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Old 04-17-2019, 07:42 AM
noodles123 noodles123 is offline
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

"Not sure what you mean, lol."

Here is a repeat summary that I posted for another member about ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis):
Basically, ABA it is changing the environment to change behavior
These environmental changes can increase or decrease any behaviors (good or bad).
Theoretically, every behavior serves at least 1 of 4 functions (some behaviors are dual function but that gets tricky):
1. Escape (to get out of something or avoid a non-preferred situation (If a bird bites to make people go away)

2. Tangibles--In REMI-BIRD'S case (to get a physical object/food etc- if a bird throws a fit when you eat donuts and the bird loves donuts, then it can be assumed that it is doing it to get the donut, especially if it doesn't throw a fit when it already has a donut)

3. Sensory (to meet a sensory need, such as making a headache go away or decreasing anxiety via feather plucking, or burning off energy)

4. Attention (to get attention from people in general or certain people---Remember-- some birds and kids will take ANY attention (even if you think that you are punishing them by yelling, you could actually be reinforcing the behavior via attention)..behaviors such as screaming, biting, dancing etc could all fall here DEPENDING ON WHAT HAPPENS NEXT (REACTIONS). Similarly, when you respond to desired behaviors (like stepping up) with attention and those increase, then you are using the birds desire for attention to your advantage and that is the goal.

Unless you chart out what happens before and after a behavior, it can be difficult to differentiate what is actually going on. Sometimes, escape behaviors may come off as attention seeking behaviors etc. That is why you have to find patterns and think very objectively about your own role in the behavior (good or bad).
Start by keeping a log (ABC LOG). This will show you trends in behavior. You can even set up a laptop or phone to videotape events when aggression is anticipated and then go back and chart it. It is very hard to track in real-time (esp. when it is just you and the bird)
Antecedent= what happened right before an event (e.g., walked into the room with Bob and fed the bird. Bob extended his hand to remove a dish);
Behavior= describe exactly what the bird did without emotion (e.g., eyes pinned, lunged at Bob's forefinger)
Consequence= What happened right after the behavior- it is important to note that this isn't the same as a "punishment" (although it could be)---it is merely the reactions/results that follow. (e.g., Bob removed his forefinger OR Bob ran away OR Bob yelled OR Bob presented the bird with a treat to get it back into its cage OR Bob sang a song)

Once you have observed and have started to see trends, try to isolate the function of the behavior.

Once you think you know, put the bird in a situation to test your hypothesis---

Reinforcers MUST match the 4 functions (attention, escape, tangible and sensory).
You can tell you have isolated the reinforcer when the presentation or removal of that reinforcer INCREASES a specific behavior (depending on the behavior).


A. Bob has a fit at the grocery store and mom yells at Bobby. Bob continues to cry and fits increase over time. The reinforcer (yelling-although undesirable in his mom's eyes) is the attention he seeks and it is the motivating factor behind the undesired behavior. How do we know? It caused the behavior to increase.
B. On the flip side, same situation (store and Bobby)- Bobby throws a fit and mom takes him to the car. Fits increase. This is an example of escape motivated behavior. He doesn't want to be at the store and when he yells he gets out of an uncomfortable situation. Again, mom might think of going to the car as a bad thing, but if it increases the behavior, then it is escape motivated and reinforcing to Bob.
C. Alternately, Bob has a fit and demands chocolate. He keeps screaming until mom eventually gives in and buys him the chocolate (tangible). Now Bob demands chocolate every time they visit the store.
D. Finally, Bob touches everything as he and his mother walk down the aisles (despite her insistence that he stop). He does this even when she ignores the behavior. Barring attention---assuming this is NOT a dual function situation, then sensory would probably be the best bet.
Some bird-related examples:

A. if the bird doesn't exhibit this behavior when it is getting 1-on-1 attention from someone, then the goal/function is attention (regardless of the type of attention). If the behavior starts when attention is withdrawn then again, attention is the reinforcer.

B: If the bird only does it when desirable objects are around and will actively work to get those objects, then it is reinforced by tangible items. For instance, if a bird cusses and gets a cookie and you observe that suddenly the bird is cussing like crazy it is because its behavior was successfully reinforced by the cookie (hence the increase in behavior).

and so on

note: When testing to see if you have isolated the correct reinforcer, it is important to be as neutral as possible when presenting tangible items to make sure that it is actually the item and not just your attention that is motivating the bird.

For every non-desirable means of obtaining the 4 functions above, there are reinforce socially acceptable alternatives that meet the same innate need. If a bird seeks attention, your reward for that bird MUST BE attention (not food, not a toy, but attention from the source it craves)---You may have to actively ignore attention-seeking behaviors that are bad and pay special attention/pour on the praise when good. You want to strengthen the good by providing reinforcement and weaken the bad by avoiding reinforcement.



Positive reinforcement- The presentation of a stimulus that reinforces a behavior (+ attention, +tangibles, +sensory, +escape)
Negative reinforcement- The removal of an aversive stimulus that STRENGTHENS a behavior. THIS IS NOT PUNISHMENT-- Negative refers to the removal of something undesired in order to increase behavior.

Exp (negative reinforcememt): If you eat 1 more bite or your pizza, you don't have to eat your spinach (meets function of escape by removing (-) the spinach); OR If you get a 90% or higher on your math quiz you don't have to do homework for the rest of the week (meets function of escape by removing the homework) OR when you stop crying you can come inside where it is warm (lol--I don't do this....just popped into my head).
Once you know what need the bird/kid is trying to meet, you have to teach them how to meet that need in a more acceptable way, or provide structured times for them to meet that need without causing trouble.
For instance- a bird that screams for attention probably also talks at times or makes quieter noises, maybe it could even be taught to ring a bell instead of screaming. Whatever your preferred alternative to the screaming, your reward will be attention (if it does what you like + attention, if it screams -attention). When the bird screams, attention is withdrawn but when the bird says, "hello baby" you come in a pour on the praise.
This reinforcement must immediately follow the desired behavior. This strengthens the likelihood that the bird will begin using alternatives to screaming once he realizes screaming isn't going to work because ultimately his goal is attention and he doesn't care how he gets it.
After you know the function and have replacement behaviors + reinforcers isolated, then you can start teaching. The way you teach will depend on the type of behavior.

When dealing with a complex behavior (of chain of behaviors) I would use forward or backward chaining to teach a set of steps.

Examples of these types of behaviors in humans= buying a soda from a machine, ordering food at a restaurant, making a bed, greeting a peer appropriately, brushing teeth, responding to a compliment, requesting help from a teacher appropriately etc.)

With regard to chains of behaviors in birds, forward chaining is likely the way to go, but before you can teach the steps, you need to isolate the motivation for the behavior. In order to TEACH the new behavior, you need to know how to properly meet the function of the old/bad behavior and that function will need to be used as a reward of some sort during the forward chaining teaching process.
I would start before the behavior even begins- figure out the antecedents/triggers.
Also, "setting events" are things that can make a certain behavior more likely and those would be things like , "didn't get enough sleep", "had a cold", "returned from vacation"---so there are environmental (cage position, unfamiliar objects, height in relation to eye-level) and setting events to consider, then the actual things that happen right before (antecedents) and after (consequences/results/effects) the behavior.
Applied Behavioral Strategies - Basics of Applied Behavior Analysis
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