The other day I was feeling particularly excited. Not because something momentous had happened. I hadn’t won the lottery, bought a puppy or treated myself to a pizza. No, this was particularly geeky brand of excitement. The kind that only comes about when you have studied a subject that barely anyone else has heard of (Behaviour analysis, I’m looking at you!) and someone you love attempts to understand it. In a moment that took me completely by surprise, not only did they try to learn about it, in the way that my friends smile and politely ask “So you do something with psychology, right?”. This gem of a person went one step further. They showed me that they could define something, a psychological concept, which had impacted upon our behaviour on that very same day. Cue me squealing and dancing on the spot like I’d just been told I was going to Disneyland. The things I get excited about on a Tuesday night eh? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Who is this amazing human being, who learned how to understand our behaviour and used this knowledge to help our relationship run more smoothly? As the title suggests, it is none other than my long-suffering boyfriend! Let’s call him Aiden.
Carry on reading to find out what he learned and how you too can use it to strengthen your own relationship!
Continue reading How to strengthen your relationship: Help your partner to understand you better!
Today I watched a youtube clip of a genius scientist who still failed to define a basic concept in behavioural science.
He solves complex problems about theoretical physics in his day job. Yet he misapplied the term reinforcement when talking about tweaking Penny’s behaviour, his best friend’s girlfriend.
I am of course talking about the lovable Dr Sheldon Cooper from the TV show The Big Bang Theory (if you didn’t catch that reference, then we might have to re-evaluate our friendship!!).
Even though his genius is only fictional, the clip still brings up an interesting point. The writers behind the series have accurately explained many concepts within the science of physics, but they were unable to do so for a fundamental principle from the science of behaviour.
Should we blame the genius for being inaccurate or behavioural science for being confusing?
Continue reading Why it can be Tricky to Analyse Behaviour -Even a Genius Gets it Wrong!
Image courtesy of Thefeedingdoctor.com
I had the pleasure of writing a guest article for the lovely blog Parenting with ABA. If you have ever found yourself wondering why you keep doing something, then the answer is probably reinforcement! You can check out the full article HERE!
Are you interested in working with kiddies with autism, wondering what an ABA tutor is and what it takes to become one? Or maybe you are a parent who’s looking for the right tutor for their child? Whatever the reason your here, I’m going to talk you through what an ABA tutor is and what I think are the top 10 qualities that a good ABA tutor should have and work towards. They are all based upon what I have learned and observed throughout my own personal experience as a ABA tutor. I am still learning and striving towards them everyday. I hope you find this list useful and that it gives you more insight into this interesting, challenging and rewarding career path.
Continue reading How To Be a Great ABA Tutor – My Thoughts
Because nobody likes to learn everything at a desk! And nobody should have to, especially when learning skills in a variety of contexts can be very beneficial for learning.
According to a classic psychology experiment, you are more likely to remember new information if you are tested in the place where you learned the material. So scuba divers who were taught information on land recalled the info better when they were tested again on dry land and the divers who were taught under water recalled the info more accurately when tested under the deep blue sea.
Now if you relate this back to teaching your child, if you only teach them things at the table, then the chances are that they will be less likely to perform this skill in other contexts.
Continue reading How to teach your child with autism using child-led play
We spend a lot of time on the internet. Fact. And as I mentioned in this post, social media sites such as Facebook have some pretty addictive qualities.
There was a time back at university when I was incredibly frustrated with the amount of time that I was wasting. I could have been productive but instead I was watching music videos and reading whimsical fashion blogs.
But what can you do when the internet changes from a harmless way to pass the time into a serious habit that is inhibiting your life?
Continue reading How to stop scrolling your life away using one easy trick
You’ll hear the term “reinforcement” used a lot in this blog and with good reason too. It’s one of the most interesting and important concepts to come out of behaviour analysis (the science of understanding behaviour). And its something that’s shaping how you behave on a daily basis! But myths and common misconceptions have lead to a lot of confusion as to what reinforcement actually is. So this is going to be my guide to explaining what reinforcement means, what the two types of reinforcement are and what the differences between them is. Happy reading!
Continue reading What is Reinforcement? Your ultimate guide!
If you’re new to the concept of behaviour analysis then this post should get you up to speed with some of the key ideas.
The main thing that separates behaviour analysis from other types of psychology is this: instead of believing that our behaviour is caused by some kind of underlying trait that lives inside of us, behaviour analysis takes the viewpoint that the majority of our behaviour is actually learned and determined through interactions with our environment.
- We aim to understand, explain, describe and predict behaviour
- We have developed a set of “principles of behaviour” based upon years of scientific research. One example of these principles is reinforcement. These principles help us to recognize predictable patterns in behaviour.
- Our goal is to use our research to help to make a really significant and positive impact on people’s lives
Behaviour analysis can be applied to so many different things! Business, classroom management, self-help, interventions for people with autism, recycling…… The list is endless!
In the image below you can see at a glance what behaviour analysis is and what it is not
I hope that I’ve managed to get you a bit more familiar with behaviour analysis.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section!
Behaviour change projects often focus on the same things. Losing weight, quitting smoking, being more productive etc. I guess this is because these are the things that people battle with the most. But you get tired of reading about the same things. Doesn’t anybody have something a bit different that they want to change about themselves? So I thought that I would mix things up a bit and tell you how I stopped letting my beloved ukulele collect dust (using behaviour analysis)!
To hear more about how i did it, continue reading after the jump!
Continue reading My Ukulele Challenge: How I motivated myself to play more often
Hopefully you have read part 1 in this series and you have managed to pin down what is maintaining your bad habit. Now that you know your enemy a little more, I can share a strategy with you to help kick that habit!
Self-monitoring is the act of keeping a daily record of a specific behavour that you want to change about yourself. It’s a easy three step process that has a good success rate of breaking stubborn bad habits.
Let’s get started!
Continue reading Self-monitoring: a simple and powerful way to break bad habits