negative Reinforcement (Earned Escape) (General)

Negative reinforcement is the reinforcing quality that exist when one is allowed to escape from an undesired activity or event by engaging in a behavior. In the case of a wife nagging ber husband the husband is negatively reinforced for doing what he is ask to do (he gets to escape the nagging). Programs should avoid the use of negative reinforcement as the event that they would have to control (nagging) is by definition an aversive.

Nonaversive (General)

Not having any of the effects of punishment. Due to individual differences events that are generally non aversive can be aversive to some people. In regards to programming the goal of non-aversive programming is to plan for positive responses to target behaviors rather than waiting for a negative behavior to occur and then punishing it's occurrence. In non-aversive programming punishment is not used. It is recognized however that there are aversive qualities to many things in reality and that they can not all be removed; however, the goal is to minimize them and design programs that are positive skills building rather than punitive.

Positive behavior(al) Supports (General / Treatment)

Positive Behavioral Supports are those approaches to assist an individual through positive programming, environmental structuring, and antecedent control strategies. While they are likely to reduce the behavior so learning can take place they are not treatment. If the cues that set off a behavior occur the behavior will occur.

Personal Effectiveness Training (General / Skills / Treatment)

P.E.T. is a program that is designed to reduce the need for aggressive and obnoxious behaviors, by teaching communication skills that increase the effectiveness of the individual in getting their needs met. It is one approach to addressing the communicative function of behaviors.

Positive Program(ming) (Treatment)

Positive programming refers to those elements of a program that develop functional domestic, vocational, recreational and general community skills. These skills for the most part are not directly related to the behaviors of concern. This programming to enrich the life of the client is however procedurally important in efforts to reduce undesired behavior. To the extent that they exhibit a rich repertoire of appropriate responses, incompatible with the undesired behavior, the target behaviors should occur infrequently, if at all. Many behavior problems occur in environments lacking opportunities for or instruction in appropriate responses. In short, positive programming should be effective in further developing functional behavior, and may therefore in itself reduce the frequency of behavior problems. At the very least, the context of positive programming will make it feasible to design effective interventions for eliminating or reducing behavioral excesses.

Prompt (Skills)

A cue that is presented by a trainer to elicit a task or step of a task. Prompts are usually classified as General, or Specific; and as to the cue used such as "Verbal", "Gestural", "Modeling", "Physical Assistance". In data collection these may he further divided as to the number or level of assistance used. They are also frequently assigned a number which is used to graph the level of prompting that is used, thus allowing monitoring of the progress in training a specific skill.

Reinforcer (General / Treatment)

A tangible item, or activity that one will work to get. Often these are categorized by type, such as food, activities, time with ___, and acquisition of objects. A reinforcer that is consumed or used directly as it comes (i.e. eating a banana) is referred to as a primary reinforcer. Some reinforcers are learned (secondary) and are used to gain other reinforcers.

Reinforcement Inventory (General / Treatment)

A list of potentially reinforcing events that is used as a starting point for identifying reinforcers for an individual program. It may also be used to generate an ongoing list of likes, dislikes, and functional reinforcers.

Reinforcement Sampling (General / Treatment)

The process of allowing a person to explore new activities, foods, and objects to extend the understanding of their range of potential reinforcers. Most often this is simplified to allow them choices of events then recording the choice.

Relaxation Training (Skills / Treatment)

Training in one of several method of relaxing. This is a skill that is often used in behavior programming. The client may be directed to relax to calm down when upset, to assist with self management, or as a part of the process of systematic desensitization. Different approaches to training and different systems of relaxing have different effects on the individual. While the program may choose a system that works for most individuals it may also need to focus on specific needs of some. Some common approaches are: Progressive Relaxation, Turtle, and Cognitive Approaches such as guided imagery and forced concentration. Additionally training can use a complete chain of events such as the prompt "Chill Out", "time to calm down", etc.

Reliability (General / Skills / Treatment)

Generally reliability refers to data, or the accuracy of observational reports. Reliability may be rated by comparing the ratings of two observers of the same event (inter-observer reliability). The reliability of the carrying out of a behavioral procedure or program may also be rated by observing and rating the staff carrying out a procedure compared to the written outline of those procedures.

Role Play(ing) (Assessment / Skills / Treatment)

The use of artificial settings and interactions to practice a skill or elicit a response to an event that could otherwise not be done on a routine basis. An example is practicing introducing one's self to staff. Thus the pressure of the real situation is not there to interfere, and the staff is able to prompt and correct the attempt until it is mastered.

Self Control Training (Treatment)

Training in a specific routine that is useful in preventing aggressive behavior. It consist of five components. 1) Self restraint by holding your own hands, putting them in your pockets etc. 2) Leaving the situation to a safe place to relax. 3) Relaxing and regaining self control. 4) Problem Solving 5) Returning to carry out the solution. Depending on the research being evaluated these components may not all be present or may be regrouped into fewer categories.

Self Monitoring (Treatment)

A series of procedures that teach an individual to keep track of their own behaviors. Often these procedures use a log or daily record to track specific targeted behaviors. When used with developmentally disabled individuals these procedures often rely on the movement of tangible markers. Such markers could be colored slips of paper being moved from one envelope to another.

Sensitivity Training (Treatment)

A group of procedures which teaches the individual to be more aware of the feelings, needs, or desires of a specific group of people. This approach is useful in treating a variety of social problems when the individual engaging in a behavior may value the others attention. In such cases as rape, stealing, and aggression the use of such procedures is becoming more common. Sensitivity training is also useful in marriage counseling, and the training of professionals who must deal with a broad spectrum of the public such as teachers, police, doctors, and business managers. Such training often uses role playing, cognitive techniques and self evaluation techniques. Sensitivity training is often carried out in groups and may use techniques from a wide variety of therapy orientations.

Shaping (Skills / Treatment)

The process of starting with one cue, behavior, or event and slowly in small steps changing it to another. This is a general approach to changing behaviors that is used in conjunction with a number of other procedures to effect change when more direct procedures will not work or would create more problems.

Stimulus (General / Skills / Treatment)

Any cue that controls, or could control or influence a behavior. Such cues are not however limited to ones that can be controlled or manipulated by a program. More generally a stimulus is any sensory input from any of the senses that can be detected by the individual. This could include a thought pattern that is elicited by other unrecognized events.

Stimulus Change (Emergency Management / Treatment)

A non-aversive emergency management treatment procedure designed to interrupt a behavior in progress. The method is to present a new event that is unique and likely to get a surprise response from the individual exhibiting the behavior. Due to tile need for unique events it is not recommended that this approach be planned for as a routine method of interfering with a behavior. However in the case of serious danger it may be useful until training in self control methods have been completed.

Stimulus Control (Treatment)

That control over a behavior that occurs when the individual has learned to respond (start, engage in the behavior only at specific times or places, or stop) to specific cues. All behaviors are stimulus related, but are not always controlled by the accepted stimulus. The goal of a stimulus control program is to teach the behavior as a response to the critical cues only.

Stimulus Satiation (Treatment)

The extinction of a behavior by presenting the cue that sets it off at such a rate that the response itself becomes a form of work and not as desired. In some types of behaviors this is a reasonable approach, however care should be tal{en to prevent it's becoming associated with other events that could make it appear as a punishment. The goal is to allow the client the opportunity to engage in the behavior to the extent that it becomes boring and uninteresting, and not to force them to engage in the behavior.

Thought Stopping (Treatment)

A cognitive procedure defined in the literature. The procedure teaches the individual to stop specific thoughts which historically lead to other behaviors. In this case the procedure would be characterized as an antecedent control procedure.

Token Reinforcement (General / Skills / Treatment)

That part of a token economy which focuses on reinforcing a specific behaviors occurrence or absence. A token is earned for these targeted events and then may be used to purchase a variety of goods and services which is desired by the client.

Try Another Way (Skills / Treatment)

A prompting system based on the published work of Mark Gold. The procedure is a correction procedure. That is to say that the staff waits until the client makes an error. Staff then interrupt the error as soon as it is apparent, prompting the client to "check yourself". Staff continues to block or prevent the client from engaging in the incorrect behavior and prompts "try another way". This procedure is more efficient and effective than having the client start over, or reverting to hands on prompting, and is not as likely to lead to behavior problems.

Variable Interval Reinforcement (General)

A schedule of reinforcement that is designed to fade the level of reinforcement and present the reinforcing event in a apparently unpredictable manner. The goal is to slowly shape longer and longer periods between reinforcement and increase the habit response of the behavior through apparent random reinforcement.

Courtesy from Behavioral Definitions: a Resource Manual Copyright 1993 Ross H. Greek, M.A.