Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Mahshid Ghaemmaghami

First Committee Member

Carolyn Kohn

Second Committee Member

Matthew Normand


Functional analyses (FAs) are an important component of treatment and the data gathered from FAs are often graphed in an aggregate or summary format, such as mean rate per session. Given the prevalence of undifferentiated analyses, it may be that this common method of data depiction is incomplete. In this paper, we compare the traditional aggregate method to a comprehensive second-by-second demonstration of the data including all appropriate and inappropriate responses emitted, as well as programmed and accidental antecedent and consequent variables, which may help further clarify the results of a functional analysis. We compared the functional analysis results of two participants when the data were depicted using the traditional rate aggregate method and depicted using a comprehensive second-by-second method. Although both rate and comprehensive second-by-second data depiction resulted in similar conclusions regarding the maintaining variables for the participants, comprehensive second-by-second data depiction allowed us to draw the conclusions in less time. Additional advantages and disadvantages of each method as it relates to efficiency, therapeutic risk and safety, and practicality are also discussed. Keywords: efficiency, functional analysis, problem behavior, safety, within-session second-by-second analysis.





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