Presentation on theme: "Signs of Damage: Laboratory Roots, Assessment, & Treatment"— Presentation transcript:
1 Signs of Damage: Laboratory Roots, Assessment, & Treatment Eb Blakely, Ph.D., BCBA-DQuest, Inc. & Florida Institute of Technology
2 Signs of Damage: Skinner From "Contingencies of Reinforcement"Page 51: "The principle also holds for aggressive behavior. At a time when men were often plundered and killed, by animals and other men, it was important that any behavior which harmed or frightened predators should be quickly learned and long sustained. Those who were most strongly reinforced by evidences of damage to others should have been most likely to survive."Page 129: "A person who is at the moment aggressive is one who, among other characteristics, shows a heightened probability of behaving verbally or nonverbally in such a way that someone is damaged..."Page 195: "Azrin, for example, has studied the stereotyped, mutually aggressive behavior evoked when two organisms receive brief electric shocks. But he and his associates have also demonstrated that the opportunity to engage in such behavior functions as a reinforcer and, as such, may be used to shape an indefinite number of "aggressive" operants of arbitrary topographies. Evidence of damage to others may be reinforcing for phylogenic reasons because it is associated with competitive survival. Competition in the current environment may make it reinforcing for ontogenic reasons."
3 Signs of Damage: Stimuli What stimuli are involved?Visual stimuli – blood, bruising, scratches, “upset” expressionsAuditory stimuli – crying, screaming, reports of harm or ill fortuneDamage to environmentResponse produced stimuli – pressure on teeth, pressure on hands/feet
4 Early Non-Human Research Shock “elicited” fightingSubjects: RatsProcedure: Rats exposed to shockMeasure: # of episodes of fightingAggression was called “reflexive”Results: Most shocks evoked fighting
5 Early Non-Human Research Shock “elicited” biting of inanimate objectsSubjects: RatsProcedure: Rats exposed to shockMeasure: # of episodes of biting of metal, wood, or rubber targets
6 Human ApplicationPain may evoke aggression reinforced by signs of damageHeadacheDental workAggression to perpetrator
7 Early Non-Human Research Aggression associated with schedules of reinfSubjects: PigeonsProcedure: Ss exposed to FR 50Measure: # attacks to target pigeonResults: Most attacks occurred after reinforcer offset
8 Early Non-Human Research What kind of target is most often attacked?Subjects: PigeonsProcedure: Ss exposed to FRMeasure: # attacks to target (Mirror, Live protected, Stuffed)
9 Early Non-Human Research Biting as a function of FR sizeSubjects: Squirrel monkeysProcedure: Ss exposed to FR schedules (50-200)Measure: # bites of a rubber hoseResults: Most biting occurred after reinforcer offset as a function of ratio size
10 Early Non-Human Research Biting during extinction of responding
11 Human Application Reinforcer offset: Leaving reinforcement programs Large work requirements with tiny reinforcers!
12 Early Non-Human Research Opportunity to Aggress: Is it a reinforcer?Subjects: PigeonsProcedure: 1) FI schedule for food and 2) 2nd key pecks access to a target pigeon
13 Recent Non-Human Research Opportunity to Aggress: Is it a reinforcer?Subjects: MiceProcedure: Intruder mouse presented after completion of FR 8 vs ExtResults: Concurrent food schedule not neededGo
14 Human Application “I just want to break something!!” Seeking out targetsAnimal abuse
15 Summary Aversive stimuli will evoke aggression ShockReinforcement offsetWork requirementsHeatStrikes to bodyThe opportunity to aggress will function as a reinforcer for behaviorMost likely occurs when aversive stimuli are presentMay occur without “motivators”
16 Conclusions Aggression evoked by aversive stimuli is not “reflexive” If operant, what reinforces it?Signs of damage (cf Skinner): cowering, crying, blood, running awayPressure on body part used to attack (e.g., teeth, fists)How do we talk about this?Signs of damage-related stimuli may be naturally reinforcing in some species, or some members of a speciesEO s may be aversive events, schedules of reinforcement, and reinforcement termination.We should address this in behavioral assessment and Tx
17 Implications Standard Functional Analyses Unclear results But naturalistic observations suggested that attention was a factor, but attention was given in loud, emotionally-charged boutsDavid M. Richman and Louis P. Hagopian
18 Implications Idiosyncratic Conditions in Functional Analysis Exaggerated Attention: “dramatic reaction to Tim’s destructive behaviors that included a high level of voice intonation, verbal phrases such as “I can’t believe that you just did that,” and physical signs of displeasure such as waving his/her hands frantically. “
19 Functional analysis: property destruction Case #1Functional analysis: property destructionThrowing items/tipping chairs increased when mom reacted “frustrated” or “aggravated” compared to neutral reprimands.Put audio of mom on iPad for free time
20 Case Study #2 Descriptive assessment information Engages in SIB (arm scratching, and picking) during free time that produces bloodEngages in aggression when denied accessLooks for bruising/cuts after aggressionEngages in property destruction when denied accessCarefully looks at the itemMands for item to break!
22 Case Study #2Reinforcer Assessment: Conc FR 1 (Finger + blood) FR 1 (Finger only)
23 Case Study #2 Program Tx elements Replacement skill: Select alternatives when denied accessWaitingFade in work requirementsVR instead of FR schedulesMand for delay of reinforcer offsetCalendar of when events will occurExtinction? Withhold signs of damageWear long sleeves during sessionsPunishment – loss of items/activities/contingent brisk walking
24 Implications for Tx and Assessment Behavior AssessmentPreference assessmentsStandard preference assessments with signs of damage stimuliPreference assessments in presence of aversive stimuliInterviews should address thisFunctional analyses with signs of damageCowering targets“Upset” caregiversContingent property destructionObjects to hit/biteGoGo
25 Implications for Tx and Assessment Programmatic ProceduresAntecedent manipulationsReplacement skillsConcurrent schedules of reinforcement for appropriate behaviorReduction proceduresMedicationsGo
26 Sample Program Function: Signs of Damage Antecedent Manipulations Remove target - When sister hits James, separateRemove target during work requirements - Keep sister away from James when he is engaged in choresFrequent physical games & exerciseHave potential targets do pairingReview Article
27 Sample Program Function: Signs of Damage Acquisition Skills Requests for physical activityLeaving reinforcementUse large magnitude reinforcersWaiting programsSlowly increase wait timeUse variable time requirements vs fixedEspecially consider waiting in divided attention situationsTask completionSlowly increase response requirementsConsider VR instead of FR schedules
28 Sample Program Function: Signs of Damage Multiple schedules Alternate situations when reinforcers are available with those in which they are notReduction ProceduresRemoval of targetsExtinction: Withhold signs of damage if possiblePunishment?Side effects! Punishment maybe an EO for further signs of damage maintained aggression
29 Extensions to Behavior Analytic Concepts “Extinction-induced” aggression – is it “reflexive?”Extinction as EO for signs of damage-related stimuliSide effects of punishment: aggression!Punishment stimuli as EO for signs of damage-related stimuli
30 Future Research Questions Preference assessments with and without aversive stimuliDenied access to preferred stimuliLeaving reinforcementTask presentationInclusion of signs of damage-related stimuli in standard functional analysisTypical attention vs “upset” caregiverSight of blood and or bruisingSight/sound of property destruction
32 Implications (continued) Structured Interview QuestionsDoes the person seek out items to break?Does the person seek out blood or injury?After aggression, does the person attempt to see the injuries of the victim?Does the behavior occur when denied access to items/activities, even though they have not been given after the behavior?Does the person aggress after consuming a reinforcer for which he/she had to work hard?Does the person seem to enjoy seeing others upset?Does the person tend to throw objects when denied access to items/activities?Return
33 Aggression as a Built-in Reinforcer Betta SplendensReturn
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