Data collection in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)

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Why is data collected in ABA?

  • Data is defined as factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion or calculation (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  • In ABA, data is used as the basis for making decisions about the treatment of the client or students. The data is analyzed to inform the clinician whether or not progress is being made. Based on the data, the clinician will decide whether treatment should be changed in any way or continued in the same way.

What does the supervisor do with the data?

    • What is data collection? Data collection is the process of recording information about behaviors. These behaviors can include behaviors we want to decrease (aggression, screaming, tantrums, pinching, self-harm, etc.) or behaviors we want to increase (asking, reading, counting, etc.).
    • What are the data used for? By keeping accurate data on behaviors (also sometimes referred to as responses), it allows clinicians to see what is working in treatment and to assess the types of intervention methods that work best for that person. The data can also help clinicians identify factors that may influence maladaptive behaviors.
    • Why is this important? With the collection and analysis of data, it becomes easier for professionals to understand behavior patterns and measure an individual’s progress. Most importantly, data provides precise and specific information that enables clinicians to make informed and educated decisions (evidence-based decisions) about individual intervention to help the individual achieve excellent learning outcomes. and its development, allowing it to fully live its potential.

Types of data collection in ABA

  • There are several types of data collection in ABA. A clinician decides what type of data to collect based on the type of information they are looking for, the behavior or response they are evaluating, and other factors such as ease of data collection.
  • Some of the various data collection procedures include:
    • Frequency / event and rate recording: This type of data collection tracks the number of times a behavior or response occurs. When recording the rate, the number of times is recorded by a specific time frame.
    • Recording duration: This is the length of time the behavior occurred.
    • Latency recording: This is the time between the instruction or the DS and the start of the behavior.
    • Time sampling recording: This is about taking data at periodic times or periods of time rather than in a consistent fashion.
    • Permanent product: It’s about taking data based on the product of our behavior outcome rather than the behavior as it occurs.
    • ABC data: It is about taking data or information about the antecedents, behaviors and consequences of the behavior.

image credit: tashatuvango via Fotalia

Reference: Merriam Webster Dictionary


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