An Examination of Linear and Ratio Graphs

Richard M. Kubina Jr.
4.67 out of 5
(3 customer reviews)



Line graphs have long been crucial in applied behavior analysis for visually representing treatment data and summarizing behavioral performance over time. However, issues such as low interrater reliability and the absence of consistent decision-making criteria have been noted. An alternative, the standard ratio graph, is explored in this presentation from the 2021 Michigan Autism Conference for its potential to address these criticisms by comparing its effectiveness against traditional linear graphs in an experiment.

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Line graphs and visual analysis have served as the engine of evaluation and decision making for applied behavior analysis. The advantages of line graphs include providing treatment data visually and summarizing a person’s performance across a given time interval. Line graphs also communicate the sequence of treatments, the time spent in treatment phases, and the magnitude of behavioral change. Yet visual analysis has a history of low interrater reliability and inconsistent judgments. Other criticisms include the lack of universal decision rule and the lack of any meaningful statistics. The solution to all of the previously listed problems may lie in a standard ratio graph. The following experiment examines the extent to which behavior analysts could accurately detect a trend and reliability make a decision based on three conditions: a linear graph with a trend, a linear graph with a quantified slope, and a ratio graph with a celeration value. The results and implications of the study suggest a healthy path forward for visual analysis and the analysis, evaluation, and communication of data via ratio graphs.

About the Speaker

Rick Kubina Jr., Ph.D, BCBA-D is CentralReach’s Director of Research and a Professor of Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University where he teaches courses on methods for teaching reading, behavior analysis, and experimental design. Rick graduated from Youngstown State University where he had Steve Graf as an advisor and then received a Masters and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University under John Cooper. Rick conducts wide-ranging research in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis and Precision Teaching. He also served as the editor of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration. Rick has dedicated his professional career to helping behavior change agents such as teachers, behavior analysts, and other helping professionals efficiently change behavior through effective teaching and measurement such as Precision Teaching. Rick co-founded a software called Chartlytics, which was acquired by CentralReach in 2018. At CentralReach, Rick explores how technology can accelerate superior outcomes for all those seeking to engender professional and personal success and his ongoing research will help shape the future of CentralReach’s clinical solutions.

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Below is the entire open-access version of this video. It does not contain embedded questions or interactions like the CEU version of the module.

3 reviews for An Examination of Linear and Ratio Graphs

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    Fascinating topic!

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    Good presentation, slides a tad text heavy.

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    Great lecture talks clearly. Many examples.

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A portion of the proceeds from this module goes directly to the Michigan Autism Conference

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