aba unit 6 discussion

Wow! It is hard to believe that you have been working as a behavior technician for a very prestigious behavioral company for almost 6-weeks! You love it! So far, your supervisor has assigned you to work with a child who engaged in attention-seeking behavior; an adult who needed an acquisition program to gain skills in doing laundry and cooking; and teaching a parent of a 3-year-old some key strategies for addressing non-compliance. This promises to be an exciting day! Your supervisor E-mailed you that he has a new client for you and he is going to let you “test your wings” on this one and design the behavior intervention plan (BIP). Your supervisor has already conducted the Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and has determined the probable function of the target behavior to be escape from demand, specifically, the demand to relinquish his mother’s iPad at the end of his iPad session.

Terry is allowed to play his video games for 30-minutes after school and for 60-minutes after he has completed his homework. The discriminative stimulus for the target behavior is his mom or dad gently removing the iPad when his game time is up. The operational definition of Terry’s target behavior is: Terry holds onto the iPad, while screaming, “I want to play some more!” He then runs to his bedroom with the iPad and locks his bedroom door.

You know this will be challenging because there are several approaches that could be used, such as response cost, positive punishment, timeout, and extinction. You are nervous, but you want to prove yourself!

A week has gone by and you are scheduled to meet with your supervisor to go over the behavior intervention plan you designed for Terry. You are ready for this!

  • Write your presentation as a narrative in which you are explaining your decision-making process with regard to the different options available to address Terry’s behavior.
  • Discuss your decision to use a behavior intervention plan (BIP) that includes extinction (Hint: We never implement an extinction program without also teaching an appropriate, alternative behavior and reinforcing it.)
  • Cover the following in your presentation for this supervisory meeting (Hint: For your discussion of punishment procedures, hearken back to your Unit 5 reading assignments.):
    • Punishment: Discuss the unwanted side effects of punishment, as well as the benefits of punishment. How could positive punishment be used in Terry’s case?
    • Response Cost: What type of punishment is response cost – negative punishment or positive punishment? What is the procedure for implementing response cost?
    • Timeout: What type of punishment is timeout? How could timeout be used in Terry’s case?
    • Extinction: Describe the procedure for implementing extinction. Discuss “extinction bursts” and “spontaneous recovery.”
  • Design a BIP for Terry’s target behavior that includes extinction.

Respond to a minimum of two peers based upon the following:

  • Critique the design of two classmates’ extinction programs for Terry’s target behavior to determine whether the behavior intervention plans (BIPs) addressed the function of the target behavior (Were the correct reinforcers withheld?).
  • Design a punishment procedure to address Terry’s target behavior. Students will choose between positive punishment; response cost; or timeout. Students must utilize two different punishment procedures – a different procedure for each response post.

Reading and Resources

Read the following:

Chapter 24 in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd ed.): “Extinction”

The extinction procedure is explained and its uses are explored. Common misconceptions regarding extinction procedures are discussed and the phenomena of extinction bursts and spontaneous recovery are examined. The authors also explain the variables that can affect resistance to extinction.

Chapter 27 in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd ed.): “Functional Behavior Assessment”

Chapter 27 discusses the importance of identifying the function of a target behavior in order to design a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP). In order to identify the probable behavior function, one must conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). The authors present a step-by-step guide in conducting the FBA.


Cooper, J., & Heron, T., & Heward, W. (2019) Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd ed.) Person Education, Inc. New Jersey, NJ: Hoboken

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