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3 thoughts on “Measurement in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – Data Collection in Everyday Activities

  • January 6, 2019 at 11:37 am
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    Sound measurement certainly is an essential element of the science of behavior analysis as well as its applications. It’s also essential for measurement procedures to produce data that are complete, accurate, and reliable. Unfortunately the discontinuous, interval-based recording methods (partial interval, whole interval, and momentary time sampling) necessarily produce incomplete and inaccurate estimates of actual dimensions of behavior (e.g., frequency, duration) with an unknown degree of error, especially when intervals are longer than a few seconds. Check Johnston & Pennypacker’s “Strategies and Tactics of Behavioral Research” for procedures that are required to ensure that recorded data accurately reflect what actually happens with behavior.

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    • January 6, 2019 at 2:47 pm
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      Thank you for your response. I agree that discontinuous, interval-based recording data collection methods are less accurate than the continuous measurement procedures. Depending on the individual who is being expected to collect the data (whether it is a parent, a trained ABA professional, or someone just collecting data on their own personal goals), the degree of accuracy may vary in importance. For instance, if I am tracking if my kids “get along” (I know, not a behavioral term), I’d be okay just using interval-recording, because I am just trying to increase this goal in my personal life. However, in a professional setting, I’d be sure to use a small interval if I were to use interval-recording or I would use duration or frequency count instead, depending on the behavior I’m tracking. Thanks again for your feedback and the reminder that accuracy and reliability are important factors in ABA measurement procedures.

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  • February 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    Thank you Heather for this Magnificent article! Linda

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