LLA for Veterinary and Animal Professionals - Format and Learning Objectives

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Course Format and Main Topics

LLA Professional is taught in two 4-week modules. Module 1 can be taken separately; however, successful completion of Module 1 is a prerequisite for participating in Module 2.

Module 1 main topics include science foundations, respondent and operant learning, functional assessment, and introduction to changing behavior.

Module 2 main topics include the technology of behavior change, developing behavior change plans and case studies.

Application Opportunities

During the course, each student is encouraged to participate in the following application opportunities:

1. Complete and revise weekly short-answer homework questions included in written lectures. Students will have the opportunity to dialogue 1:1 with an experienced LLA instructor via homework queries to move from their own baseline to a deeper understanding of the material.

2. Complete a 25 short-answer final exam designed to bring all the information imparted in LLA under one “roof."

3. Bring questions and comments for discussion to each teleconference via texts and unlimited discussion with Dr. Friedman on the phone line after each class.

Learning Objectives

Part 1

I. We’ve Come a Long Way Baby!

        A. But Not Far Enough

        B. Course Goal

II. The Significance of Science to Behavior

    A. Levels of Analysis

        i. Model Matters

            1. Medical Model

            2. Ethological Model

            3. Behavioral Model

    B. Obstacles to the Scientific Analysis of Behavior

        i. Theological Influences

        ii. Biological Determinism

        iii. The Madness of Causes

        iv. Over-reliance on Labels and Constructs

    C. Working definitions

        i. Behavior - Operationally Defined

        ii. Stimulus

        iii. Learning

        iv. Teaching

        v. Learning vs Conditioning

        vi. Hypothesis vs Theory

        vii. Behavior Analysis

III. Two Learning Paradigms

    A. Respondent Learning: S-S-R

    B. Operant Learning: S-R-S

IV. Understanding and Predicting Behavior

    A. The Smallest Meaningful Unit of Analysis

    B. Functional Assessment

    C. Steps for ABC Assessment

V. The Commitment to Ethical Practice

    A. Key Questions for Solving Behavior Problems

    B. The Case for Empowerment

        i. Control as a Reinforcer

        ii. Contra-freeloading

        iii. Learned Helplessness vs Resilience

    C. Empowerment via Enrichment

VI. Changing Behavior: Respondent Strategies

    A. Fear

        i. Exposure Therapies

        ii. Systematic Desensitization

        iii. Counter-conditioning

        iv. Flooding

VII. Changing Behavior: Operant Strategies

    A. A Simple Model of Behavioral Support

    B. Antecedents – Nature’s Signals

        i. Setting Events

        ii. Establishing/Motivating Operations

        iii. Discriminative Stimuli

            1. S-D

            2. S-Delta

    C. Consequences – Nature’s Feedback Loop

        i. Dimensions of interest

            1. Function and Operations

            2. Four Quadrants

            3. Keys to Picking the Principle

Part 2

VIII. Increasing Behavior

    A. Positive and Negative Reinforcement

    B. Considerations for Effective Reinforcement

        i. Three Cs

        ii. Schedule Effects

        iii. Individual Difference

        iv. Establishing New Reinforcers

    C. Shaping

    D. Targeting

    E. Adding a Cue

    F. Prompting and Fading Prompts

    G. Chaining

    H. Case Study – Ken & Nico

IX. Decreasing Behavior

    A. It’s Definitional

    B. Redirecting

    C. P+ and R- Compared

    D. Factors Affecting Punishment

    E. Problems with Punishment

    F. Alternatives to Positive Punishment

        i. Differential Reinforcement of Alternative/Incompatible Behavior

        ii. Extinction

        iii. Time Out from Positive Reinforcement

X. Other Strategies & Training Tips (slide 81-85)

    A. Observational Learning

    B. Behavioral Momentum

    C. Training Tips

XI. Developing Behavior Change Plans

    A. Considerations for Effective Planning

    B. Steps for Building Behavior Change Plans

    C. Case Studies

    D. SAM Learns to Step Up

XII. Course Wrap Up

    A. Are Their Other Ways Animals Learn?

    B. Yeah Buts and Other Distractions

    C. Big Picture Summary

© 2023 Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.