PS 360 Applied Behavior Analysis 1 Unit 2 Discussion

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PS 360 Applied Behavior Analysis 1 Unit 2 Discussion
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  • Read the following scenario and respond to the primary post instructions and response instructions. This week’s discussion question has two parts. You must complete both Part 1 and Part 2 to receive full credit.

Part 1: Setting the Scene

You are a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) who is supervising a new, entry-level behavior technician, specifically a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). You are training the RBT to work with three of your clients. Two of the clients engage in escape behavior, while one engages in avoidance behavior. You have decided to cement the RBT’s understanding of escape behavior versus avoidance behavior using simple examples.

  • Write a scenario in which you describe a target behavior that functions to escape an aversive stimulus. What type of reinforcement is at work in this scenario? Explain how this reinforcement maintains the target behavior.
  • Write a scenario in which you describe a target behavior that functions to avoid an aversive stimulus.
  • How do your explanations of escape versus avoidance meet the law of parsimony?
  • Explain the difference between escape versus avoidance and demonstrate your understanding of this difference by completing the contingency diagrams for your escape and avoidance scenarios.

Part 2: Complete the Discussion Question Worksheets

Complete diagrams for each of the contingencies you created for this week’s primary discussion post. Attach your finalized worksheets as part of your final primary post.

Critique two classmates’ primary posts by analyzing the two scenarios regarding escape and avoidance contingencies:

  • Did the classmate provide accurate scenarios representing the escape and avoidance functions? If not, how could you modify the scenario(s) to accurately illustrate these two functions?
  • Choose either an escape function or avoidance function and design a scenario to illustrate that function.
  • Briefly explain how contingencies can control behavior when the individual is unaware of the contingencies.

Reading and Resources

Read the following:

Chapter 12 in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd edition): “Negative Reinforcement”

The principle of negative reinforcement is discussed in terms of what it is and how it is both similar to, and different from, positive reinforcement. Escape and avoidance behaviors are discussed in terms of their association with negative reinforcement. How negative reinforcement can be used to produce desired and undesired behaviors is discussed, as is the ethical considerations involved in the use of negative reinforcement.

Chapter 4 in How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst: Understanding the Science that Can Change Your Life: “General Issues of Behavior”

Chapter 4 answers many of the questions budding behavior analysts and the public have about behavior analysis. The authors will discuss how behavior analysis is applied to groups, the importance of reinforcement histories; whether all behavior is learned; and replacing habit behaviors. It is an entertaining look at serious applied behavior analysis issues.


Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W.L. (2019). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.)

Hoboken, NJ: Person Education, Inc.

Malott, R.W., & Shane, J.T. (2016). Principles of behavior (7th ed.).

New York, NY: Routledge.

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