Delineate the common characteristics and assumptions of behavioural assessment methods
1) They all focus on behaviour Both overt and covert behaviours are measured
or evaluated as they occur in specific situations. Behaviours are observed at a
specific time and in a limited location The variables and concepts with
descriptions of behaviour are taken up objectively, as assessment requires
objective information, which is more useful than inferences or subjective
2) All behavioural assessment methods believe in Quantification Behavior is
quantified so as to allow for reliable comparisons across time and persons and
to allow for communication between persons. This leads to greater objectivity
3) All the behavioural assessment methods use trained, impartial observers
Observers are trained in the use of the various measurement techniques of
behavioural assessment, recording of the same and collecting information in an
objective manner. Observers are expected to achieve a specified standard of
consistency in their collecting data, recording the information and interpreting
4) All of them use empirically validated measures. It is important to have
consistency in the measurement across situations. The measures should be
5) All of them recognize errors and try to counteract the errors or minimise
errors to the extent possible using statistical methods. All assessment involves
differing degrees of error causing unreliability of the results. Hence it is
important to minimize the errors and this is generally carried out through
6) All of these believe that the behaviour concerned occurs due to stimuli from
the environment. Assessment is directed toward discovering the situational
influences on behaviour. The emphasis is on public events and direct
observation of behaviour in the natural environment, with behaviour being
recorded at the time of its occurrence whenever possible.
7) All these assessment techniques depend not on one but multiple sources of
information. In addition to the behavioural assessment, a wide-range of
assessment strategies are used, including behavioural interviews, checklists,
rating scales, standardised instruments, self-reports, self-monitoring forms, and
observations, as no single test or source could give adequate information as to
why a behaviour occurs.
8) All the behavioural assessment techniques ultimately place high emphasis
on intervention. The primary purpose of assessment is not to categorise or
label a person but to obtain information that will assist in developing effective
intervention strategies. The emphasis on intervention results in the application
of the behavioural assessment model to the particular person , situation etc.
9) All the behavioural assessment techniques use continuous assessment.
Assessment is continuous throughout baseline, intervention, and follow up
phases. The effectiveness of intervention strategies is continuously evaluated.
10) Each of these behavioural assessment techniques emphasises on
empirically based decision making process. Decisions about specific assessment
strategies and interventions are based on empirical data available on the
individual concerned from the person’s self and the environment in which the
11) Most of these behavioural assessment techniques focus on individual
person rather than groups. Assessment focuses on the individual person rather
than comparisons to a norm group. There is a recognition of individual
differences in behaviour and its determinants, leading to idiosyncratic
assessment and intervention.
12) High emphasis is placed on individual differences. Individual differences
among persons are not absolute. Differences must be seen in relative terms,
with consideration given to situational and cultural differences. It must be kept
in mind that a certain behaviour considered normal in one setting may be
considered abnormal in another setting.
13) All behavioural assessment techniques not only look for causes contributing
to the problem but also try to solve the problem concerned, once the cause is
known. The purpose of behavioural assessment is problem solving, and hence
identification of causes is extremely important so as to devise intervention
strategies to overcome the problem.
14) All the behavioural assessment techniques focus on developing adaptive
behaviour in the individual. The focus of behavioural assessment is on
developing adaptive, positive, or desirable behaviour rather than on control
and reduction of undesirable behaviours. Hence behavioural interventions
should be designed and implemented with the benefit of the particular person
concerned in mind