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Introduction to the Science of Behavior (Part 3)

[EN Symbol Only] Intro to Science of behavior (Part 3).png

Potentiating Variable





Hello, this is Sean and Maasa! We are excited to welcome you to our Introduction to the Science of Behavior (Part 3) group class! In this group class, we will talk about the theme of "motivation." The big questions are: How can we make behavior more likely to happen? How can we make a consequence more potent and effective?How can we make the occasion more salient? What kinds of procedures are there to potentiate occasion and behavior relations?


Deprivation and satiation are two procedures that are well described under "motivation." However, there are more procedures than these two procedures. The Blue Books by Dr. Israel Goldiamond and Donald Thompson refer to it as a potentiating variable. We will use Dr. Israel Goldiamond's book "Goldiamond's Functional Analysis of Behavior (also known as "The Blue Books)" to guide us through understanding potentiating variables. Potentiating variables are critical to understanding and analyzing behavior, and implementing various behavior change programs to achieve our training goals!


For those of you who took Introduction to the Science of Behavior (Part 1) and (Part 2), this is the next step! We will be building up to some complex topics during this class, so we encourage you to attend the Open House sessions and feel comfortable asking questions.

**Constructional Approach to Animal Welfare and Training is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All the profits from the group classes will fund the free programs that CAAWT offers for individuals and facilities that oversee the care of animals. For every third registration, CAAWT can provide one free spot for someone in need! 

■ Class Description

In this 4-week group class, we will explore various types and procedures of potentiating variables. Potentiating variables look at what we can do to make a stimulus function as an effective or potent reinforcer, what we can do to make the behavior more likely to happen under a specific occasion. Deprivation and satiation are just one type of potentiating variable. There are many different types of potentiating variables! We will explore the difference between drive theory, motivating operation, and potentiating variables, learn about different types of potentiating variables, and speculate on the effect of the organism on each type of potentiating variable (ethical problems, coercion, etc.). You will not only learn to analyze behavior through contingency (occasion, behavior, and consequence), but also through potentiating variables that influence the contingency.

*Introduction to the Science of Behavior (Part 1) and (Part 2) is prerequisites to take this class. This class accumulates knowledge from Part 1 and Part 2 group classes. If you want to join the Part 3 group class, please also register for the part 1 and part 2 group classes by visiting this page.

■ Main Textbook

Goldiamond, I., & Thompson, D. (2004). The blue books: Goldiamond & Thompson’s the functional analysis of behavior, P. T. Andronis (Ed.). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. (Original work published in 1967)

You can purchase the book from here

■ Learning Objectives 

  • Define potentiating variable 

  • Describe the difference between motivating operation, drive theory, and potentiating variable

  • Describe all the procedures of potentiation variable stated in the class​

  • Speculate the effects of each procedure of potentiating variable on the organism including ethical problems

  • Given various examples, identify the procedure used to potentiate occasion and behavior relation

  • Given various scenarios, speculate on ways to potentiate occasion and behavior relation

  • Given various scenarios, speculate on ways to de-potentiate occasion and behavior relation

  • [Cumulative knowledge] Given various scenarios, speculate on ways to increase occasion and behavior relation through variables including potentiating variables, consequences, and schedules of reinforcement

■ Acknowledgement

The design of this group class was advised by Dr. T.V. Joe Layng

We thank Dr. Layng for his wonderful feedback all throughout the design of the class materials.


■ Instructors

Sean Will

Sean Will, MS

Maasa Nishimuta.png

Maasa Nishimuta

■ Place

The group class will be held via Zoom. You can join group classes wherever if you have secure internet. We will send you the Zoom meeting link and the detailed information via email before the first group class. If you are not used to Zoom, Maasa can have a practice session before the group class so that you are ready to learn!



■ Date and Time

On zoom, we will meet every Saturday from 3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT.

Below are the dates and times:

  • 11/26 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT 

  • 12/3 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT 

  • 12/10 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT 

  • 12/17 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT

■ Open House Dates

Open House is one of the programs in the CAAWT Membership, where we meet on zoom for two hours. Members can come and ask any questions, bring up discussion points, and share assessment and training videos to get feedback. Live attendances are invited to join the Open House. Open House will be recorded and will be available for 1 month.

  • 11/30 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm EDT

  • 12/14 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm EDT


■ Registration fee

The registration includes live attendance and video-on-demand. We will record all the group classes. And the recordings will be available until 3/31/23.

  • CAAWT Premium Member: $120 (plus transaction fee)

  • CAAWT Basic Member: $205 (plus transaction fee)

  • Non-member: $240 (plus transaction fee)

To learn more about CAAWT Membership, visit this page

■ What is included in the registration?

  • Attend group classes live (dates are listed above)

  • Access class material (PDF) 

  • Get the recording of the group classes after each class

    • All the group class recordings are available until ​3/31/2023

    • If you miss a group class, no worries! We will send the recording after each group class, so you can catch up before the next group class.

  • Attend Open Houses (dates are listed above)

■ Registration

① If you are interested in registering for the group classes, please fill out the registration form. You can click the registration button below, which will take you to the registration form. 

② After we check your registration form, we will send you an invoice from PayPal. Please make a payment within a week. You will receive an invoice from an email address: 

③ After we confirm your payment, we will send you the confirmation email.

④ Three days before the group class starts, we will send you a zoom meeting link and all the information you will need to join the group class!

■ Cancelation

After you submit the registration form, we will send you an invoice from PayPal. If you do not make a payment within a week, your registration may be canceled. Once we receive your payment, we are not able to refund the money. If we have to cancel the group class, we will refund you in full.

■ Contact us

If you have any questions regarding the group classes, please feel free to contact us! 


We are looking forward to the group class with you!

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