Thursday, February 19, 2009

later that same day...

I think to determine if the example below would be considered entitled behavior would require some social validity work, i.e., how many people would see the behavior described below as "entitled." I can certainly see how it could be construed that way. The verbal behavior that the patient displayed seems to be in accordance with my noting that one would anticipate the use of mands at a higher frequency among those considered to be entitled. I would suggest that the patient is manding the nurse..."i ain't taking your meds...where [the fuck] is my treat me like this..." Similarly, this VB could be considered "verbally aggressive," yes? The question is, how is "verbally aggressive" behavior materially different than non-verbally aggressive behavior? Change in decibels? pitch? use of certain verbal operants as opposed to others, other bodily movements?

My attempt at this was to identify certain behavioral topographies that if demonstrated to a group of naive observers, the general understanding would be that at least one person (recall I noted that it needs at least two; in the case below it is the nurse and the patient) was engaging in "entitled" behavior. I see this as a way of grounding those fictions that we started this thread with. We all acknowledge that there is something called "entitlement," the question is how does that manifest behaviorally? There must be some kind of necessary and sufficient topographies that would result in people calling (tacting?) that behavior "entitled."

I don't work in the field of autism, but basically, there is some standard that BA's are using when teaching kids with ASD how to make contact with more reinforcers in their natural environments. I would suspect that aside from developing the specific behavioral sequence (chaining) that is done, there is relatively little thought given to why THIS behavioral chaining? In other words, when teaching kids (autistic or otherwise) how to make contact with reinforcers, we are teaching them a "standard" way of doing something. Many parents want to teach their kids to be polite. Polite is a construct. Behaviorally, what does "polite" look like? We all know it when we see it, so it should be easy to identify the material properties of it. What my little exercise taught me is that it ain't that easy!

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