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#219221 - 04/11/10 06:31 PM Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010  
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OK, it's showtime. Does anyone have any questions about anything in the first two chapters? Learning how to implement ABA will be the best thing you ever did for your relationship with your birds, actually with any living creature. It sure changed my life.

I want all the people who are participating to tell me what they believe Applied Behavior Analysis is and in your own words. I want to know what you believe it to be and not the description in the book or from Google.

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/11/10 06:32 PM. Reason: added something

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#219234 - 04/11/10 11:55 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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One question - although the first two chapters were short, I found ithem to be kind of overwhelming. Are all the definitions, etc. applicable to our birds? And in answer to your question, Bev, ABA to me means utilizing precise tools to analyze, interpret and, hopefully, change unwanted behaviors and encourage positive
ones . But am I disciplined and consistent enough to carry through? I guess I'll find that out. Thanks for doing this, Bev.


Pat

One Day At A Time
#219240 - 04/12/10 01:32 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Cleo's Mom]  
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Pat, all you really need is to be open to change. You, not Cleo. If you are willing to do that, you can't lose.

You don't need the big words, Pat. If you have trouble understanding certain words just ask. I went through the same thing. It was so difficult getting a grasp on some of the words and when I figured them out all I could think is "why the hell can' t they just say it the way everyone can understand it". LOL

That's psychology for you, just like medicine, their own language.

Bev


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#219241 - 04/12/10 01:51 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I'm really sorry if I delay anyone -- my book hasn't arrived yet! I'll try my best to catch up,

Once again, sorry!

Daniel

#219250 - 04/12/10 03:32 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Daniel, we won't leave you behind. Any idea when your book will arrive?


Bev


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#219258 - 04/12/10 04:54 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge Bev.
ABA to me (so far anyway) is using positive reinforcements to encourage more of the wanted behaviors & learning what I'm missing that is causing the unwanted behaviors.

I'm hoping to use this with the husband as well....

#219260 - 04/12/10 05:14 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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What I understand ABA to be is for me to learn the tools to modify my behavior and thus change the reactions from the birds to said behavior, and to build a relationship with them that contributes to their well being and to make their lives as comfortable and stimulating as I can.

Sharon


You have two choices: accept things the way they are, or have courage to change them. J Kanani


#219268 - 04/12/10 01:58 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Ladyhutch]  
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My book has arrived!

Daniel

#219269 - 04/12/10 02:07 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Excellent answers Liisa and Sharon!!!

Daniel, the chapters are short so you shouldn't have too much trouble catching up.

Liisa, can you give me one example of an unwanted behaviour?


Bev


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#219278 - 04/12/10 04:16 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Daniel, the chapters are short so you shouldn't have too much trouble catching up.Bev


Yes, they are...in fact I breezed through the first two and kept going...honestly, I thought it was just a bunch of complicated terms for the obvious, until I got to the consequences chapter, which is really interesting...I have had several revelations already...

First, it must be the italian in me but I take such joy in seeing my birds eat...and they eat well...but I realize I have diminished the effectiveness of my primary reinforcer...food...I have to hold back something that they love to use as the ultimate reinforcer...

Second, I have come to understand the need for both positive reinforcing the behavior I want in O (not screaming) and negative reinforcement, i.e. extinction (screaming) and not just one without the other...

Funny how when I do ignore Os screaming it worsens (extinction burst) and that this is actual improvement and not worsening...

So I am going to approach this from a both angles...not one or the other... positivily reinforce what I want AND negatively reinforce what I do not...

#219280 - 04/12/10 04:39 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: GregM]  
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Greg, it is always best to use the most positive, least intrusive methods to change unwanted behaviour. Extinction is not a good way to eliminate screaming. The bird always wins especially when it has been intermittently reinforced. Makes the behaviour that much stronger and difficult to change.

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying by using negative reinforcement. An extinction burst is usually something that happens when the behaviour has been put on an extinction schedule not just every time you decide to ignore him.

Don't get ahead of yourself, Greg. And the realization about the food is right on the money. Food is a powerful reinforcer because we need it to live.

Bev


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#219282 - 04/12/10 04:50 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
It was so difficult getting a grasp on some of the words and when I figured them out all I could think is "why the hell can' t they just say it the way everyone can understand it".


That sounds like something I said in college right after my calculus book hit the wall.


Whoever coined the term "bird brain" was probably projecting.
#219290 - 04/12/10 09:11 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Extinction is not a good way to eliminate screaming...I'm not sure I understand what you are saying by using negative reinforcement. An extinction burst is usually something that happens when the behaviour has been put on an extinction schedule not just every time you decide to ignore him. Bev


I don't know if you want this here, or in Os thread...

If I am not mistaken extinction...ignoring a behavior, is one form of negative reinforcement...when a bird screams as much as O just positively reinforcing good behavior is not enough...there will come a time when you have to also ignore the screaming...

I have been doing a combination of this for months now...and I have noticed that when I ignore him it gets worse and I had been thinking that ignoring it does not work...but in reality the worsening is common and has a name (extinction burst) and is actually not necesarily a worsening of the behavoir (long term) but can be a short term reaction to the negative reinforcment (ignoring the screaming)

The example in the book of the boy throwing a tantrum and the parents ignoring it are spot on. When ignored the boys tantrums will actually worsen, at first...that is a reaction to the attempt at extinction and not a worsening of the behavoir...if the parents continue to ignore the tantrums they will effect long term change of the behavior...

For example, yesterday I had O out all morning...from the time he came out of sleep cage (6:40am) until almost 11am! He worked out with me, showered, hung out on the tree...yet when I finally put him in the day cage, after a short while, he choose to scream...I can not carry him around all day...there has to be some time in the cage and he has to learn that when he goes in the cage and screams I will not take him out...

This is also complicated by, what I percieve to be, his emotions due to his physical handicap. The behavior, i.e., screaming, is done for many reasons...not just for attention...he uses is as a repellant when spooked...

Example: every nite I take out the central vac and vaccuum around the cages while Buddi is on top of his cage and O on the tree. Almost every nite this same activity can spook Buddi and he will jump off his cage and try to fly (he is clipped)...I will pick him up and put him back on top of his cage.

Now O is hanging on the tree and sometimes, during vaccuming, will not stop screaming...why? My theory is he is spooked, like Buddi, but knows he can not fly due to the bad wing...so he supresses the flight instinct and screams to repel that which frightens him...this has also been correlated when I approach him with food he has never seen...he moves away, but if no where to go he will attempt to shout you down with screams to chase you away...he has learned he has that power...

So, it is complicated indeed...I need to try and figure why he is screaming when he screams because if it is emotionally driven by the handicap (i.e. vaccuum, Buddi flies, the door opens/closes) he may screams out of fear and if so will not respond to anything...

Am I making any sence? I have given it a lot of thought...

Last edited by GregM; 04/12/10 09:17 PM.
#219291 - 04/12/10 09:22 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: GregM]  
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Greg, Google Intermittent Reinforcement and extinction burst. Then Google Differential reinforcement of an alternative or incompatible behavior, DRA/DRI. Then tell me what they mean to you.

And if O is screaming because of the vacuum, the best thing is to remove him from the cage before you start to vacuum. That is an antecedent change.

More later.


Bev

Greg, I am afraid of heights. Wasn't when I was younger but I am now. How do you think I would feel about you if you made me (let's just say that you could) climb a 100 foot tower. Nikki is afraid of the vacuum cleaner as well but when I vacuum her cage, I put her on another cage because I respect her fear. It's a terrible feeling to be afraid of something with no place to go or no safe place to land. Think about this, Greg. I want my birds to trust me and they do. Zazu on the other hand tries to kill the vacuum. She has ruined a couple of hoses already. Gypsy flies away when the vacuum is on, Sally is indifferent. The thing is I know how each one will react to it and I take that into consideration.


Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/13/10 03:03 AM. Reason: added something

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#219292 - 04/12/10 09:29 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: GregM]  
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I try to stay out of these conversations but if you are vaccuuming at night, when these birds should be sleeping, and Buddhi, a clipped bird, is frightened off his cage and does his best to get to the ground unharmed, you are setting yourself up for disaster. The only thing a human/avian relationship can thrive on is trust and that is a trust destroying activity that Buddi probably dreads awfully every night. This will cause harm to Buddi over time and no one knows how he will eventually have to deal with it, but YOU won't like it.

#219297 - 04/12/10 11:13 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Charlie]  
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I don't know too much about ABA but I'm eager to learn, that's for sure! ABA will help me understand why undesired behaviours occur, how we can analyze these, prevent them or change them. I don't have a bird (yet!) so I cannot say it will help me in that sense right now, however, I do hope I accuire the sufficient information to be able to manage any behavioural problems that I may encounter in the near future.

#219306 - 04/13/10 04:45 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Bev - Unwanted behavior - excessive vocalizations while sitting next to me.

Simon is on his "T-stand" & I am on computer.

I am thinking it is partly boredom - not much to do on a T-stand - I am getting him a Boing or Oddball (Atom) in a week or so.
In the meantime, I have been following Gregs thread on "O" & taking my cues from there.
Guilty of intermittent reinforcement here too...

More later - tomorrow is vet visit - toe is acting up again...

#219321 - 04/13/10 02:24 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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Liisa, good call. Always look to the environment first. You are absolutely right, there is not much to do on a T-stand. You can get the Atoms in New Brunswick, you know. I love those things. They are in the top 5 favourite things.

We are all guilty of intermittent reinforcement. The key is to understand what is it, how to avoid doing it in the first place unless it is a behaviour we wish to see more of. This is one of the main reasons parrots are rehomed and the sad thing is, it is not the bird's fault but human error.



Bev


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#219330 - 04/13/10 05:23 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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My understanding of ABA is to be able to change "MY" approach and understanding of Ozzy's behavior, so that I can reinforce the positive and reduce the negative. We eliminate things from his surroundings that might cause negative behavior, and we change our own approach to him so that we are constantly reinforcing his positive behaviors. Basically we don't try to change Ozzy, but present an environment and lifestyle that creates positive outcome for all of us to live together harmoniously.


Deborah
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#219377 - 04/14/10 03:05 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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You are right on the money, Deborah. The people who will get the best results are the people who are willing to change their behaviour in conjunction with the tools of ABA.

Good job!!


Bev

Anybody have anything to add? Any questions before we move on?


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