Why is data collected in ABA?

  • Data is defined as “factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  • In ABA, data is used as the foundation for making decisions regarding the client or student’s treatment. Data is analyzed to inform the clinician whether progress is being made or not. Based on the data, the clinician will decide whether treatment should be modified in any way or continued in the same manner.

What does the supervisor do with the data?

    • What is data collection? Data collection is the process of recording information regarding behaviors. These behaviors can include behaviors we want to decrease (aggression, screaming, tantrums, pinching, self- injury, etc.) or behaviors we want to increase (requests, reading, counting, etc.).
    • What is data used for? By keeping accurate data of behaviors (also sometimes known as responses), this enables clinicians to see what is working in the treatment and to assess which types of intervention methods best work for that individual. Data may also help clinicians identify the factors that may be influencing maladaptive behavior.
    • Why is it important? With data collection and analysis, it becomes easier for professionals to understand behavior patterns and to measure the progress of the individual. Most importantly, data provides accurate and specific information that allows clinicians to make informed and educated decisions (evidence-based decisions) regarding the individual’s intervention to help the individual achieve great outcomes in their learning and development allowing that individual to live toward their fullest potential.

Types of data collections in ABA

  • There are a number of types of data collection in ABA. A clinician decides which type of data should be collected based upon the type of information they are seeking, what behavior or response they are assessing, and other factors such as ease of data collecting.
  • Some of the various data collection procedures include:
    • Frequency/Event & Rate Recording: This type of data collection tracks the number of times a behavior or response occurs. When recording rate, the number of times is recorded per a specific time frame.
    • Duration Recording: This refers to the length of time the behavior occurred.
    • Latency Recording: This refers to the length of time from the instruction or SD to the start of the behavior.
    • Time Sampling Recording: This refers to taking data in periodic moments or periods of time rather than consistently.
    • Permanent Product: This refers to taking data based on the product our outcome of the behavior rather than the behavior as it is occurring.
    • ABC Data: This refers to taking data or information on the antecedents, behaviors, and consequences of the behavior.

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Reference: Merriam Webster Dictionary