Within ABA, we know it is critical to understand the function of a behavior (i.e., why is happens) in addition to the topography (i.e., the way it looks) if we want to effectively intervene on that behavior. There are a variety of ways practitioners talk about the “functions of behavior”, and each exists on a continuum of specificity and technical accuracy.
For example, one commonly used format is the TEAMS model: Tangible – Escape – Attention – Medical – Sensory.
Another model, commonly seen in schools, is the EATS model: Escape – Attention – Tangible – Sensory.
Another common model incorporates automatic in place of sensory: Attention – Tangible – Escape – Automatic.
Behavior analysts generally utilize a model that indicates something about the nature of the contingency in question.This model includes: Social Positive Reinforcement – Social Negative Reinforcement – Automatic.
While all of these models have their pros and cons (for example, sensory is a poor descriptor of a function and social negative reinforcement, while technically more accurate, might be difficult for some to understand), there is one model that appears to possess a high degree of specificity and a high degree of technical accuracy. That model is the “Cipani” model.
For this assignment, I want you to review Cipani’s classification system of behavior function (Ch. 1) and write a 1 – 2 page paper (double-spaced) explaining the model, comparing and contrasting the model with those presented above including potential pros and cons, and finally, identifying the model you think is most useful in the practice of ABA (I like Cipani, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best), and why you think that. Be Concise and Precise!