PSYCH560-21B (HAM)

Applied Behaviour Analysis: Theory and Issues

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: donna.walsh@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

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Lab Technician(s)

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: alistair.lamb@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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Students in this paper explore the conceptual issues around behaviour analysis, including those underlying the implementation of behavioural programmes across a wide range of applied areas and learn about topics that are currently under debate. The focus is on the philosophical underpinnings. Topics covered include the scientist-practitioner model, evidence-based practice, private events (including fear and anxiety), causation of behaviour, motivating operations, case formulation, the use of aversive strategies, verbal behaviour, verbal behaviour therapies, and a behavioural approach to cognitive behaviour therapies.

It will introduce the theoretical background of some contemporary therapies, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

The overall aim is to help you understand the philosophical and conceptual foundations of a behavioural approach to psychology and to help provide a framework within which you can understand, study and work practically for behaviour change. It is the intention that you will gain the academic knowledge required to undertake research and practice in this area and to be able to review such research critically and that you will learn to talk and write critically about the issues covered.

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Paper Structure

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Lectures

This year this paper will be delivered in FLEXI mode. Much of the content is delivered online in the form of Moodle lessons. There will also be online synchronous and asynchronous interactive sessions as well as face to face lectures, for more in-depth discussions. There is a requirement that students actively engage with the material on Moodle and participation is tracked within Moodle. Please note that some elements require students ot be online at specific times.

Tutorial Exercises

There are also online Tutorials associated with this paper on Moodle. The Tutorials require a minimum of two hours a week, consisting of attending to recorded lectures, or reading discussion materials, and completing exercises on Moodle. Similar to the lectures, completion tracking operates also for tutorials.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes
    • describe the scientist practitioner model, and how it relates to practice-based evidence and evidence-based practice as well as critically evaluate its present role in professional practice,
    • describe a number of contemporary behavioural approaches appropriate for the treatment of verbal adults,
    • discuss current themes regarding the understanding of social behaviour, private events, emotions, verbal behaviour and what maintains and regulates these,
    • discuss the key themes around the debate regarding the relevance of motivating operations,
    • outline the key arguments regarding the aversives debate including the case for using aversive interventions on some occasions as well as the broader case against their use,
    • discuss terms such as self, motivation, creativity, thought, imagination and observational (vicarious) learning, from a behavioural perspective.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Performance in this paper is assessed in a number of ways including the completion of weekly tasks, written assignments, and a final internal test.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Annotated Bibliography
23 Aug 2021
No set time
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay
18 Oct 2021
No set time
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Weekly Exercises
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Tutorials
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Final Test
22 Oct 2021
No set time
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Details of the required readings are given in the full course outline or Moodle and where possible the pdf file or URL will be on Moodle.
Additional readings will be posted from time to time. It is assumed that all students will have read Baum, W. (1994) Understanding Behaviorism: Science, Behavior and Culture. The required text for this paper is: Catania, A. C. (2017). The ABCs of behavior analysis. Corn-wall on Hudson: Sloan.

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Recommended Readings

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There are too many relevant journals that will be useful to you in this course to list here. Most of these are available electronically online through the university library. The Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis (JABA) and The Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour (JEAB) are both now available electronically as are all their back issues (use the University Library Link to get the last 6 months on line – but see http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/ and http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jeab/index.html for any other articles).

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Online Support

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PSYC Café A communication space for students studying psychology, available via Moodle.

Graduate Virtual Common Room http://www.waikato.ac.nz/wfass/subjects/psychology/psycgrads/

The Graduate Virtual Common Room has been designed to help you locate the resources you are likely to need as a graduate student, to find out what is happening in the School and to network with other graduate students.

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Workload

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The amount of work expected of a student in a 15 point graduate course (offered over one semester) is approximately 10 hours per week, including class contact time.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: PSYC307 or PSYCH307 and PSYC314 or PSYCH314

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted Papers: PSYC560

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