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Applied Behavioral Analysis

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1. In what situations would aversive stimuli (i.e. punishment) be used in an ABA intervention program?

2. What are some ethical considerations to be aware of when using punishment?

3. What is a functional relationship? How would an ABA professional demonstrate a functional relationship between a target behavior and environmental variable?

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(1) In what situations would aversive stimuli (i.e. punishment) be used in an ABA intervention program?

Aversive stimuli, punishment (or negative reinforcement) is a consequence that decreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur again. Reinforcement increases the chances that a behavior will occur. The concept originated out of the concept of Operant conditioning coined by B. F. Skinner (cited in Ruz, 1995). Skinner held that all forms of human behavior could be explained by the response to one's environment, and further explained by strengthening or weakening; or reinforcement or punishment. For instance, research suggests that if you wish to change destructive behavior the use of adverse stimuli or punishment will help to reduce the destructive behavior. As an example, Fisher, Plazza, Cataldo, Harrel, Jefferson & Conner (1993) used functional communication training to teach clients communicated behavior that produce the same consequences of destructive behaviors to aid in the reduction of the destructive behaviors of self-injury. Other studies suggests that punishment is most effective when it immediately follows the unwanted behavior (model (Bandura, Ross & ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the use of aversive stimuli in behavioral analysis.