Descriptive/Direct Assessment


A descriptive or direct assessment is sometimes included in the FBA. Conducting the descriptive assessment requires you to observe the target behaviors and measure baseline data of the behaviors. When you provide the operational definitions and baseline data, you are exemplifying the description level of scientific investigation. A descriptive assessment often encompasses identification of patterns of behavior co-occurring with stimulus changes in the environment. This level of scientific rigor is referred to as prediction.

For this assignment, you will conduct repeated observations of the person or character you chose in your first assignment. As part of your observation, you will quantify the target behaviors and take antecedent-behavior-consequence (ABC) data. You will analyze your ABC data to conclude the environmental events co-occurring with the concerning behaviors. To conclude the descriptive assessment, you will provide the hypothesized function(s) or environmental contingencies influencing problem behaviors. Be sure to incorporate values of compassion and cultural humility when choosing measurement procedures and conducting the descriptive assessment.

Part 1: Benefits and Limitations of a Descriptive Assessment

Provide a brief overview of what a descriptive assessment is, including the benefits and limitations. Describe the level(s) of scientific rigor exemplified in a descriptive assessment.

Part 2: Obtaining Baseline Data

Using information gathered from your indirect assessment, select appropriate measurement procedures to obtain baseline data for your target definitions. Take baseline data of the concerning behaviors and provide visual display of your data.

Part 3: Collect and Analyze ABC Data

Conduct a minimum of five observations informed by your indirect assessment and take ABC data. Analyze the ABC data by conducting a contingency analysis and/or space contingency analysis. Provide a visual display of your data. Provide an interpretation of your visual display.

Part 4: Conclusion of the Descriptive Assessment

Conclude the descriptive assessment by providing the hypothesized function(s) or environmental contingencies influencing problem behaviors. Remember, you are not able to control the behavior. You are only able to make predictions.

Additional Requirements

Your assignment should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: References and citations are formatted according to current APA style guidelines. Review Evidence and APA for more information on how to cite your sources.
  • Resources: A sufficient number of scholarly or professional resources.
  • Length: 4–6 double-spaced pages.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.

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