Mytoos

Constructs

Posted By: ZazuSally

Constructs - 09/08/08 07:00 AM

In our first class we are going to learn about constructs. First I will give you the definition and then some examples and then I will give you a little homework.

A construct is a concept to describe a class of observable behaviours. Constructs usually describe what people think a bird is, rather than what it does. Examples of constructs are happy, sad, jealous, hormonal. Can you think of any more?

So a construct is a label. It is what you think your bird is. We need to describe behaviour in clear, observable terms in order to change it.

I want you to give me one “is label” you use to describe your bird and then operationally define it. Example: Love is a construct or a label. It is really a word for many behaviors displayed in particular contexts. I can operationalize “love”. She would spread her wings and run up and down the length of the tub, move in and out of the shower spray, and make all sorts of grey sounds. Now do you know what behavior I mean when I say that she loved it?

Operationally define means to describe the behaviour in clear, observable terms.

Now I want everyone to completely understand this before we move on. This is really, really important. This is just the first tiny step in improving your relationship with your bird/s.

Any questions?

Bev
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 03:40 PM

I'll keep mine simple.

Construct. Tika "hates" me.

Definition. Tika tenses up when I enter the room. He stands alert. His crest goes up. He is intensely focused on me. Eyes are pinned. Wings are slightly raised. He will try to grab me if I get too close.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 03:57 PM

REMINDER TO EVERYONE: THE PURPOSE OF THIS THREAD IS TO TEACH APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (ABA) AND HOW IT CAN BE USED TO TEACH YOUR BIRD BEHAVIORS THAT PROMOTE SUCCESSFUL COMPANIONSHIP. SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ABOUT BEHAVIOR SHOULD STILL BE POSTED IN THE BEHAVIOR FORUM. THANKS!!

Constructs...we use them EVERYDAY - all of us. Another pitfall of using them is that my perception of what "happy" looks like may totally differ from another's perception of what "happy" looks like. And this is why it is so important to describe in clear observable terms what the bird is doing, and as Bev said, not what we think it is feeling. Only the bird knows what it's feeling.

Construct: Excited

Operationalized: When I walk in the front door after being out for awhile, Alex bounces up and down, crest erect, swaying head from side to side and saying "Hey Bird, Hey Bird". He's "excited" that I'm home.

Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 04:57 PM

Construct: Possessive

Operationalized: (only at bedtime) - Fancy will be sitting on my husband's chair - preening. When my son goes to say goodnight and hug dad she will put her crest up and hiss; same for me. She's "possessive" of her time with Dad.


Construct: Anxious

Operationalized: when I sweep around her cage she will run to the other side, fluff up, and hiss. The action of sweeping with the broom makes her anxious.
Posted By: Chewy

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 05:01 PM

construct:protective
Operationalized: (all the time) when someone comes too near me he will bend his body and do hawk face ( mouth open) He will only go to people that I put him on.
Construct also anxious: Hates my leather(and only comfortable) chair. Hates for me to leave him.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 06:22 PM

Construct: Attacking

Operationalized: Only sometimes. This is why it is so hard. Tori (Male M2) will sometimes "pretend" to want to be loved and preened. He will bend his head down, bring his foot up to scratch his neck and speak in his sweet voice, usually indicating he wants me to preen him. At times, when I reach down to do this, he will viciously, and I do mean viciously snap and try to bite me. Other times he is fine and I can sit and preen him for hours? The body language sometimes is so subtle is very hard to recognize. I hate this because I want to love him and not be afraid of him. He can also be an angel, but it’s just too risky for me right now. He can really do some damage.

The other thing he does is he will ask to be picked up by sticking his foot out. "sometimes" after I pick him up he will attack my hand and I drop him. Other times he will be moved just fine without incident.

As of now, I am just giving him his space. I don't want to give up, but I am tired of being bitten.

Kim
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 09:22 PM

Keep in my folks that operationally defining an "is label" does not include the frequency that it occurs, only what it looks like. We will get into the antecedent (what in the environment sets the stage for the behavior to occur) later.

Kim, can you give us an example of an "is label" for Tori?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 09:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Chewy
construct:protective
Operationalized: (all the time) when someone comes too near me he will bend his body and do hawk face ( mouth open) He will only go to people that I put him on.
Construct also anxious: Hates my leather(and only comfortable) chair. Hates for me to leave him.


Erin, you did a great job of describing what Chewy looks like when you use the "is label" protective.

What does "anxious" look like? You threw another "is label" in there "hates" to describe "anxious".

What does "hate" look like? (the leather chair and you leaving?}
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 09:35 PM

Ya see, this is where I get thrown. I have no clue what you are asking me to do.

So I just try to explain the behavior, not that it happens only sometimes? It does not happen all of the time. If I take that out of the equation, then I am not telling the whole story.
I just don't think I am very good at this, hence my never coming forward on the PBAS list.

So I could edit my first post to say this and it would be correct?

Operationalized: Tori (Male M2) will "pretend" to want to be loved and preened. He will bend his head down, bring his foot up to scratch his neck and speak in his sweet voice, usually indicating he wants me to preen him. When I reach down to do this, he will viciously, and I do mean viciously snap and try to bite me.

The other thing he does is he will ask to be picked up by sticking his foot out. After I pick him up he will attack my hand and I drop him.

Okay edit: My "is label" or "construct" is: Unpredictable (correct?)

Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 09:57 PM

I must admit this exercise made me stop and think about all of Ozzie's actions and how we perceive them. I also had to think a bit before I was able to post this blush Hope this is correct lol

Construct: Curious

Operationalized: Head slightly tilted toward action in progress, viewing and listening intently, cheek feathers up, mouth open just a lil bit, body relaxed but both feet are down.

Deborah
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 10:01 PM

Yes, it gets confusing...which is why the best place to start is at the very beginning. ABA teaches you to look at the smallest, minute detail, then move forward. "Attacking" IS a behavior...not a construct or label.

We're not looking for the whole story yet, because we want to give everyone a good foundation as to how ABA works...then get into the nitty-gritty of why certain behaviors may occur, and how we can change them.

So, examples of a construct for Tori's behavior could be "aggressive" or Tori is "unpredictable"?

As for the PBAS list...that list is open to all but was originally created (Bev, correct me if I'm wrong) for those that had already graduated from the LLP course.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 10:17 PM

I am referring to the list that has the mini lessons, before or while you are waiting to take the course I think.

I guess I just need to bite the bullet and try it.

And yes, either one of those would be a correct "construct". I guess I got confused because we are using two different words "construct" and "is label" to describe the same thing. After I went back and re-read Bevs post I understood.
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 10:28 PM

The wording is confusing. You must also change the way you look at things. It is NOT easy. You may have to read some of the articles more than one or two times. As more examples are shown you should understand better. The more people that participate the better.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 10:54 PM

Yes Kim, correct - aggressive is a construct. When you used "attacking", that is not only a behavior, but subjective. Others may call that biting. "Attacking" is a behavior, but still subjective. Illustration: If I were to operationally define "attacking" it includes not only biting but wing flapping and displaying, w/multiple biting/strikes. "Aggressive" is a construct and you have done an excellent job of operationally defining "aggressive" for Tori.

All of you have done a great job!

Deborah, making you think is what ABA is all about...thinking and observing...down to the very smallest detail. ABA isn't a "rush to the finish line". It requires much thought and observation.

The goal here is not to tell anyone how to resolve specific behavior problems. Each bird is different, and what works for one bird, may not work for another. As Dr. Friedman says "it's a study of one". Learning ABA will give you the tools that you need to increase those behaviors you would like to see more of...thereby reducing the behaviors you want to see less of.

Bev will be back in for another exercise for us once everyone is clear on what a construct is. Does anyone have any questions???
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 11:44 PM

Anyone can join the PBAS list but it is where people come to get help with a problem behaviour. For people who are having the same sort of problem, you can follow along or if you prefer you can fill out the Behaviour Appraisal Form and get your own Threadleader. The waiting list is long right now. We have a behind the scenes list that is only for grads of LLP who lead threads. There are some fantastic articles on that list in the Files section.

You guys are doing a great job!!!! There will come a time when you have that light bulb moment and it will all make sense.

Now give me 2 behaviours that you see from your bird. An example for me would be Zazu hops all along the window sill when she is trying to get my attention.

Janet, thanks for helping with this!!

This is not about me solving your problems with your birds, it is about giving you the tools to solve them yourself. Then you can deal with anything that comes up because behaviour changes all the time. For example, if you keep doing favours for the same person over and over again and it is never reciprocated, how long before you say "I'm not doing anything for them again". Behaviour has function. If I knocked on your door and when you opened it, I smacked you, the most likely scenario (besides violence) would be that you would not open the door if you knew it was me. But if every time you opened the door, I gave you a $50 bill, the possible future behaviour would be you would be eager to see, if you found money reinforcing and how many of us don't find money reinforcing. The same concepts go for our birds. There are things they find reinforcing and we need to figure out what those things are and use them to get good behaviour. It does not matter what you think, the bird's behaviour will decide whether or not something is reinforcing. OK, I'm getting a little ahead of myself. LOL

Bev
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 11:46 PM

Could I use two words for my construct or label? Such as unpredictably aggressive?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/08/08 11:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Kim & Lilly
Could I use two words for my construct or label? Such as unpredictably aggressive?


Yes, ma'am, you may.
Posted By: Cidsa

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 12:12 AM

I guess I'll give it a try.

Crash "Loves" Rice:
When he sees us bring in rice in his bowl, his eyes widen, he runs forward and starts hopping up and down. When he gets the rice, he jumps on his bowl and eats it as fast as possible, his eyes squint a little and move back and forth rapidly.

Jojo gets "Obsessive":
He will look in a reflective surface and start making sounds (talking, beeps, etc). He then continues to make the same sound for the next 10-15 minutes and won't stop until he's good and ready. Scratching his head, holding up food, Crash coming close, etc. all are ignored and he continues to do this.

I'm not sure if #2 is right though, it might be a behaviour?
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 12:35 AM

The whole point I'm trying to make is that when you describe behaviour, you should not use constructs or labels because it is only what you think. You can't change a concept but you can change behaviour. Make sense?

Cidsa, obsessive is a construct but I really liked how you operationalized "loves" and "obsessive" but what you call obsessive might actually be normal for the type of bird you have. Does that behaviour affect his quality of life?

Kim, I want you to operationally define "unpredictably aggressive". I can't see what you see, so I want you to show me in words so I can "see" too.

Back later. Going out with a friend for her birthday dinner.

Bev
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 12:49 AM

Bev, Kim did (to my satisfaction anyway - LOL describe "unpredicatably aggressive" ???

Originally Posted By: Kim & Lilly
Tori (Male M2) will sometimes "pretend" to want to be loved and preened. He will bend his head down, bring his foot up to scratch his neck and speak in his sweet voice, usually indicating he wants me to preen him. At times, when I reach down to do this, he will viciously, and I do mean viciously snap and try to bite me. Other times he is fine and I can sit and preen him for hours? The body language sometimes is so subtle is very hard to recognize. I hate this because I want to love him and not be afraid of him. He can also be an angel, but it’s just too risky for me right now. He can really do some damage.

The other thing he does is he will ask to be picked up by sticking his foot out. "sometimes" after I pick him up he will attack my hand and I drop him. Other times he will be moved just fine without incident.


Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 01:39 AM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

Now give me 2 behaviours that you see from your bird. An example for me would be Zazu hops all along the window sill when she is trying to get my attention.


Alex will bite if I put my hand in his sleep cage (while he's in it).

Echo will make this high-pitched shrill/whistle/whine when she wants my attention.
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 02:04 AM

To clarify (for me - I learn better by restating to confirm or get correction) - rather than putting a human emotion on the action, we're to look at the behaviour in its entirety? Rather like talking about decorating with my husband! As already stated - an adverb/adjective means just a little something different to another person.

Addition for Fancy

Construct: excited/eager

Operationalized: when she hears the kettle get turned on and her food bowl has been removed Fancy will stand at the corner of her cage closest to the kitches, bob (head up and down), flap her wings, and coo for her breakfast/dinner.

Juliana
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 02:09 AM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

Now give me 2 behaviours that you see from your bird. An example for me would be Zazu hops all along the window sill when she is trying to get my attention.


#1 When Fancy wants attention, she will bob and coo from her cage.

#2 Fancy will reach off her cage and try to bite my stepson when he walks by her.
Juliana
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: TiKa's Dad
The wording is confusing. You must also change the way you look at things. It is NOT easy. You may have to read some of the articles more than one or two times. As more examples are shown you should understand better. The more people that participate the better.


John, Bev and I are glad that you are participating and you seem to have a good grasp of ABA. Looks like you're a natural. And you're right it's not easy, and the more participation the better. We all learn from the participation of others. The great thing about having an open class like this is that everyone that participates benefits from the particpation of others. As responses are read, we gain knowledge not only from our own feedback, but the feedback that is given to others.

When it comes to replies to other members needing more clarification/assistance or re-direction to specific articles, please let Bev, or I respond first. I'm running most all of my responses past Bev before posting - she's the most knowledgeable here. Bev is the "threadleader" and has the most expertise. She's been learning and practicing ABA a long time.

When you take the LLP class - all lessons/exercises are posted to the entire list-group class and "homework" is submitted to the list group so classmates can see...and learn from one another. But classmates do not offer suggestions or guidance. That is left up to the instructor/s.

I know the statement "Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians" is politically incorrect (and absolutely no offense to anyone intended), but you catch my drift. whistle

I hope that you understand what I am saying and the spirit in which I intend it.
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 02:40 AM

I corrected my thread - was actually clarifying for myself. sorry for the confusion.
Posted By: Winter's mom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 02:55 AM

I would really like to participate in this. Hopefully, I didn't come in too far behind. Reading it a few times helped me understand the initial semantics and I hope I'm not too late. I'll start with the first exercise...
Contruct. Winter IS fearful
Operationalized. Winter exhibits "fear" ( gets skinny, leans away,climbs to my shoulder if possible)at the suggestion of a shower.( moving toward the bathroom,tub area or we're outside and it begins to rain. )
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 02:59 AM

No confusion!! And it's not necessary for anyone to alert us to a corrected or edited response, unless you have received feedback. Otherwise, just mark as "edited". And once you receive feedback, please do not edit your original post. Otherwise, for future readers, if you edit your "post" after feedback, then others won't have the opportunity to learn from the lesson. So, if you receive feedback and need to amend your response or ask a question, don't go back and edit your original post, reply.

We need to keep this very steamlined and easy to follow. Keep track of your individual responses and the feedback that you receive. I also suggest, as your time permits that you follow everyone elses responses and feedback...because there is much to be learned.

Hang in there folks. Believe me, once you get used to tempo, you're gonna LOVE (oops a construct - LOL) it!
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 03:06 AM

I read those articles so many times my eyes went crossed. It's been a couple of years but once it clicks it clicks. Like a light switch. Read it again.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Fancy'sMum
To clarify (for me - I learn better by restating to confirm or get correction) - rather than putting a human emotion on the action, we're to look at the behaviour in its entirety? Rather like talking about decorating with my husband! As already stated - an adverb/adjective means just a little something different to another person.


EXACTLY Fancy's Mum. There is no doubt that bird's have emotions. But we cannot possibly know anymore of what they are feeling that *I* can of what *you* are feeling. "Feelings" are "covert behaviors" - the private event of the thinker.

YES - EXACTLY - we're looking at the behavior in it's entirety. THAT is what we can see. What we can describe in clear, observable terms.

GOOD JOB!

Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 03:21 AM

I'll try it too.

label: Begging



operationally define it:

Lifts his wings and shakes his shoulders while "pointing" with his beak toward the object of his desire with his head and either saying "mom?", "wanna drink?", or whiny-sounding (to me) vocalization.
Posted By: Winter's mom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 03:30 AM

Winter says "MAMA COMERE" when he doesn't want to be alone. AND
sometimes he will go after my feet if he wants to take control of an area.

Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 03:32 AM

Ok Megs...take one step back. "Begging" for is behavior for Bill because you operantly defined it. The great thing, as you and Kim did was define and operate the behavior itself, rather than giving it a "label"...which is what we DON'T want to to. Constructs are not a good thing.

So to give Bill an "is label" Bill is a "begger". And you've in clear, observable terms describe what Bill's begging looks like. Just as John described what "hate" looks like w/Tika.

So you've moved past the "is label" of begger, defined it as a behavior, instead of construct (as Kim and John did. And FM in her revision.)

Onto the next question..tell us two behaviors that your bird does.
Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 03:54 AM

Shoot. I knew I spent too much time in social services. "address the behaviour, not the person" etc etc...


Two behaviours?

1) Calls to landlords daughter & horse (okay, I don't which he is calling to, but it's irrelevant) very loudly. Yells and whistles whilst begging out the window..

2) throws his crest up, throws his wings up and back and yells HAHAAAAA! HAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA! then bobs and whistles in between bouts of "HAHAAAAAA"s
Posted By: Cidsa

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 04:18 AM

Zazu, the obsessive thing might be normal, but I'm not entirely sure. They are both Cockatiels.. and while Jojo has this 'obsession' with the mirror, Crash does not at all.
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 04:59 AM

Megan. What behaviors are you describing?

Behavior 1. Amanda struts back and forth on the rope above the shower, wings outstretched and flapping, staring at the shower head. Amanda wants to get wet.

Behavior 2. Tika sees Amanda strutting around. Shower is splashing. He heads for the opposite end of the rope. Sits quietly. Tika does not want to get wet.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 05:19 AM

Behavior 1. - Tori will run back and forth quickly across the top of his cage when he gets excited.

Behavior 2. Tori will hunker and have wings slightly out when I walk by his cage when he is excited.

Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 06:05 AM

So is there anyone here who doesn't understand what a construct is and why it is necessary to operationally define the behaviour in clear, observable terms.

Has everyone on this thread read my articles? If not, please do so. If there is something you don't understand, please ask. I want to make sure we are all on the same page before we learn about a Functional Analysis.

Good work everyone!!

Bev

Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 06:14 AM

Got it.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 07:12 AM

I "Echo" (excuse the pun) Bev -

Good work everyone!!!

For those that want to particpate and haven't started yet...speak now or forever hold your peace. Well not "forever" but until this "class" is over. And if by popular demand...we do it again, right Bev????

The one thing we do ask is that no one decide to jump in th middle and begin to partipate. The teaching/learning of ABA follows a normal progression.

Next step, as Bev said is functional analysis. One of the best tools in our tool box. Not necessarily easy, but once you figure it out...as Bev says "the light bulb" turns on. Some FA's are easier than others...but as a reminder to what Bev said earlier, behavior has function and there is never just behavior.

Are we missing anyone that wants to partcipate that hasn't posted yet? (Janny?? - anyone else) If so, please let us know so we can give you the opportunty to catch up before moving on to FA's. Once we pass one phase, it will be difficult to back-track.

Once we get into this a little deeper we'll have to limit particpation to those that have been working through each lesson/exercise. Ohtherwise, the lessons of ABA will be muddied and not follow the normal progression. Of course, all members are welcome to read and follow along - there's lots to be learned just from reading.
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 05:02 PM

I have a question - regarding behaviour identification. Other examples include body posture, feather activity, sound, and movement. I only included sound and movement in both of my examples. During this exercise should all aspects be included? I do look at all the aspects when observing Fancy and trying to read her behaviour.

BTW - Echo's Mom - thanks for the feedback.

Juliana
Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 05:28 PM

oh... good question. I only included sound, movement, wings. Not feather movement etc... shoot. Do we still pass? or are we sent to the principal's office?
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 06:01 PM

You get a swift kick in the butt for doing it better. It depends how keen your observation skills are.

YOU ARE THINKING DIFFERENTLY ALREADY.

John gives out 2 swift kicks.
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 06:47 PM

How many of you that are following this thread have an unwanted behaviour (in your bird) that you would like to change.

Who are you and what is it?

Bev
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 07:03 PM

There are no set rules - except that you describe in clear, observable/measurable terms what the bird is doing. Not every behavior looks the same. If the bird doesn't do something, then that's a non-behavior and doesn't go into the equation.

For example a bird that doesn't want to step up may lean away from you hand, another may rush to the furthest perch. When you describe the behavior, for the bird that rushes to another perch, you would not include that the bird doesn't lean away.

Remember, it's a STUDY of one.
Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 07:40 PM

hmmm.... I think I'm going to switch birds here. We're getting Corky in today and she's not overly fond of me. Might be a perfect opportunity to start with her. Bill is too easy anyway.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 08:49 PM

I do.

I am Kim. Do you need more in depth?

Tori bites. He is vicious and unpredictable. I would like to change this unwanted behavior.
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 08:58 PM

Your a good case to crack Kim. Yours is a very typical problem. This will help many just by reading.
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 09:02 PM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
How many of you that are following this thread have an unwanted behaviour (in your bird) that you would like to change.

Who are you and what is it?

Bev


I dont have unwanted behavior from either of my guys, my hope is to fully understand them so that I can prevent myself from making serious mistakes and causing them issues later in their lives blush

Behavior 1. Ozzie will climb to the highest area of his play gym or perches and sway back and forth with wings up saying "eagle" when he is wanting some training time.

Behavior 2. Ozzie will start throwing toys off of whatever area he is at and looking at us in between each toy falling, when he is bored and wants some time with us. He is usually mumbling a bit as well.

let me know if I am getting this correctly, I really want to make sure I am understanding these lessons to the fullest.

Deborah
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 09:15 PM

Quote:
I dont have unwanted behavior from either of my guys, my hope is to fully understand them so that I can prevent myself from making serious mistakes and causing them issues later in their lives


It's a little harder to participate but everything still applies. You can use any small behavior as an example for learning purposes. There is something you would like to change.

(My birds don't really do anything that bugs me or I can't live with either. Today!!!)
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 09:33 PM

Fancy's one unwanted behaviour is attacking feet. I have been using redirection and know it's just a matter of time and consistancy. I would like to get her potty trained laugh Not unwanted behaviour, but a change in current behaviour.
Posted By: MissYumYum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 09:37 PM

Ok, I think I'll try this for Isabella.

Construct: Impatient

Operationalized: racing/pacing back and forth on cage perch or playgym perch, with wings held out slightly from body, crest flat on head, beak pointed in the direction of where she wants to go or to indicate what she wants to do (e.g. be held, go to kitchen, sit with favorite person, etc.), all the while letting out periodic short, staccato squawks or screams.


Two behaviours:

#1. Isabella will hold her foot up and say "Hi" or "hello" when she wants to be picked up.

#2. Isabella will rake her beak through her food dishes, scattering pellets and seeds to the cage floor when she has had enough food or when she is bored and wanting attention.


Did I get that right?

Annette
Posted By: MissYumYum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/09/08 09:44 PM

Hi Bev and EM.

I have an unwanted behavior that I would like to change:

Isabella screams whenever visitors come to the house, and especially when my son (her favorite) is present. I would love to teach her that not all visitors are threatening or bad, but can be alot of fun for her. Most visitors to my home would love to interact with her.

Annette
Posted By: umbimom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 01:30 AM

Ok I'll try this.

Construct: Frightened

Operationalized: When we have thunderstorms, Lily screams until you get her out of her cage, wrap her in a blanket, hold her and talk softly to her until the thunderstorm passes.

Is this right? Sharon
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 01:41 AM

Yes Annette! Impatient is a construct, and now I can *see* what Isabella's "impatience" looks like - good job!


I'm going to defer the "two behaviors" responses to Bev to get the ball rolling. I'm also going to contribute two of my own bird's behaviors that I would like to see less of. They are already a "work in progress", but the more examples the better!

Alex (U2) yells the moment I am out of his sight.

Alex bites if I put my hand in his sleep cage (when he's in it).



Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 01:48 AM

Yes Sharon, frightened is a construct and you have described the behavior in a measurable term. I used "measurable" because screaming is not observable, but it is measurable. Good work!

Does Lily show any observable behavior when there is a thunderstorm? Pacing, fluffing of feathers, clinging to cage bars, etc?) Do all four of these things...getting her out of cage, wrapping in blanket, holding her and talking softly all have to happen for her to stop screaming?
Posted By: umbimom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 02:00 AM

Lily will start pacing before I even know there is a storm coming. Next time it happens, I will try just doing one or two of those to see if she relaxes.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 02:04 AM

I'm not suggesting that you do anything different. I was just curious. If Lily becomes upset during a thunderstorm and this is what makes her feel safe and secure, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Now if it's a behavior you want to change...then by all means, include in the 2 behaviors Bev asked everyone to post. wink

ETA: After thought! I wonder what she does during a thunderstorm when no one is home?
Posted By: umbimom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 02:09 AM

Behaviors:

1. Biting bare feet.
2. Nipping for attention when I'm talking on the phone.

Sharon
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 02:32 AM

OH Sharon! Now those two behaviors are EASY. Quit walking around barefoot and don't talk on the phone! Just KIDDING folks - LMAO!!!!

All fun aside though, those two suggestions I offered would be changing the antecedents - bare feet and talking on the phone. Remember Bev's article? Changing the antecedent can be easy, difficult, impossible or impractical. We should be able to walk barefoot w/out getting our feet bitten and we should be able to talk on the phone with being nipped. So we shall wait for Bev to talk about changing the consequences. smile
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 03:46 AM

Ooops ok I blew it on my two behaviors lol, I didnt realize we were suppose to post two negative behaviors lol sorry all.

hmmmm gonna think if Ozzie has anything I would like to change, I will get back to ya on this one.

Deborah (feeling rather stupid atm blush)
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 06:21 AM

Kim, what would you like him "to do". Give me 3 things. How long has he been with you? Has he been vetted?

FeatheredAngel: you are on the right track. It boils down to if you allow your bird choices, if everything you do to them and with them is positive, then you will get out what you put in. You just keep building that positive bank account. And what do you do when Ozzie wants training time? Does his display bother you? I can picture that swaying back and forth and I'm thinking "I bet that's a pretty cool thing to see". Am I right?

Fancy's Mum: Attack is a construct. Does he actually bite? Draw blood? Does he do this with everyone or just certain people?

I know people who potty train their birds. I personally don't believe it's a good thing. I've heard too many stories of birds that prolapse their cloacas. Especially cockatoos.

Bev

Now can everyone tell me what a construct is and why you shouldn't use it?

PS: I've just started a new thread on the PBAS list so please be patient. Janet is here to help.


Posted By: Janny

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 08:37 AM

Shoot I new I shouldn't have skipped school.Look I missed out and now I am booted. frown
Posted By: umbimom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 01:36 PM

A construct is a feeling or emotion that you "think" your bird is showing.
Example: Love (my side)- Lily shows me love by rubbing the side of her face on my cheek.
(Lilys thought) I want to get a closer look at that nose in case I ever want to take a bite of it.
You shouldn't use it, because there is no way to really know what she is thinking. Sharon
Posted By: MissYumYum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 03:07 PM

Great, EM, Thanks!! Now, I'll be on my way to trying to correct some annoying behaviors so life around here will be more enjoyable for humans and birds alike!

Umbimom - your definittion of a construct sounds right on!

Annette
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 03:11 PM

You're not booted Jan - you haven't missed too much. Just go back to the beginning and jump in!
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 03:29 PM

A construct is a label(usually a human emotion) we use to describe a series of behaviors to rationalize what we think is going on. Not what is actually going on. We need to describe what we actually see as individual behaviors.
Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 04:19 PM

I'll be dropping out of school here. Bill doesn't really have behaviours that need changing, and the new bird is Sue's to train at this point (we'll see how that goes). However, I will audit the class purely for my own edification.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 06:16 PM

Quote:
Kim, what would you like him "to do". Give me 3 things. How long has he been with you? Has he been vetted?



Is this a trick question? smile

I have had Tori for 1 year and 4 months. He is a 12 year old Male Moluccan. Yes, he has been vetted and is in fine health. He has been rehomed many, many times in his short life. No matter the outcome of our relationship, he is here to stay.

What would I like him "to do"

1. Step up and transport without biting
2. Allow me to preen him without biting
3. ??

I just read this on one of the ParrotBAS mini lessons. ( I am also following along on the thread you just started!)

Constructs are words that describe what an animal "is." They do not describe what the organism does given certain conditions.

Kim
Posted By: Janny

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 06:35 PM

Bird is-Gabby

Label is-fear

Operationally define:

Sits very low with head down,feathers tight against his body,trembling and shaking his whole body,leaning as far away from the object he is scared of.

So would a construct example be Gabby is phobic? Istead of defining what I see I label him and his behaviour?

First behaviour I would like to change would be Daubbie not going onto Gabby's cage.

Second would be Ripley not mimicing Gabby's seizure.

third would be (shoot I çan't use people lol) Bailey not making the dogs howl many times a day.
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 08:00 PM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

FeatheredAngel: you are on the right track. It boils down to if you allow your bird choices, if everything you do to them and with them is positive, then you will get out what you put in. You just keep building that positive bank account. And what do you do when Ozzie wants training time? Does his display bother you? I can picture that swaying back and forth and I'm thinking "I bet that's a pretty cool thing to see". Am I right?


We are fortunate that we can pretty much bend our schedule around Ozzie. We both work from home. When Ozzie wants training we both get very excited, start talking to him and give him about a 10 to 15 minute training time. We actually encourage training a few times a day, however Ozzie sometimes prefers more lol and we have no problem in obliging him.

Nothing Ozzie does in his displaying, calling or screaming bothers us a bit. We understand Toos and we love hearing all of his noises, however we also understand he is still young and all this could change and that is why we want to do everything possible now to help prevent issues in the future.

Ozzie can be loud but we don't mind, our neighbors on both sides of us have large birds as well so nobody minds it around here lol. Ozzie is out with us 12 hours a day and included in everything we do, so he really is such a happy boy. So even though we dont have issues atm, I still so want to be part of this group and learn all that I can, never know when another Too may come along with issues and needs a forever home here with us.

Deborah

Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 09:34 PM

Thanks EM! cool

1)Construct: Cassie's scared
Operationalized: she is trembling all over, standing tall with feathers tight to her body, and darting her head to see in all directions(she only has one eye)

2)Behavior #1: Hanging on the front of her cage and bouncing up & down while going through her entire repertoire of words when she sees the vacuum and spray bottle come out.
Behavior #2: Reaching over and tugging my clothes when she wants attention.

3) I'm not sure that there's any behaviors I want to stop , but I would like to get her more comfortable going to areas away from her cage. I guess I want her to stop making a beeline for her cage whenever we're more than 3 feet away. If it has to be a behavior to try to stop, I want to stop her from yelling when I'm in the den watching tv and she's in her cage.
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 10:01 PM

Quote:
I want to stop her from yelling when I'm in the den watching tv and she's in her cage.


Good luck with that one. (You can change the screaming to calling).

If I was Cassie. I would be thinking you get to sit on the couch and watch TV, while I get to sit here in the cage. I will NEVER let you hear the end of it.

If I was Cassie :-)
Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 11:19 PM

I think we're supposed to stick to our 'homework' and let EM and ZazuSally 'correct' it, but I want to clarify the matter for John, and others, so here goes:

Well, if Cassie would venture that far from her cage she would be WELCOME to sit and watch with me. I do contact call with her when I'm out of her sight. The den is out of her sight, and she will occasionally contact call when I'm in there, but she only screams when she hears the tv. The den has a door, so I just close the door and it doesn't really bother me. She stops after 10-15 minutes. I was just trying to think of a behavior I wanted to change for the exercise.

I look forward to the day she is willing to hang out on the couch with me, but it's been a long, slow process just getting her out of her cage at all, and I suspect it will be a longer, slower process getting her comfortable out of sight of her cage.

***as before, moderators please delete if this 'muddies the waters'***
Posted By: LoveTheLola

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 11:31 PM

Construct: Relaxed

Operationalized:
While on his perch- One leg is lifted in the air, tucked into his down feathers. His feathers are fluffed slightly, but not on full display. He will grind or click his beak gently as his eyes droop half way and the cheek feathers pull forward slightly.
While sitting in one's lap- Lola "lays" down by resting his body on his feet, his head comes forward and down, nuzzling into clothing or blanket. A few soft whistle like churps are emitted if you scratch his head, as he closes his eyes and turns his head to lay it as if drifting off to sleep.

Construct: Nervous/scared

Operationalized:
Feet grips onto perch or arm tightly, feathers pull into the body closely. Head stretches high and the muscles in the abdomine begin to tremble. Stares down intently at the object causing the reaction, never turning back to it. If enough danger is assumed, tries to B-line it up my arm (if able) and down the back of my shirt to coward in.

Contruct: Playful Joy

Operationalized:
Wings are stretched out a few inches from the body, and are fluttered. Head bobs up and down, side to side with crest raising slightly. High pitched, but not loud screams are emitted briefly before continuing to toss about in the water or tossing the toy.
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/10/08 11:56 PM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Fancy's Mum: Attack is a construct. Does he actually bite? Draw blood? Does he do this with everyone or just certain people?

I know people who potty train their birds. I personally don't believe it's a good thing. I've heard too many stories of birds that prolapse their cloacas. Especially cockatoos.

Bev

Now can everyone tell me what a construct is and why you shouldn't use it?


Thanks for the catch.

Attacking feet: Fancy will climb down off her cage quickly, and with head down, feathers smooth, beak forward she will 'pin' her eyes on her target mainly slippers or feet and charge. I will get a quick bite, no blood (or rip at the slipper fabric) and then she walks back to her cage, stopping to hop-hop-hop in circles and making happy (opps - almost did it again - chirping, clicking) noises. This happens to both me and my stepson only when my husband is home. We erred in the begining as he would then tell her off.

Potty training - thanks. Will cease that then, plus this is one area she's not responded to.
Posted By: Fancy'sMum

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 12:06 AM

What is a construct (my definition) - assigning emotions to behaviour. Preferred to view the behavious as actions (body language, sound, speed).

Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 12:50 AM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

Now can everyone tell me what a construct is and why you shouldn't use it?


Construct is placing a label on a certain action, giving a set definition so to speak.

I think the reason we should not do this is because each bird is a study of one. And by saying that "action X" means thus, we aren't fully looking at what it may mean to other birds. Also a combination of different actions may mean something all together different even if "action X" is included.

Deborah
Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 01:31 AM

Construct is using a word to describe what you THINK the bird is feeling, or how they're acting; instead of describing the behavior as you see it.

We should not use a construct because we can't know how they're feeling, or why they're acting that way. We should describe observable behaviors because that's all we really know for certain.
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 06:23 AM

John, teaching ABA in this way is a very difficult thing to do and I really need some structure in the way it is done. I'm asking in the most positive, least intrusive way that you let all responses to those posting come from Janet and I. I hope you signed up for the LLP course because we need all the help we can get. Thanks.

Sharon, your descriptions were excellent.

Kim, no trick questions from me. Step up is a huge step for any bird. Humans have taught him to communicate "no" by biting and see how effective it is? You can change that. You need to start a new relationship from ground 0. We need to listen when our birds tell us they don't want to do something. If you build up a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, "a bird's no" will become a thing of the past. Can you think of 3 of his favourite treats?

Constructs are what we think something is. For example, you can't know what someone is thinking and you can't know what your bird is thinking or feeling. That is internal to them. Behaviour is something you can describe in clear, observable terms and it can be changed with the right reinforcers.

Janny, yes phobic is a label. And you were right on the money that once you put that label on, it kind of lets us off the hook instead of focusing on the behaviour your bird is exhibiting that can be changed. And Janny, make Daubbies cage more reinforcing to Daubbie than Gabby's cage although that is a tough one. Two of my birds do it but it's not an issue. What is the issue in your cage? I mean I can see how a conure invading a Greenwing's cage could be a serious problem. Is that it?

Lola, excellent description of relaxed.

Fancy's Mom, yep, telling her off would be reinforcing the behaviour if it was attention that she was after.

You are all doing an excellent job!!!

We humans seem to think that birds have to do what we want them to do, when we want them to do it. That's where we run into trouble. If we allow our birds as many choices as possible in their daily lives, it will enrich their lives. It will build a relationship based on trust and respect. And I know that's what what we all want.

Bev

Any questions?



Posted By: Janny

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 11:12 AM

Quote:
What is the issue in your cage? I mean I can see how a conure invading a Greenwing's cage could be a serious problem. Is that it?


The issue with Daubbie going on Gabby's(CC2) cage is that Gabby is very fearful of any of the other birds getting too close to him.All the rest of the flock just stick to their own play areas on the top of the cages and above the cages from the ceiling.I don't really know why the attraction to Gabby's cage top but he always wants to be there.I put him back on his cage and I hear him flap his little wings and there he is right back on top.I have moved him to a different area of the bird room,I moved Gabby as well.I moved him into the spot where Gabby is but he just is attracted to Gabby's area or Gabby.Now where the trouble comes in is that Gabby is my epileptic and he has some balance issues so when he is trying to get away from the little green guy he usually falls pretty hard off his cage onto the floor.I do have blankets around his cage to break his falls but sometimes he misses and that is not good.When we are talking fight flight or freeze in a situation Gabby would be the flight but he goes blindly and flees into the wall or he falls badly to the floor.He is fully flighted but since his seizures he falls instead of fluttering down.One thing I hate to do is take Gabby right out of the bird room...but that may be my only option maybe to get him safe from Daubbie.(you would think it would be the other way around).
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 03:57 PM

I'm sorry Bev. I realized that after I did it. Won't happen again.
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/11/08 07:24 PM

Ok hubby helped me come up with a behavior he would like to have changed smile. This is something that Ozzie only does to him. It is only occasionally and since he has never done it to me I had not thought about it blush

behavior: occasionally while sitting on hubbys arm or even when playing together Ozzie will start nipping (kinda hard) at hubbys fingers and arm. When we first brought Ozzie home this was done more aggressively. What Hubby has done to curb it so far is to gently say "no, be easy" and remove him arm from reach. Ozzie now will still on occasions get a little feisty and soon as hubby says "no, be easy" Ozzie stops or nibbles very lightly and then stops. I should probably add that Ozzies first owner was a male and he played rather aggressively with his birds, he also has several Macaws. Ozzie was his only and first Too.

Deborah
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 12:41 AM

I've been following along today and everyone has a good knowledge of what a construct is and why we should not use them.

While thinking IS a behavior, it is the private event of the thinker and known only to them. Thinking cannot be observed. So rather than concentrate on what the bird may be thinking (my bird "hates" me) we have to concentrate rather on what the bird is doing.

Behavior has function and there is never just behavior.

You guys have thrown out some behaviors you'd like help in changing and I am going to let Bev take the lead on those. In the meantime, I will respond to the two behaviors I used that I would like to see less of.


Backround: Alex is in his sleep cage

"A" (antecedent) = Janet put her hand in Alex's sleep cage
"B" (behavior) = Alex bites Janet
"C" (consequence) Janet removes her hand from Alex's sleep cage

The probable future behavior is that Alex will continue to bite Janet when she puts her hand in his sleep cage so she will remove her hand.

Now this behavior, was stopped very easily by a mere change of the antecedent. I don't stick my hand in his sleep cage while he's occupying it. In the mornings, I just wheel the sleep cage out to the familyroom next to his day cage and open both doors. End of behavior, because by re-arranging the antecedent that laid the groundwork for the biting to occur it no longer happens. That was an easy one, because sometimes it takes a re-arrangement of both the antecedent and the consequence to bring about positive changes.

The 2nd example I used is that Alex will start yelling (actually honking) the minute I leave his sight. This is still a work in progress, but progressing nicely. As Bev said screaming/yelling is not a good behavior to reduce by ignoring it, because it is very easily can be intermittently reinforced, either intentionally or unintentionally. Intentionally, when we are just at our wits end and respond to the vocalizations by going to the bird because we just can't listen to any longer, get a phone call that we need to take w/out a bird screaming in the backround, or a knock at the door at the front door, which means that I have to walk into the familyroom (where Alex is yelling for me) to answer the door. When we try to ignore a behavior, such as this, the second we reinforce it, we've just taught that it needs to scream louder and longer for the reinforcement.

So, in the beginning:



A= Janet has left the room
B= Alex honks
C= Janet comes back into the room

Probable future behavior - Alex will honk to get Janet to come back

So I have been teaching Alex a more acceptable way of communicating that will still provide him with the consequence. I've replaced the incessant honking with a phrase "Hey Bird!" (Bird is his name for me). Now I had to be careful not to intermittently reinforce this, so when I know that I have to take a phone call, I be sure to stay in his sight. In the beginning when he honked for me, I would contact call back "Hey Bird!" The minute he repeated it...I applied the reinforcement of appearing. Then I'd leave again. We've been working on this for about 8 months now. I've started delaying the reinforcement by responding to his "Hey Bird" contact call rather than immediately reappearing. Honking gives him no consequences. He's becoming much more "patient" with the frequency of the reinforcement, and I've worked on extending the length of my absences. "Hey Bird" is always reinforced, sometimes w/a "Hey Bird" back, sometimes my coming back in the room. Alex rarely resorts to honking anymore and when he does, he gets no response. Although when I hear him getting "desperate" - yep - a construct - LOL! he begins repeating "Hey Bird" repetitively, I know that I need to reinforce it, before he resorts to honking again.

So now we can say:

A=Janet has left the room
B=Alex says "Hey Bird"
C=Janet responds with "Hey Bird" back, or reappears

Probable future behavior: Alex will say "Hey Bird" to receive a contact call back, or my eventual, and inevitable reappearance.

Now it is interesting to note, that when I actually leave the house, Alex does not honk for me to return. It is rare that I leave my birds along for any extended period of time w/out having someone here...usually my mom. The birds are always caged when she is here. When I walk out the door, Alex honks, obviously because he knows that I'm leaving. But my mom has told me that as soon as he hears the garage door open, he stops. My 18 y/o daughter has confirmed this also. So this behavior only occurs when I'm home and in another room.

If I were to equate this into a construct, I would say Alex is SPOILED!! LOL! But constructs are a big NO-NO!!! smile
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 05:06 AM

Quote:
Kim, no trick questions from me. Step up is a huge step for any bird. Humans have taught him to communicate "no" by biting and see how effective it is? You can change that. You need to start a new relationship from ground 0. We need to listen when our birds tell us they don't want to do something. If you build up a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, "a bird's no" will become a thing of the past. Can you think of 3 of his favourite treats?


The thing is, I never ask him to step up or ask to preen him. He sticks his foot out to be picked up, and then when I do he will "sometimes" bite. So I have resorted to using a chair to transport him.

I guess this would be an ABC.

A. Tori sticks foot out to step up and Kim obliges.
B. Tori bites Kim
C. Kim drops Tori and quitely leaves so she won't cry in front of him.

The probable future behavior will be that Kim will get bitten if she picks Tori up.

A. Tori sticks foot out to step up and Kim gets the chair
B. Tori steps up on chair
C. Kim transports Tori to where he wants to go without being bitten.

Probable future behavior - Tori gets where he wants to go without Kim being bitten.

Sorry, didn't mean to get ahead of myself.

The other thing that makes this difficult with him especially, is that he really does not have a favorite treat. He eats well. Fruits, raw and cooked veggies, beans and brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc. But he really does not favor nuts or seeds like my girls do. They go bonkers for nutri berrys, but he could care less about those types of things.

When he (from MY perspective) asks to be preened or loved if you will, he will bend his head over, bring his little foot up and caress himself very slowly and gently on the neck where he wants me to rub. He will also say in a very sweet and very quite voice, "hi tori" as he is doing this. This is what has me so baffeled. What is the trigger? Why is it that sometimes, he will sit and let me preen him without incident for an hour as he closes his eyes and enojoys it, while other times he will approach me in the exact same way ( maybe there is such a subtle change I don't notice?) yet when I reach down to rub him, he strikes like a snake? What is the trigger?????

Sorry again, I am just trying to give you a better picture even though this was not part of the lesson.

Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 05:35 AM

Kim, a Functional Analysis is environment=antecedent, behaviour=behaviour and environment=consequence. We will be working on those next.

There is definitely something being communicated Kim. Birds do not bite without a reason. We just need to figure out what that reason is. Also, the treat can be any of those things you mentioned. What is his favourite food? Just remove it from his diet and use it as a consequence for good behaviour. When Barb Heidenreich was at my place, everybody took turns feeding Gypsy. Barb just shook her head and said "I see a 40 minute training session there". LOL We have to use whatever our birds find reinforcing. It doesn't have to be nuts or seeds. My Zazu works best for a full head scratch. I cup her head with my hand for 20 seconds or so.

Now you said that when you reach down to rub him, he strikes like a snake. Is that because you reach for him? At those times, that he lets you preen him, did you reach for him then or did he approach you?

Feathered Angel: How about hubby having Ozzie's favourite toy in his hand. Ozzie will chew on the toy and not hubby. Simple antecedent change.

Jan: Does Daubbie find your attention really, really reinforcing?

Bev

Tomorrow we will learn about Functional Analysis. I will start a new thread on that. Is everyone clear on what a construct is and how using them prevents us from really looking at our bird's behaviour which is something we can change.

If I am missing anyone or anything, please let me know.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 05:47 AM

So was I way off on my FA?

I never pick up or preen without being asked. He comes to me if he wants either. He shows me the signs I mentioned above, which lets me know what ( I think) he wants. Maybe not?

I never approach him to do things or force him to do anything he does not want to do. Never have. Maybe someone in his past did?

His favorite foods are probably pinto beans or maybe sweet potatoes. He loves all of it, he is such a good eater, thank goodness!
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 05:50 AM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

Feathered Angel: How about hubby having Ozzie's favorite toy in his hand. Ozzie will chew on the toy and not hubby. Simple antecedent change.


Yes we have actually done this back when the biting was a bit more aggressive, thank you for the reminder though and we will pick up doing that again.

Deborah
Posted By: Janny

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 05:57 AM

Yes Bev Duabbie does find my attention reinforcing.Unfortunately I definitely can't leave him on Gabby's Cage though.So I am really at a loss for what I need to do with this.I know I need to spend time with him when he is not on Gabby's cage but every time I turn around for a second he is trying to get to Gabby's domain.lol.
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 06:27 AM

So Janny, if his attention tank is low, you need to fill it up by spending some time with him so that he doesn't fly to Gabby's cage to get your attention. See what I mean. So how about a short training session. How about teaching him to target. Very, very easy and then can be used to train other behaviours or some fun behaviours. We will work on a Functional Analysis to help you work through this but really you need to spend time with him. Give it a try and see what happens.

Kim, I'm going to explain what a FA is tomorrow and then we will all do one. Always pick the behaviour first and yes, birds are taught to bite by humans who don't listen to what their bird is communicating. When they are forced to do things, their last communication is a bite. And we all know that works to keep humans away. You have to avoid those bites because they are reinforcing to the bird. And you have to work on building a relationship based on trust and respect and that means never asking your bird to do something he/she does not want to do. It takes time to build that relationship but people have to remember you can't keep withdrawing from that account. It's only for deposits.

This is a statement from one of Dr. Friedman's lectures. I share it here because it is a powerful, powerful statement. Just think about it.

" The ability of every organism to affect its environment through the power of its own behavior is fundamental to behavioral health (Overmier & Seligman, 1967)".

How many of us do that for our parrots? We like to be able to make our own decisions. We don't like to be forced to do things we don't want to do. Why shouldn't our birds have those same choices? It is an empowering thing to give your bird and the outcome is wonderful.

Bev

Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 06:32 AM

John, I also wanted to say "thank you, I appreciate it".


Bev
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 07:42 AM

******
Posted By: Janny

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/12/08 08:04 PM

Bev I understand you want me to spend time with him before he is jumping or flying to Gabby's cage right.But the thing is as soon as I open his cage I do spend about 1/2 hour with him while he is on his cage and then I take him off and give him some special mornign lovin' then I put him on his cage and tell him what a good boy he is and give him an avicake.Then I go to try and do the same with the next birdie in line and he scoots over to Gab's cage.I take him off the cage and return him to his own.I never let him stay on Gabby's cage for any length of time because I know it is a "intermitent reinforcer" so he is never allowed to stay.I never say a word to him because I am caught with the negative reinforcer.I just return him but my walking over to get him is reinforcement enough. frown I am not too sure how to get it so that I am giving him what he needs (my attention) without spending 24/7 with him.lol.
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/13/08 06:00 AM

Janny, is it possible to put up a barrier (antecedent change) so that Daubbie can't fly to Gabby's cage. Like hanging a Get-a-Grip in his path. Or covering part of Gabby's cage so he can hide if he wants to.

If those things won't work, then you will be able to figure out a solution yourself using ABA.

Bev

PS: Functional Analysis will be tomorrow after I finish my housework.

Posted By: Janny

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/13/08 07:18 AM

I will give anything a try.I will get building a get a grip to hang there tomorrow evening.Thanks Bev.
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/13/08 09:41 PM

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

Tomorrow we will learn about Functional Analysis. I will start a new thread on that.


Am I just not seeing the new thread? LOL if it hasnt been started totally understand........ busy lives crazy , just didnt want to miss out if it was up and running.

Deborah
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/13/08 10:29 PM

Bev has not started the new "FA" thread yet...so stay tuned! smile

Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 09/13/08 11:09 PM

WOOTZ good to know I hadnt missed it hehe, TY EchosMom!

Deborah
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 02:32 PM

OK, for those that are interested, please read this thread and then give me a 3 constructs that you read here all the time and 3 behaviours.

First make sure you understand what a construct is. Any questions, please ask. You need to understand this before moving on the Functional Analysis in September.


Bev
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 03:17 PM

My bird is hormonal

My bird hates me

My bird is destructive
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 04:08 PM

Are those behaviours or constructs?

Bev
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 04:32 PM

I would say, constructs....

hormonal may group together behaviors such as biting, screaming, nesting

hates me may group together dive bombing, the low crouching with the swaying back and forth, biting

destructive may be chewing up perches, furniture, toys only lasting a half a day, putting holes in blinds
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 04:55 PM

Do you know why they are constructs?

Bev
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 05:01 PM

they put a label on a behavior and not describe the specific behavior
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/29/09 05:27 PM

OK, two of them are constructs and one is a behaviour. Read this before you answer. Even I had to go back over and read it again. LOL Destructive behaviour is also subjective like screaming. What one person considers destructive, another may think is totally appropriate considering they are parrots. There are some behaviours that we should not even attempt to change and a parrot is designed to destroy things which is why we need to give them acceptable things to destroy because they don't care if they chew on a chunk of wood from Home Depot or your $2000 piece of antique furniture. Wood chewing is too reinforcing for most parrots, I know there are exceptions.

So a construct is a label. It is what you think your bird is. We need to describe behaviour in clear, observable terms in order to change it.

Example: Love is a construct or a label. It is really a word for many behaviors displayed in particular contexts. I can operationalize “love”. She would spread her wings and run up and down the length of the tub, move in and out of the shower spray, and make all sorts of grey sounds. Now do you know what behavior I mean when I say that she loved it?

Operationally define means to describe the behaviour in clear, observable terms.


Bev

Is this making more sense?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 07/30/09 06:38 AM

"Destructive" is definitely the behavior (even though it is subjective). Destruction can be observed. Labels, such as "hormonal", "aggressive", "happy", etc. only tell us what we think the bird is rather than what the bird does. It is important that we concentrate on what the bird is doing rather than what we think the bird is feeling or thinking. Example: One person may see a bird hiss, and call (label) it aggressive. Another person may see the bird hiss, and call (label) it afraid.

Denise, you did a good job and I love that you picked destructive - that one was a trick example, because it is so subjective. smile
Posted By: FunnyFarm

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 08/02/09 04:33 AM

Hi, I hope this is the correct place.

constucts:
Gretta is scared
Kernal is Loveable
Gretta is nevous

Behaviours:

Gretta retreats at least 3 feet when approached
Gretta Honks to communicate (flock call)
Kernal rubs his beak on me then tumbles down my front

Am I close? Deb

Thanks Bev
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 08/02/09 06:59 AM

Good job, Deb. It's important to know what a construct is when you are trying to modify behaviour. A construct is not behaviour.

Retreats, honks and rubs are behaviours that you can observe. Scared, lovable and nervous are indeed constructs.

Bev
Posted By: Bogie's Buddy

Re: It's showtime - School is in. - 08/30/09 05:25 AM

Constructs
(1)Bogie loves me.
(2)Bogie hate me doing the daily crossword puzzle in the newspaper.
(3)Bogie hates me talking on the phone.

Behaviors
(1)Bogie will push his head into my chest every morning,and rests his head against my shoulder during the day.
(2)Bogie will attempt to take the pen out of my hand, gently nip the fingers holding the pen, and if I leave the double page paper open and unattended, he has, on several occasions, made a point of shredding the crossword section out of the paper, while leaving the rest untouched.
(3)Bogie will make several shrill barks, then either attempt to chew the phone or my adjacent ear, or nip at the elbow of the arm holding the phone.
How did I do?

John
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