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A "Seventh" Chart Cycle

Page history last edited by Regina Claypool-Frey 15 years, 5 months ago


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10,000 Minutes in a Week -- A "special topics" issue.




Some people refer to the Standard Celeration Chart as the "six-cycle chart." True, it has six, full "times ten" cycles. A "cycle" refers to a power of 10. E.g., from 1 per minute to 10 per minute on the chart spans one cycle. The next cycle up runs from 10 per minute to 100 per minute. The lowest complete cycle goes from .001 per minute to .01 per minute. However, if you examine an actual Daily Behavior Chart (DC-9EN) you will find that it has part of a SEVENTH cycle. The upper part of the seventh cycle sits down at the bottom of the chart, below the .001 line.


The reason for having a portion of a seventh cycle should be clear. A frequency of .001 per minute means 1 per 1000 minutes. A complete day on Earth, however, contains 1440 minutes. (60 minutes x 24 hours = 1440 minutes total). Thus, a little bit of the seventh cycle needs to be on a Daily Behavior Chart in order to indicate 1 per 1440 minutes, which is the same as 1 per day.


On a Daily Behavior Chart, the first line down from the .001 line is the .0009 line. Then, there follows the .0008 line, and finally the .0007 line. Continuing the cycle further on down would not make sense for a daily chart.


However, it would make sense for a weekly chart with count per minute up the left. See, the chart represents a "window" into our frequency universe. The borders are not immutable, just convenient. There are cycles above the 1000 per minute line and below the .001 line.


So, if you extend the magical seventh cycle down, you will reach the .0001 line. You can graphically depict this seventh cycle by using a frequency finder (Pennypacker, Koenig, and Lindsley, 1972) to mark off where the other frequency lines of this cycle would go. The .0001 line falls just about at the bottom of the words SUCCESSIVE CALENDAR DAYS on a daily chart.


We may envision, then, a seven-cycle chart, with a .0001 frequency baseline, and with CALENDAR WEEKS across the bottom. Such a chart almost exists! The figure shown above illustrates just such a seven-cycle chart.


This could be a modified Weekly Summary Chart (WSC-2EN), available from Behavior Research Company (Box 3351, Kansas City, KS 66103). The WSC-2EN chart already has CALENDAR WEEKS across the bottom, and a Count Per Minute scale up the left, which runs from .0007 per minute (part of that seventh cycle) up to 1000 per minute. (Below the main y-axis label one finds "(Middle Daily Frequency)," by the way.


So, .0001 means 1 per 10,000 minutes. Now, interestingly enough, a week, which has 7 days of 1440 minutes, works out to have 10,080 minutes. That works out pretty damn close, if you ask me. So, the seventh cycle represents a week's frequencies as translated into count per minute.


How? 1 behavior per week would be 1 in 10,080 minutes. Or, it would be just about 1 in 10,000 minutes. It would fall on the .0001 line of the seventh cycle. One per week, then, works out as .0001 per minute. (Close enough for practical purpose, quibblers and arguers aside!)


10 per week, then, hits on our good ol' .001 line (shown as the gray, horizontal line on the figure above).


These are all frequencies where no other definition of frequency, record floor, or behavior floor is known or otherwise defined, of course. If you know the record floor, and it differs from a week, then you can, and should plot that frequency value as well. Both frequencies are equally valid. Each provides information. So, if that 10 per week all occurred in one minute, you'd draw a record floor bar (or behavior floor bar) at the 1 minute line and mark the frequency on the 10 per minute line. The record floor bar would indicate that the recording took place in only one minute out of that week.


All charts should have a Record Floor (or a behavior floor).


I just find it interesting that a week has almost exactly the same number of minutes as that of the baseline of a seventh chart cycle -- 10,000 minutes, or the .0001 line. Just a little bit of how the universe sometimes is stranger than we imagine!


-- JE




Pennypacker, H.S., Koenig, C., and Lindsley, O.R. (1972). Handbook of the standard behavior chart. Preliminary Edition. Kansas City, KS: Precision Media.

Pennypacker, H.S., Gutierrez, A., & Lindsley, O.R. (2002). Handbook of the standard celeration chart. Second Edition. ("Beta copy").




The chart shown above represents both a likeness only and a modification of a standard celeration chart. The chart shown above is also a "stylized" chart. That means that I constructed it for educational reference and illustrative purposes only. It does not show real data. Use actual Standard Celeration Charts for plotting data.

Dr. Ogden R. Lindsley invented the Standard Celeration Chart, founded Behavior Research Company, and has been the main proponent and developer of both Precision Teaching and standard celeration charting.

Actual Standard Celeration Charts can be purchased from the Behavior Research Company, Box 3351, Kansas City, KS 66103. FAX: 913 362-5900.

12/25/08: Faxed orders no longer accepted at Behavior Research Company. Please submit orders via the company website.


For noncommercial educational reference and illustrative purposes only.


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John W. Eshleman, Ed.D. June 2002




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