Behavioural analysis

An original attempt to present theory and research in the
behavioural analysis field.

Although strictly speaking this is not a report of original
research material, it does draw together research findings in the
field of behavioural analysis, and presents them through the medium
of an interactive CD. It is multi-faceted, since the authors use
and explain behaviour analysis research by presenting original
“live” and cartoon material to demonstrate how the theory and
research translate into practice. The CD does, in fact, bridge the
space between research and practice.

As well as text and pictures, there are filmed episodes,
interactive exercises, dialogue, voice-over and various sound
effects which all add to the variety of this CD which, in an often
entertaining fashion, demonstrates how behaviour is learned,
reinforced and maintained.

There is a beautiful sequence combining sound, film and a
cartoon character where annoying behaviour designed to attract
attention is ignored – ignoring is often very effective for
extinguishing unwanted behaviours. When, however, the behaviour
persists, the young woman on the receiving end resorts to short,
sharp punishment in the form of a shout, accompanied by a heavy
frown. Her cartoon admirer then stops bouncing a ball (the
irritating behaviour) and presents her with a bunch of flowers,
eliciting a smile from the object of his affection.

The idea behind the CD is that theory and research-based
material should be presented in a manner that will attract the full
attention of the user. The medium, then, must also contain the
message and in today’s world of sophisticated computer games,
interactive videos and special effects, those with a message to
give must find new ways of putting it across.

Source: Mickey Keenan and Karola Dillenburger, “Behaviour
analysis: a primer”, A Celtic Fringe Production (contact Mickey
Keenan at the School of Psychology and Communication Sciences,
University of Ulster at Coleraine), 2000.

Katy Cigno is a senior lecturer, department of social work,
University of Hull

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