Dana Do’s: Compare and Contrast MOs and SDs

Let’s compare and contract MOs and SDs, starting with how they are the same. They are both antecedent variables and they both change the current frequency of behavior. When we have both an MO and an SD operating together, we have what is called a repertoire altering effect.

For example, being thirsty is an MO. It is a state of deprivation. As an aside, it may help if you look at MO’s as states of being either deprived or satiated. In this scenario, the MO is being deprived of drink. This makes one seek out a glass of water, which is an SD that signals the availability of a drink to quench that thirst. This, of course, increases the behavior of actually drinking. Until I am thirsty, this glass of water just sits there, being an SD, signaling drink. But it is not until the MO surfaces, that the state of deprivation, that I actually engage in drinking behavior. That is repertoire altering effect.

How are MOs and SDs different? As you know, MOs are the wants and needs, and therefore they’re associated with the differential effectiveness of reinforcement. In other words, how effective is the reinforcement? Well, how deprived are you? How satiated? That’s going to determine the effectiveness. When an MO is present, behavior increases. When an MO is absent, behavior decreases.

MOs have nothing to do with the actual availability of the reinforcers. This is where SDs come in. Whereas MOs are associated with the effectiveness and reinforcement, SDs are associated with the availability of reinforcement. If an SD is present, an MO is still needed for behavior to occur. SDs signal that reinforcement is available, but the MO is what actually impacts us to engage in the behavior, to access that reinforcer.

For example, a pen is an SD that signals ink to put something on paper, given the behavior of writing. But, if I don’t need to write something down, there is no MO and therefore I’m not going to use the pen. A Post-It, Airpods, scissors, are all SDs that signal that something is available. But only when I need to write a note, or listen to something, or cut something, do I actually pick up these SDs to engage in behavior that results in that reinforcement.

The takeaway: MO is effectiveness while the SD is the availability.

  • B-10   Define and provide examples of stimulus control.
  • B-12   Define and provide examples of motivating operations.
  • Mini Mocks B
  • MiniBig A & B
  • Motivating Operations
  • SD
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  • Section B-12
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    Test your knowledge of differential reinforcement procedures as PTB co-founder Dana Meller discusses the similarities and key differences between DRL and DRD procedures. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement and G-14: Use reinforcement procedures to weaken behavior (e.g., DRA, FCT, DRO, DRL, NCR).
  • Mock BCBA® Exam Question Breakdown: Identify the Best Example of Response GeneralizationBreak Down a Mock BCBA® Exam Question: Identify the Best Example of Response Generalization
    Test your concepts and principles skills with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews a BCBA® mock exam question about response generalization. Dana highlights the differences between response generalization vs. stimulus generalization and shares a good rule of thumb for evaluating a response generalization scenario. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-11: Define and provide examples of discrimination, generalization, and maintenance.
  • Break Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Use the Dimensions of ABA to Identify, "What Makes Us Behavioral?"Break Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Use the Dimensions of ABA to Identify, "What Makes Us Behavioral?"
    Test your Philosophical Underpinnings knowledge with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews a BCBA® mock exam question that breaks down the dimensions of ABA, identifying the specific dimension that describes the defining features of a behavior analyst. Included is a description of each of the answer options, determinism, empiricism, applied, and behavioral. Refer to the BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section A-5: Describe and define the dimensions of applied behavior analysis (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968).
  • Programming for Generalization: Expanding Skills Beyond the Learning EnvironmentProgramming for Generalization: Expanding Skills Beyond the Learning Environment
    There are seven ways to program for generalization. PTB co-founder Dana Meller dives into "Indiscriminable Contingencies". Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-11: Define and provide examples of discrimination, generalization, and maintenance; G-21: Use procedures to promote stimulus and response generalization.
  • Challenge Your Knowledge of Compound Schedules of ReinforcementChallenge Your Knowledge of Compound Schedules of Reinforcement
    Test your knowledge of concepts and principles with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she examines a question about one of the compound schedules of reinforcement that has the potential to challenge a client's frustration tolerance. Dana emphasizes the frustrating components of this specific schedule by providing the key features and corresponding applied setting examples. Also included are descriptions of the chained reinforcement schedule and the trial-by-error process. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement.
  • Level Up Your Understanding of Differential Reinforcement ProceduresLevel Up Your Understanding of Differential Reinforcement Procedures
    Test your knowledge of differential reinforcement with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she discusses the specific DR procedure to provide the client with reinforcement for exhibiting higher rates of the target behavior(s) that already exist in their repertoire. Additionally, Dana draws parallels to personal experiences and highlights skill areas for which clients could benefit from this SR schedule. BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement and G-14: Use reinforcement procedures to weaken behavior (e.g., DRA, FCT, DRO, DRL, NCR).
  • Test your ABA Terminology: Explore the 2 Types of Negative ReinforcementTest your ABA Terminology ➠ Explore the 2 Types of Negative Reinforcement
    Test your understanding of negative reinforcement with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she discusses the two specific types and details and nuances using relatable examples that significantly impact our everyday lives. BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-4: Define and provide examples of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies and G-1: Use positive and negative reinforcement procedures to strengthen behavior.
  • BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Understanding Respondent-Operant InteractionsBreaking Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Understanding Respondent-Operant Interactions
    Test your behavior-change procedures skills with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews a BCBA® mock exam question that explores respondent-operant interactions, comparing and contrasting habilitation, habituation and adaptation, with an emphasis on the importance of reinforcement. The breakdown touches on operant conditioning and its role in behavior change. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-3: Define and provide examples of respondent and operant conditioning.
  • Verbal Operants: Understanding the Roles of Speaker and Listener in a ConversationVerbal Operants: Understanding the Roles of Speaker and Listener in a Conversation
    Test your verbal behavior knowledge with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews verbal operants, the roles of the speaker and listener. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-14: Define and provide examples of the verbal operants
  • Test your ABA Terminology: Identify the Stimulus ClassTest your ABA Terminology ➠ Identify the Stimulus Class
    Test your knowledge of concepts and principles as PTB co-founder Dana Meller reviews a question about identifying a specific type of stimulus class, and the features associated with the three main stimulus class variations. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-2: Define and provide examples of stimulus and stimulus class.
  • BCBA® Mock Exam Question Breakdown: Understanding Respondent ConditioningBreaking Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Understanding Respondent Conditioning
    Test your concepts and principles skills with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews a BCBA® mock exam question about respondent conditioning, breaking down the process. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-3: Define and provide examples of respondent and operant conditioning.
  • Test Your ABA Terminology: What Are The 3 Types of ExtinctionTest Your ABA Terminology ➠ What Are The 3 Types of Extinction?
    Test your knowledge of Concepts & Principles and Behavior-Change Procedures with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews the different types of operant extinction procedures. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-9: Define and provide examples of operant extinction, G-15: Use extinction.
  • BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Basic Schedules of Intermittent ReinforcementBreaking Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Basic Schedules of Intermittent Reinforcement
    Enhance your understanding of ABA concepts and principles with PTB co-founder Dana Meller's explanation of a BCBA® mock exam question based on basic schedules of intermittent reinforcement, including fixed interval, fixed ratio, variable interval, and variable ratio schedules. Explore the unique patterns of responding associated with each schedule, and learn more about the schedule that produces a postreinforcement pause. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement.
  • Breaking Down a Mock BCBA® Exam Question About Compound Schedules of ReinforcementBreaking Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Compound Schedules of Reinforcement
    Test your Behavior-Change Procedures skills with PTB co-founder Dana Meller as she reviews a BCBA® mock exam question about the chained schedule, compound schedule of reinforcement. Included is a description of the alternative schedule, concurrent schedule, and conjunctive schedule. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement.
  • Dana Do's: Confused About Automatic and Socially Mediated Reinforcement?
    It’s not wrong to associate sterotypic behaviors with automatic reinforcement— but there are other factors to consider. PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers a quick explainer to clear up the confusion. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-7: Define and provide examples of automatic and socially mediated contingencies.
  • The concepts of punishment and reinforcement can sometimes confuse exam candidates. PTB co-founder Dana Meller clears things up, explaining nuances between the two and sharing her tips for making better discriminations on exam day. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-4: Define and provide examples of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies and B-6: Define and provide examples of positive and negative punishment contingencies.Dana Do's: Let's Clear Up the Confusion Between Punishment and Reinforcement
    The concepts of punishment and reinforcement can sometimes confuse exam candidates. PTB co-founder Dana Meller clears things up, explaining nuances between the two and sharing her tips for making better discriminations on exam day.
  • ABA terms you need to know: contiguityMaster your ABA Terminology ➠ Exploring Contiguity & the Importance of Timing
    Let's take a quick dive into the concept of contiguity, in both respondent and operant conditioning. PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains its significance in understanding behavior change processes. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-3: Define and provide examples of respondent and operant conditioning.
  • The connection between environment & behavior.Breaking Down the Intricate Connection Between Environment & Behavior
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller discusses the term environment in connection with a term defined as a physical event that influences how individuals interact with the world around them Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-2: Define and provide examples of stimulus and stimulus class.
  • ABA Terminology Challenge ➠ Respondent-Operant Interactions
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller discusses the simultaneous occurrence of respondent and operant conditioning, clarifying the differences between the two and how they influence behavior. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-3: Define and provide examples of respondent and operant conditioning.
  • PTB co-founder Dana Meller discusses two concepts that fall under negative reinforcement, breaks down their differences, and explains how they operate in various situations. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-4: Define and provide examples of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies; and G-1: Use positive and negative reinforcement procedures to strengthen behavior.Don't Get Caught in the Rain...Without Your Negative Reinforcement Umbrella
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller discusses two concepts that fall under negative reinforcement, breaks down their differences, and explains how they operate in various situations. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-4: Define and provide examples of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies; and G-1: Use positive and negative reinforcement procedures to strengthen behavior.
  • ABA terms you need to know: negative reinforcement vs. extinction.ABA Terminology Challenge ➠ Negative Punishment vs. Extinction
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller provides insight to better understand why these concepts can be confusing, despite both leading to a decrease in behavior. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-6: Define and provide examples of positive and negative punishment contingencies; and B-9: Define and provide examples of operant extinction.
  • PTB co-founder Dana Meller clarifies the concepts, providing examples to help better understand these crucial distinctions and addresses common misconceptions between point-to-point correspondence and formal similarity. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-14: Define and provide examples of the verbal operants.Test your Verbal Behavior Terminology ➠ Point-to-Point Correspondence vs. Formal Similarity
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller clarifies the concepts, providing examples to help better understand these crucial distinctions and addresses common misconceptions between point-to-point correspondence and formal similarity. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-14: Define and provide examples of the verbal operants.
  • PTB co-founder Dana Meller delves into the differences and nuances between fixed-time (FT) and variable-time (VT) schedules, as well as fixed-interval (FI) and variable-interval (VI) schedules. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement; and G-14: Use reinforcement procedures to weaken behavior (e.g., DRA, FCT, DRO, DRL, NCR).The Ultimate Reinforcement Schedules Showdown ➠ FT/VT vs. FI/VI
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller delves into the differences and nuances between fixed-time (FT) and variable-time (VT) schedules, as well as fixed-interval (FI) and variable-interval (VI) schedules. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement; and G-14: Use reinforcement procedures to weaken behavior (e.g., DRA, FCT, DRO, DRL, NCR).
  • ABA terms you need to know.Test your ABA Terminology ➠ Operant vs. Respondent Extinction
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains the differences between operant and respondent extinction procedures and how these procedures reduce challenging behaviors and diminish reflex responses in behavior management and conditioning. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-3: Define and provide examples of respondent and operant conditioning.
  • Let's break down a BCBA® mock exam question.Let's Break Down a BCBA® Mock Exam Question: Hypothesize the Function of Disruptive Behavior in Circle Time
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller breaks down a BCBA® mock exam question, exploring various possibilities, automatic, unconditioned, negative, and positive reinforcement, to better understand the reasons behind the behavior in this scenario. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-4: Define and provide examples of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies.; and G-1: Use positive and negative reinforcement procedures to strengthen behavior.
  • ABA terms you need to know: ratio strain vs. breaking pointABA Terminology Challenge ➠ Ratio Strain vs. Breaking Point
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller clarifies the distinctions between ratio strain and breaking point. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Sections B-5: Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement.; and F-5: Conduct preference assessments.
  • PTB co-founder Dana Meller addresses the impact of biases and stereotypes based on common attributes like skin color, gender, race, religion, and nationality, emphasizing the need for positive change and fairness in our responses toward others. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-11: Define and provide examples of discrimination, generalization, and maintenance.An ABA Lens on Racial Inequality, Biases, and Stereotypes
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller addresses the impact of biases and stereotypes based on common attributes like skin color, gender, race, religion, and nationality, emphasizing the need for positive change and fairness in our responses toward others. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-11: Define and provide examples of discrimination, generalization, and maintenance.
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