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The A-B-Cs in ABA

In Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), did you know the ABCs are implemented?

I am not talking about the letters of alphabet. In this case, I am talking about the antecedents (events, situations, settings), behaviors (response), and consequences (ex: reinforcement or punishment). Here is a picture that goes more in detail about the ABCs used in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA):

The ABCs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The ABCs allows behavior analysts and therapists to understand how behaviors and responses are happening. The event/situation can be causing the behavior or response to occur. The consequence impacts the occurrence of behaviors or responses in the future by increasing or decreasing them. The ABCs are used as a data collection tool during direct observations of clients/students to learn the purpose of behaviors/responses.

I will provide a real-life scenario using the ABCs in ABA; Tommy is playing a game with his older brother, Ben. While the boys are playing the game, Tommy screams. Their mother takes the game away. The antecedent (situation/event) is game time. The behavior is screaming. The consequence is negative punishment in this case, but reinforcement can be used as a consequence in general. The ABCs are not only used in ABA, but are applied in everyday situations. Our own behaviors and responses result from settings/situations/events and are impacted from consequences.

Are you surprised now to learn the ABCs is more than just letters of the alphabet? What do you think the ABCs in ABA can be helpful for? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


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