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Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

SAFMEDS - Say All Fast Minute Each Day Shuffled

Guidelines for doing SAFMEDS timings (Graf and Auman, 2005). Primary rule, keep answers short, abbreviate if necessary. Short answers permit high speed emphasize salient features of each definition (p. 21)

  • Make blanks the same
• Put blank at end
• Emphasize differences
• Keep fronts simple
• Omit key words (fill in the blanks)
• 20-second timings (p. 59) 


- Keep track of terms number correct and number incorrect

- Graph results on a standard celeration chart --or a linear graph (# correct and incorrect)

- If you don't know a term/definition, PASS.  The idea is to keep up your pacing.

- For an extra challenge, practice term side and then practice definition side.  

- Keep separate these results.  Graph on 2 charts/graphs (# correct and incorrect = Term side and # correct and incorrect = Definition side).

How SAFMEDS Differ from Flashcards


Image courtesy of Regina Claypool-Frey

Abscissa - x axis/time

Analytic - data based decisions

Applied - socially significant

Behavioral - observable and measurable

Conceptually systematic - consistent with basic principles

Discriminative Stimulus (sD) - signals availability of reinforcement

Duration - length of time

Effective - data in desired direction

Establishing Operations - momentarily alters value of reinforcement

Fluency - accuracy over time 

Frequency - number of times 

Functional assessment - interviews/observations to develop hypotheses

Functional analysis - systematic manipulations to test hypotheses 

Generality - occurs across people, places, time

Incidental teaching -  structured opportunities to increase language

Ordinate - y axis 

Parametric - alters value (e.g., 3-min, 5-min, 7-min) 

Parsimonious - simplest explanation 

Rate - frequency over time

Reversal - ABAB

Technologically - describe in detail 

Topography - the way behavior LOOKS 


SAFMEDS for Exceptional Children - Heward 

A Case Study using SAFMEDS to Promote Fluency with Skinner's Verbal Behavior Terms

Question: Do you know of any research speaking to word length and whether definitions should be kept short or long? Answer: No, to my knowledge - word length defined by letters or syllables? I think that if all words were similar to "supercalifraglilisticexpealadocious" I imagine the aim would have to be adjusted. However, keep in mind fluency isn't just speed, but it is retention, endurance, application, generativity, and stability.

I would have to check the literature to see if specific research has investigated this specific detail. However, clinically, we like to have an average of 5 words per definition. You want to keep it rather consistent so that your data are not bouncy due to inconsistent outputs. If that doesn't fit your instructional material, you could count words said in definition instead of just definitions.

SAFMEDS on the Web

Surviving on SAFMEDS / Maloney Method Blog

Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching / Dr. Julie Vargas (On SAFMEDS)