NAFO-seminaret 2019, Preconvention on "What are the limits of measurement"

Image from NAFO-seminaret 2018. Presentation by Martin Myhre

Fra NAFO-seminaret 2018. Forelesning med Martin Myhre og Jon Magnus Eilertsen. (Foto: Elin Magnusdottir)

The preconvention at the annual meeting of the Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis in 2019 will focus on measurement. Objective observations, measurement, and experimental manipulations are some core components within scientific activities. These components should lead to effective interventions. One obvious difference between basic research and applied research is that in the laboratory, most often responses are clearly defined and, thus, there is no disagreement about their occurrence, which is more challenging in applied setting. A variety of topics regarding measurements from the view of the different domains of behavior analysis (theoretical, basic, applied, and service delivery) will be discussed at this preconvention. Hence, the goal is to discuss theoretical and practical aspects on what can be measured and how to measure behavior.

 

Forseminaret vil finne sted på onsdag ettermiddag og torsdag formiddag. Det blir organisert som et symposium med et antall forelesere, deriblant årets inviterte gjest, Dr. Douglas E. Kostewicz.

Forelesningene vil bli etterfulgt av en paneldebatt og det hele rundes av før lunsj på torsdag.

Under finner du en oversikt over forelesningene på forseminaret.

 


Forelesning på forseminar

Evidence-Based Behavior Analysis: Based on…what?

Douglas E. Kostewicz University of Pittsburg

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Onsdag 15:30-17:00 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: Many scientific disciplines strive to identify with the term Evidence-Based. In other words, those within the discipline seek to compile interventions and findings with the strongest, current, and best evidence available to guide decision making. Behavior analysis has also attempted to establish and share evidence-based practices. The presence and quality of data within behavior analytic-scholarly publications drive the evidence-base process. The current presentation will examine instances of and the presentation quality of data within the field of behavior analysis. Instances of data involve the amount of space the field dedicates to data tables and graphics. Presentation quality entails the construction/display of time series graphics, a behavior analytic prime driver. A discussion of the findings center on the establishment of a behavior-analytic evidence base on potentially faulty evidence.


Forelesning på forseminar

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man (Heraklit, born 544 BC)

Børge Holden Innlandet Hospital Trust

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Onsdag 17:30-18:00 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: In order to measure, or record, behavior, one has to observe it by way of ones senses, often directly and continously. This is virtually impossible for several main reasons. First, attention is never complete, and features even of simple behaviors will be missing. Second, measuring will always be delayed, and impaired by memory decay. Third, observation is rule governed behavior, and the individual and imperfect nature of language means that there will never be a perfect correspondance between what one tries to observe, or record, and actual observation, or recording. These caveats apply mostly to ongoing behavior. To some extent, a solution is to focus on products of behavior, which can be done more objectively. Practical consequences of these claims are discussed.


Forelesning på forseminar

On the Trustworthiness of Behavior Measurement

Torunn Lian Oslo Metropolitan University

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Onsdag 18:00-18:30 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: In general, scientific measurement is considered to be only an estimate of the phenomenon studied and the goal of any investigation is to arrive at the most accurate measure possible. Still, any experiment containing measurement errors risks misleading theory, the direction of future investigations, and science-based practice. For these reasons avoiding such errors should be of core interest for any science. Questions about the validity of behavioral data are relatively rare in behavior analysis compared to other branches of psychology. This is often related to the fact that many behavior analytic studies find a way to measure the behavior of interest directly and thereby reduce the influence of errors related to whether the units in an experiment represent the higher-order concept in a meaningful way. Nevertheless, choices made with regards to measurement procedures might yield unwarranted or invalid representation of the behavior and such issues cannot be denied on the basis of direct measurements. In addition, some studies will have to rely solely or in part, on indirect measures, for example because of limited resources or because of the nature of the phenomenon of interest. In such cases concept validity should be a central part in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the study. Finally, accuracy, reliability and believability as important indicators of trustworthy measurement will be accounted for. Some examples of assessment of these issues will be presented and their relative contribution to the quality of behavioral measurement will be discussed.


Forelesning på forseminar

The Measurement of Explanations for Humans Conduct: Not at all, Indirectly, or Something Else Entirely?

Christoffer Eilifsen Oslo Metropolitan University

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Onsdag 18:30-19:00 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: Empirical observation and measurement are defining features not only of the natural sciences, but also of the social sciences, including psychology. In contrast, many, if not most, of the terms we use to describe and explain humans and their activities in our everyday language involve concepts that are unobserved and/or unobservable and therefore never measured. Some academic communities propose there is a close relationship between our everyday language and the possibility of understanding ourselves and assume that little of interest can be revealed by quantitatively measuring humans or human behavior. Consequently, a comprehensive scientific understanding of humans is unlikely. For academic communities that are open to attempts to measure and scientifically understand humans and human behavior, one strategy has been take ideas and concepts from our everyday language and claim to study them indirectly through measurable events such as environmental stimuli, behavior and neurological activity. Another approach has been to do away with the terms from everyday language altogether and let relationships between measurable aspects of the physical world define the concepts of a science of humans and human behavior. The current paper will further describe the three approaches outlined, discuss them in light of the proposal that measurement is a defining part of science, and present some challenges for each approach.


Forelesning på forseminar

Indirect functional assessment in clinical behavior analysis

Martin Øverlien Myhre University of Oslo

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Torsdag 09:00-09:30 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: Covert behaviors – such as thoughts and emotions – are a central component of emotional disorders. Distressing covert behaviors are typical behavioral excesses in emotional disorders, and thus common target behaviors. As operational definitions are a core element of behavioral treatment, assessment of covert target behaviors using self-reported or indirect measures are necessary. Clinically, indirect functional assessments are widely used and is a central component of most behavioral treatments of emotional disorders. Even so, limited evidence exist on these procedures in clinical behavior analysis. This talk will use Behavioral Activation treatment for Depression as a base for examining overt and covert behavior. As indirect functional assessments are necessary in clinical behavior analysis, we need more knowledge regarding both methodological and clinical limitations and opportunities of the assessment. Finally, we will discuss if standard functional assessment procedures are feasible for assessing covert behavior, and if technological improvements – such as smartphone-based assessment – can enhance validity.


Forelesning på forseminar

Measurable and immeasurable aspects of quality

Kjetil Viken Høgskolen i Innlandet

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Torsdag 09:30-10:00 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: Quality is an important aspect of many behavioral events. The term “ high quality” alludes to normative parts of how something is or should be, how we perceive something to be when it is according to desire. High degree of quality is a description of something good. Whenever quality is being used in relation to description of behavioral interventions, we have some clear guidelines in Baer et al (1968). These guidelines are clear to the extent that they prescribe a methodology to support quantitative aspects of the different dimensions of applied behavior analytic work. This framework does, however, not dictate the measures of quality in behavioral interventions. Whenever behavioral treatments are implemented, quality of the treatment should be measured whenever possible.


Forelesning på forseminar

What should we and what do we measure in Early Intensive Behavior Intervention programs

Alvdis Roulund Glenne regionale senter for autisme

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Torsdag 10:30-11:00 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: The question of measurement and measurability has been key issues since the early childhood of the science of human behavior. In our daily work as practitioners, however, the issue is more often a question of how to measure a concept than whether or not it is measurable. This frequently boils down to the operations of 1) breaking down everyday events, concepts, or hypothetical constructs into measurable units and 2) finding an appropriate way of measuring these elements. In doing so, we risk missing out on some aspect of what we investigate, or we risk measuring irrelevant features. Our main targets are often “improved quality of life”, “higher level of inclusion” and avoiding traditionally immeasurable criteria such as happiness, affection, satisfaction et cetera seems difficult.
The issue of measurability will be discussed within the frame of early intensive behavioral intervention, taking into account a variety of possibilities and limitations this frame provides.


Forelesning på forseminar

Defining and measuring social constructs in psychological science

Espen Sjøberg Oslo Metropolitan University

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Torsdag 11:00-11:30 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: Many measurements in science reflect arbitrary constructs. This works elegantly when the construct represents a physical property in nature or when unified definitions exist, as seen in e.g. mathematics or physics. By contrast, abstract social constructs are often not universally defined, even if they are universally understood. Concepts such as “culture”, “intelligence”, even “behaviour”, are ultimately arbitrary words created by humans to label or categorize a fleeting concept or a collection of units. This raises a question: if a concept is man-made, without reflecting a real property in nature, how can it be operationalized and quantifiably measured? This has profound impact on scientific testing: concepts such as culture can arguably not be measured if there is no pre-existing agreement on its definition, although we can accept varied operationalizations. The language trap of social constructionism gives importance to arbitrary and hypothetical constructs, which questions the validity of any concept we choose to measure before an experiment even begins. Even if a concept is testable, how can we begin to measure it when no true definition exists? This issue will be addressed and discussed.


Paneldebatt

Panel Discussion: "What are the limits of measurement"

Erik Arntzen OsloMet - storbyuniversitetet
Douglas E. Kostewicz University of Pittsburg
Børge Holden Sykehuset innlandet HF
Martin Øverlien Myhre Universitetet i Oslo
Alvdis Roulund Glenne regionale senter for autisme
Kjetil Viken Høgskolen i Innlandet
Torunn Lian OsloMet - storbyuniversitetet
Espen Sjøberg OsloMet - storbyuniversitetet
Christoffer Eilifsen OsloMet - storbyuniversitetet

Kategori: Konseptuell/teoretisk atferdsanalyse

Tid og sted: Torsdag 11:45-12:30 (Veslefjellhall 2 og 3)

Sammendrag: This discussion will follow the preconvention on "What are the limits of measurement".