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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

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#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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#219388 - 04/14/10 06:55 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I've read up to chapter 2! :-)

Daniel

#219439 - 04/15/10 02:19 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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If there are no questions, everyone please read chapter 3 and tell me what you got from this chapter. It is extremely important to understand what an antecedent is.

Bev


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#219441 - 04/15/10 02:56 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
If there are no questions, everyone please read chapter 3 and tell me what you got from this chapter. It is extremely important to understand what an antecedent is.Bev


Hey Bev...been busy so I have not looked up that other term you mentioned...I do know that intermitent reinforcment, for example, would be my sometimes going to O when he screams for attention in the cage and sometimes not going to O when he screams for attention in the cage...not what you want to do...

I believe an antecedent, reduced to its simpilest defination, would be an event or occurance which precedes "targeted" behavior...not always as easy to identify as one may think since so many events or occurances can induce behavior...like O, for example, who I believe may scream at any point in time for a variety of different reasons...not always for attention..

But some are readily identifiable like trying to "adjust" toys in Buddis cage while she is in there...I know I will get bit...so I only do it when she is out of the cage...

I will go find that other word now and edit the post...ok, just goggled it and it is interesting...appears to be a term that combines reinforcment of both 1) behaviors you wish to illiminate as well as 2) behavior you wish to replace it with... As defined, differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior (DRI) involves reinforcing behaviors that are physically incompatible with the undesired target behavior.

Again, as defined, when a DRI involves reinforcing alternative, desirable behaviors it is called differential reinforcement of alternate behavior (DRA) because DRI involves reinforcing behaviors that are physically incompatible with the undesired target behavior. That is, a DRI provides reinforcement for behaviors whose display makes it physically impossible to display of the inappropriate behavior.

So, if I understand this correctly, DRI/DRA as applied to O's screaming would mean to reinforce "quiet" which is "physically incompatible" with screaming?

How in the world do you reinforce omission...not doing something?

Last edited by GregM; 04/15/10 03:10 PM.
#219443 - 04/15/10 03:47 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: GregM]  
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You don't. Not doing something is not a behaviour. It's call the "Dead Man's Rule". If a dead man can do it, it's not a behaviour. You need to focus on what you want your bird to do.

Quiet is really not a good substitution. It's better if you find an acceptable sound that is reinforcing like that chatter that I heard O do. He can't scream if he is chattering. He can't scream if he is playing.

Remember this Greg, if a behaviour is maintained or increases, it IS being reinforced regardless of what you think. This is written in stone.

Now Google "contiguity and contingency".

Also I just bought a wonderful book on operant conditioning(new out), are you up to buying this book and reading it? So far, I've found it to be very easy to understand and I find I am really, really enjoying it and I'm at page 35 and I only started it yesterday on the subway.

If others are interested, let me know and I will post a link to the book.

Bev

Greg, you are really making me think here and taking to this like a duck to water. Good for you, Greg, good for you!!!! And good for me too. LOL

Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/15/10 03:49 PM. Reason: added something

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#219446 - 04/15/10 04:59 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
You don't. Not doing something is not a behaviour. It's call the "Dead Man's Rule". If a dead man can do it, it's not a behaviour. You need to focus on what you want your bird to do...Now Google "contiguity and contingency".


Yes, I do remember a reference to the dead man rule in the book...

I understand that I need to subsitute a more desirable behavior (verbal chatter) for the screaming...when he is out on the tree and screams (presumambly for attention) I get him to change his tune before I approach him, for any reason...when he goes in the cage and screams (again for attention) I like to allow him to spend some time in there screaming with no response at all...when there is a lull in the screams I will then talk to him, get the verbal chatter and then make a big fuss and take him out...

I have come to realize the difference in his screams...this morning while he was on the tree he screamed a few times and I knew he actually wanted to go in the day cage to eat...he was hungry and actually telling me he was hungry and knew where his food was...even if the antecedent (reason) for the screaming is different, I should still get the verbal chatter from him? In other words, never go to him when he screams, regardless of the reason, without getting it to change to verbal chatter or I am reinforcing the screams?

More fancy terms! Simply stated (temporal)contiguity is the amount of time that lapses between the behavior and the reinforcement (the shorter the better) and the goal, of course, is the realization by the bird (causal impression) that the reinforcement is contingent on the behavior...only then does behavior change...

I always just referred to that as "association" but contingent is actually more accurate...

#219447 - 04/15/10 05:00 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Antecedents are the events that occur right before (either positive or negative) behavior happens, in direct response to the antecedent.

By changing the antecedent (our approach to any interaction), we can modify the behavior, and ultimately change the outcome of our interactions with our birds.


Deborah
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#219452 - 04/15/10 05:32 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Greg, my birds always have access to food - always. You can take away a hunger "scream" simply by changing the antecedent which is allowing O to always have access to food except when he is sleeping at night. I give my birds a big snack at 8:30 pm just before I put them to bed. Then you have eliminated that problem, right?

Greg, I want you to try playing some games (energy burners)with him to see if that helps before you do what you need to do. Can you post a picture of how his cage is set up? Is this where he spends the most time. I'd like to see what you have in there?

If it is your attention he is after and you go to him while he is screaming for "ANY" reason, you are reinforcing the screaming because you are giving him what he wants - you. Now if he is chattering and you go and spend some time with him and actively play with him for a few minutes and make a big fuss over him, you are reinforcing the chattering. If he gets a bigger paycheck for chattering than he does screaming, eventually he will chatter instead of scream to get your attention but you have to be consistent and there will be set backs. The reward is contingent on you getting the wanted behaviour. If you do this, you get that.

Greg, do you want the name of the book?

Deborah, excellent description, do you understand what you've said?

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/15/10 05:54 PM. Reason: added something

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#219456 - 04/15/10 06:48 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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GregM it may be easier if you keep your replies to the thread for "O" and leave that thread for helping "O" so that your not posting all over the place.JMO anyway. This thread is more geared for people that are reading the book and trying to learn from the book and my understanding is you are taking over it for helping "O".


Jan

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#219460 - 04/15/10 08:18 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Greg, my birds always have access to food - always...Greg, I want you to try playing some games (energy burners)with him to see if that helps before you do what you need to do. Can you post a picture of how his cage is set up? Is this where he spends the most time. I'd like to see what you have in there?...Greg, do you want the name of the book?
Bev


I think Jan may be right so I will post response in O's thread...I will take name and author of book...

#219462 - 04/15/10 08:27 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

Deborah, excellent description, do you understand what you've said?

Bev


I believe I do lol, you have been an awesome teacher!

Antecedent = my initial approach and interaction with Ozzy, will determine how Ozzy responds. I can therefore modify my own initial approach, environment, or situation, to help create a more positive outcome. Changing Ozzy is never the question, it is always about how "We" interact and provide for him. We are very accustomed to his moods, needs and wants. We make sure that all of them are being met. If and when he acts out (which is rare), we know immediately to look at what is happening and then alter our own actions or surroundings to create a better situation for all.

We are also very consistent in our positive interactions with Ozzy. We fill up that trust account daily! He has never known anything but trust and love his entire time with us. Ozzy shows a great deal of trust in us due to this, even in very new situations.



Deborah
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#219464 - 04/15/10 09:24 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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You sure do understand, Deborah!!!

Good job!!!!

Bev


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#219638 - 04/20/10 12:59 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Antecedent 1 - I place Simon on his chair in the kitchen to "help" with the dishes.

I 'chatter' to him & tell him what I'm doing, etc.

He 'chatters', dances, preens, or plays 'peek-a-boo' on the chair seat.

This may or may not escalate to whistling or 'singing' back & forth.



Antecedent 2 - I place Simon on his chair in the kitchen to "help" with the dishes.

I start immediately with the work at hand, leaving him to amuse himself.

Simon screams for attention.

I whistle or sing to him - he whistles or chatters back to me - he stops screaming.


I'm not sure that I "get" what antecedent is but the term "setting the stage" is what I see in my mind.

#219652 - 04/20/10 03:40 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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Good try, Liisa considering we haven't gone far enough in the book to give you the tools you need so a pat on the back for trying!!!

When doing a Functional Analysis, we always start with the behaviour we want to change first.

The antecedent is what happens immediately before the behaviour occurs and I mean immediate.

So what is the behaviour you want to change?

Bev


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#219654 - 04/20/10 04:58 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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In this case - it would be my not chatting, whistling to him & encouraging him to engage in acceptable vocalizations...

#219669 - 04/20/10 02:22 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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Not doing something is not a behaviour. Remember that is the Dead Man's Rule. If a dead man can do it, it's not a behaviour. What is the problem behaviour?

Functional Analysis:

Background -

Antecedent -

Behaviour -

Consequence -

Possible Future Behaviour -

Just fill in the behaviour you want to change in Simon.

Think about this now. Behaviour is something that you can clearly observe and measure.

Bev


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#219675 - 04/20/10 03:44 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Simon screams for attention.

I whistle to him.

He whistles back.

#219677 - 04/20/10 04:26 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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So the whistle is an acceptable vocalization for you?

Bev


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#219685 - 04/20/10 07:26 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Oh Yes smile

#219687 - 04/20/10 07:56 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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If the whistling earns him a higher paycheck than the screaming, it should decrease. If it doesn't, it is still being reinforced. Does this make sense?

Once we get through the book, we'll see how things are going and if you are still having problems, maybe a one on one would be the way to go, OK?

Bev

So what is the target behaviour?


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#219691 - 04/20/10 10:06 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Do we read chapter 4, too?

Daniel

#219692 - 04/20/10 10:18 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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The target behaviour is whistling

#219714 - 04/21/10 03:23 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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The target behaviour is the behaviour you want to change. Whistling is acceptable, ------------ is not.


Bev


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#219723 - 04/21/10 05:11 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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* Ok where is that Head-banging icon?? blush

Screaming is not acceptable.

#219724 - 04/21/10 07:19 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Liisa B]  
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Ok, I'm late jumping in on here...sorry all!

You got it Liisa! Screaming is the behavior you want to change, which makes it the target behavior.

I also used to get confused (still do sometimes - my birds are VERY smart - LOL!) Seriously though, I use to associate the word "target" with "goal"...just as you did Liisa!

The principles of ABA are simplistic, but the application isn't as easy. One thing that has always helped me is the "If" - "then". IF I do this *THEN" (this happens). Simply put "what's it in for me?"

Another thing that has helps me tremendously as Ben pointed out is the Dead Man's rule. If a dead person can perform the task, it's not a good goal because is is not a behavior.



Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#219732 - 04/21/10 02:38 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: EchosMom]  
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Hey, EM, Ben here. LOL

OK, now can everyone who is participating give me their target behaviour or a problem behaviour they would like to change.

Does everyone understand what an antecedent is? Any questions.


Ben (LOL)


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#219733 - 04/21/10 02:46 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Oops - LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carry on Ben!!!


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#219747 - 04/21/10 07:22 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: EchosMom]  
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The antecedent is what occurs immedeately before the (target) behaviour, right?

#219750 - 04/21/10 08:04 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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You are absolutely right, Daniel!!! It is immediately (this is very important as in not 2 minutes later or even 1 minute later) before the behaviour.

Antecedent: Bev presents hand

Behaviour: Zazu bites hand

Consequence: Bev pulls hand away

Possible Future Behaviour? Everyone answer what they think this will be.

Bev


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#219756 - 04/21/10 09:44 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I don't have a parrot but could this be the case of a target behaviour (screaming for attention)?

Antecedent: Laura walks out the room

Behaviour: Parrot screams

Consequence: Laura walks back in the room

Possible future behaviour: The parrot will scream everytime Laura walks out of the room.

#219760 - 04/21/10 10:26 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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The example of Zazu is the exact same one I was going to use for Cleo (sometimes I'm not fast enough - lots of smileys on my fingers). Probable future behavior: everytime Bev presents her hand, Zazu will bite so that Bev pulls her hand away. I think the target behavior would be the the biting. A question - do you think combining clicker training with ABA is a good idea?


Pat

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#219768 - 04/22/10 01:42 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Cleo's Mom]  
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Pat, clicker training is operant conditioning which is a part of Applied Behaviour Analysis. The click just tells the bird that something good is coming. It is positive reinforcement training which is what ABA is all about. Most positive, least intrusive.

Clicker training is a wonderful tool. I do a little of it myself but I'm not very disciplined. I've seen people accomplish some amazing things with a clicker.

What does Zazu get out of it?

Bev

Very good, Daniel or Laura!! LOL Which is it? So the screaming would be reinforced if you immediately came back into the room and it was your attention the parrot was after. Make sense?


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#219776 - 04/22/10 10:53 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I'm Daniel - I just used Laura as an example. It sure does make sense -- I'm also reading DON'T SHOOT THE DOG which is VERY helpful!

I'll start reading chapter 4 which is about consequences.

Daniel

#219785 - 04/22/10 02:45 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Now you know most of us think our birds are smarter than other animals so if that's the case, there's no reason why all of us can't teach our birds the things we want them to do as opposed to teaching them the behaviours we don't want them to do, ie screaming, biting, etc.

This is what can be done with a clicker. I am enjoying this book tremendously and the videos are amazing. The dog that was taught to blow bubbles was thoroughly enjoying working for the treats or consequence of his behaviour. If he does what he is asked, then he gets a treat.

http://www.reachingtheanimalmind.com/chapter_02.html

Bev


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#219791 - 04/22/10 06:16 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I think this is very important. "We try behaving in different ways until we find something that works to get the consequence or result we want. The behaviour that is finally succesful in getting the desired help is positively reinforced. The underlying idea of positive reinfrocement is to "catch them being good," and reinforce X's good behaviour".

This ofcourse, can be applied to birds. A bird may scream for attention. One should ignore this behaviour and praise the bird for another way of calling you i.e saying "hello", a whistle etc. This way the parrot has learned, through trial and error, that he will receive the consequence he wants by talking, whisteling.

(I think that's what it means!)

#219796 - 04/22/10 07:34 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Daniel, what would be even better than ignoring the screaming?

Good try, Daniel!!!

Bev


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#219797 - 04/22/10 07:53 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Bev, I've heard some parrots scream because they're hungry. Is it a better idea to provide a bird with food all the time rather than setting a schedule? i.e Breakfast at 8, Lunch at...


Daniel

#219798 - 04/22/10 08:05 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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My birds always have access to food. Always. I know people who feed their birds twice a day but I figure we already take enough away from our birds that I am certainly not going to allow them to go hungry. Now having said that, when I get home from work and the gym, Zazu is very, very hungry. She waits to eat with me so the whole time I am making supper she is on top of the fridge whining. Funny thing is there have been times when I've been on a diet when she couldn't have what I was eating and I made her something that normally she loves and she won't touch it. It's a very social thing with our birds. The difference is this is Zazu's choice because she does have food in her cage.

Screaming is a very difficult behaviour to modify, Daniel so the best way to deal with it, is to never let it start in the first place. Nikki and Zazu were both rehomed for screaming and Nikki had biting thrown in too. They screamed in their previous homes because it was reinforced. I never reinfornced it so they knew right out of the gate, it wouldn't get them anywhere. Unless there is a paycheck for the birds, they don't do it. All behaviour has function.

Bev


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#219799 - 04/22/10 08:15 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Thank you Bev. I am learning more and more everyday and I hope one day I'm knowledgeable enough to be able to have a parrot of my own and know how to care for it. For now, I'll keep reading!

Daniel

#219863 - 04/25/10 12:22 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Reading through "What are consequences?" I came to page 48 "Reinforcement schedules".

When we talk about parrots, what is usually the best? Continous reinforcement, fixed ratio or variable ratio? Would it be best to start off with continous reinforcement till the bird gets the hang of the desired behaviour and THEN move on to either fixed ratio and/or then variable ratio?

Daniel

#219948 - 04/28/10 07:28 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Definitely continuous, Daniel. I hear people say all the time (people who don't understand ABA) that they don't want to have to walk around with treats all the time. What happens is over time you become a conditioned reinforcer so that most of the time that I ask my birds to do something, they do it because they want to. I do pay them in the morning and when I put them to bed because fair is fair. For the same reason, the pigeons in the park fly to me because they think I have food for them. Some days I do, most days I don't but they don't know when. So the feeding is on an intermittent schedule. I don't know why people get so hung up about giving their birds "rewards/treats/consequences for requested behaviour. Would you keep going to work if you didn't get paid? I don't think so. LOL

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/28/10 07:29 PM.

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#219966 - 04/29/10 08:35 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Hi Bev,

But wouldn't it be even more reinforcing if they got LESS of that treat? In other words, they have to work harder for it, for example, they have to perform the desired behaviour say 3 times to get the treat. This ofcourse would be fixed ratio, then couldn't one move on to variable ratio so the parrot never knows when he's going to get the treat? Is this, however, too stressful on the bird and considered "cruel"?

Also, a bite is reinforcing. What happens when we say "step-up" to our birdie and he bites, then we leave him alone, haven't we then reinforced this behaviour?

(Sorry for my ignorance, I'm just a bit confused and eager to learn!)

Daniel

#219967 - 04/29/10 09:08 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Dr.Paul Chance in Learning and Behavior

"The simplest of simple schedules is called continuous reinforcement, or CRF. In continuous reinforcement, a behavior is reinforced every time it occurs.

Each reinforcement strengthens behavior, so continuous reinforcement leads to very rapid increases in the rate of behavior. It is especially useful, then, when the task is to shape up some new behavior or behavior chain."

Once you become a conditioned reinforcer to your bird, you won't need to give a treat every time. If your birds foot is not up in the air when you ask him to step up, you should leave well enough alone. I know when my birds say "no". I respect that but I have built up enough of a positive history with them that 95% of the time, I get the behaviours I ask for. And I pay them at certain times but not all of the time.

Make sense now?

Bev

Daniel, I'm not training my birds for a show. I just want good behaviour from them and that is what I get. Again, I don't see why we have such a problem with paying our birds for requested behaviour. So you are out 3 pine nuts instead of one? Like I said, eventually you won't need to give treats every time but you have to work for that in the beginning. You set them up to succeed.


Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/29/10 09:22 PM. Reason: typo

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#219968 - 04/29/10 09:15 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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GREAT REPLY!!! Thanks Bev

#220182 - 05/04/10 02:24 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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OK, are there any questions on Chapter 3. If not, go ahead and read Chapter 4.

Bev


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#220187 - 05/04/10 07:37 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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We used a treat as the "CRF" with Ozzy for about the first year. Now he never requires a treat, and always does what is asked of him readily. He still gets "CRF" but in the form of praises or scritches. If offered a treat instead, he will take it but 90% of the time just drops it and waits for applause. That boy is a ham lol.

Ready for chapter 4 Bev smile


Deborah
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#220265 - 05/05/10 08:01 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Very good, Deborah!!

Can you explain what has happened?

Bev

We will take a bit of time to go through Chapter 4 as it has a lot of very good information.

Does everyone understand the book so far? If you don't understand something, please ask, because for every one person who doesn't understand something, there is probably 10 people who are afraid to ask. It took me a long time before I got it and I really want people to understand this. I remember thinking I was probably the only person who didn't get it but trust me there were lots of us who had a difficult time with it.


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#220267 - 05/05/10 09:15 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally
Very good, Deborah!!

Can you explain what has happened?


I believe that by constantly using positive reinforcement, we built up such trust, that Ozzy always knows that there will be a positive outcome when he complies. In the beginning it was a treat, as time progressed intermittently we used verbal praises or head scritches. So no matter what we were asking of him, he knows that by complying with us he will receive some sort of positive reinforcement for his good behavior.


Today Ozzy will do almost anything asked of him by us. If he hesitates and doesn't comply, we never force the issue. We do something else...wait a few moments and ask him again. He eventually always gives in and complies. The only time that he really even hesitates is when asked to step up at bed time. He is smart and understands the time of day etc, plus we always tell him it is "birdy bed time" and "time to go night night". We always start about 30 minutes early just in case he isnt quite ready. 95% of the time though, he steps right up and says "night night"? He gets lots of scritches from both Mom and Dad, plus he has an almond waiting in his sleep cage.

So long story short lol, by always making our requests a positive moment for him, he knows there is always something in it for him.


Deborah
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#220573 - 05/11/10 06:24 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Excellent answer, Deborah!!

So you have become a conditioned reinforcer. Ozzy knows that when you ask something of him and he complies, good things happen.

How often does the hesitation happen before bedtime, Deborah?

What is a primary and secondary reinforcer? And what can be an issue with primary reinforcers?

Bev


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#220580 - 05/11/10 07:16 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

How often does the hesitation happen before bedtime, Deborah?

He rarely hesitates, since we make sure that prior bedtime, he has had ample time doing the things he loves. He has had his oatmeal, time to run about and play with Mom and Dad, and then he has quiet time with me for head scritches and soft talk.

Originally Posted By: ZazuSally

What is a primary and secondary reinforcer? And what can be an issue with primary reinforcers?

A primary reinforcer are things like food, ie... an almond in his sleep cage.
A secondary reinforcer are things like praise and scritches, ie... we always spend at least 10 minutes before bedtime getting good scritches and quiet talk.

The problem with a primary reinforcer is that it may not be desired at that moment. If Ozzy is full, he is less likely to comply with my request, even though there is an offer of an almond waiting.

He is more likely to comply for the secondary reinforcer of a good head scritching and being able to spend time sitting quietly with me prior bed time. Ozzy looks forward to our nightly quiet time, and so the secondary reinforcer is really the key for him.


Deborah
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#220584 - 05/11/10 07:30 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Excellent Deborah!!!

I do not always get compliance from my birds when it's time to go to bed either. We all have our days and why should they be any different. When one reinforcer doesn't work, there is always something that will.

Anybody else?

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 05/11/10 07:31 PM.

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#221072 - 05/20/10 08:31 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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OK, if there are no questions, please read Chapter 6.

Is everyone losing interest?

Bev


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#221073 - 05/20/10 08:32 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Nope not me! :), this is the stuff that makes life with all my babies so rewarding!!!!


Deborah
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#221278 - 05/27/10 02:19 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: FeatheredAngels]  
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Not losing interest but having trouble applying what I'm reading to bird behavior. If you can give examples of how to use some of these things with our birds, it would be helpful, but maybe that's just me! I'm working with Cleo on "step up", using pine nuts as primary reinforcer and praise and scritches for secondary. Once she is doing this pretty reliably, I want to see how ABA can help with the problem I have with bathing her.


Pat

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#221279 - 05/27/10 02:21 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Cleo's Mom]  
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How do you give her a bath now, Pat? And what happens?

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 05/27/10 02:21 AM.

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#221334 - 05/28/10 12:19 PM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Daaaniel Offline
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Bev, I'll read chapter 6 then. No questions so far, I think...

Daniel.

#221435 - 05/31/10 02:09 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Sorry for the delay in replying - my life gets very hectic sometimes. "Step up" is going well, in fact that's all Cleo wants to do, even trying to push my arm into step up position if it's not. The only time she won't is when she's really concentrating on something like a toy or chewing on wood. Should I expect her to step up when asked, no matter what she's doing? At what point do I stop giving the treat? Re the bathing problem, I think it best to continue with stepping up and stepping down, also catching up in the book as I've fallen behind a bit. Sound like a good plan, or no?


Pat

One Day At A Time
#221516 - 06/02/10 05:52 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Cleo's Mom]  
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No, Pat you should not expect her to step up no matter what she's doing. You are allowing her to make a choice. That is very, very important.

Why do you want to stop giving her the treat? Have you tried asking her to do something without the treat? She probably would, you know. You are probably a conditioned reinforcer yourself. Just try it and see what happens. 95% of the time I ask my birds to do something, I don't give them anything. There are certain times like in the morning when I'm going to work and when it's time to go to bed, they always get a reward.

Pat, I put a fan in the window, a huge SS bowl of water (96 ounce bowl) attached to Zazu's cage and a vinyl tablecloth on the floor, move Nikki's cage over and I mist Zazu, Sally and Nikki until they are soaked. I'm working on Gypsy. She will occasionally fly over and land on the bowl but only gets the tip of her beak wet. The fan is pointed at the bowl. Soon as I do this, they all want to get wet. Go figure. LOL

It works and that's all that matters.

We'll do the book again in September so don't sweat it.

Bev


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#221593 - 06/04/10 01:54 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Cleo's Mom Offline
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I thought that after a while the bird was so condidtioned that the treat wasn't necessary in order to get the requested behavior. I have no problem with continuing the treat although sometimes Cleo will step up when asked even if she doesn't see the treat in my hand. When she does this, she always gets head scritches and lots of praise. I have never been able to bathe Cleo even though others can do it. The AV tells me Cleo loves her bath but when I try, she acts like the water is sulfuric acid! She screams, bites and jumps off my arm no matter what I try. I was taking her into the shower with me, holding her away from the water but I guess I moved too fast trying to get her under the spray. After that, I couldn't get her near the shower. One day I took her out in a gentle rain - same behavior so I'm kind of at my wits end and not really sure how I can apply ABA in this situation.


Pat

One Day At A Time
#221595 - 06/04/10 02:59 AM Re: Understanding ABA - April 11, 2010 [Re: Cleo's Mom]  
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Pat, just skip the treat every second request, then every third and see what happens. I suspect you are already reinforcing to her and the treat is not necessary. My birds step up for me most of the time because they have learned that when they step up, good things happen. It is basically on an intermittent reinforcement schedule now and my birds find me reinforcing or my attention. So every couple of times, ask Cleo to step up and do not give her a treat and see what happens. Eventually, you can probably drop the treat altogether but I personally don't want to do this so there is never a food reward. Like I said 95% of the time, my birds do not get a food reward. For example, Nikki finds going to the bathroom when I am having a bath, VERY reinforcing. As soon as she sees me getting undressed or if I run the bath water without her being in the bathroom, she cries like a cat until I go get her. When I get the basket, she practically throws herself on it. It is so cute.

How does she get bathed at the vets? Would they let you watch them with you in the background. Does she go in the bathroom with you? If so, how is she in there. You can shape this behaviour, Pat.

Bev

Let me know if this is helpful.

http://goodbirdinc.blogspot.com/2009/04/getting-parrot-to-bathe.html


Last edited by ZazuSally; 06/04/10 03:06 AM. Reason: added link

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