•Behavior modification is the field of psychology concerned with analyzing modifying
•Analyzing means identifying the functional relationship between environmental events
and a particular behavior to understand the reasons for behavior or to determine why a
person behaved as he or she did.
•Modifying means developing and implementing procedures to help people change their
Characteristics of behavior modification
•Focus on behavior. Behavior modification procedures are designed to change behavior,
not a personal characteristic or trait. In behavior modification, the behavior to be
modified is called the target behavior.
-Behavioral excess is an undesirable target behavior the person wants to decrease
in frequency, duration or intensity. (i.e smoking)
-Behavioral deficit is a desirable target behavior the person wants to increase in
frequency, duration, or intensity. (i.e studying, exercising)
•Procedures based on behavioral principles. Behavior modification procedures are
based on research in applied behavior analysis that has been conducted for more than 40
•Emphasis on current environmental events. Behavior modification involves assessing
and modifying the current environmental events that are functionally related to the
behavior. Sometimes labels are mistakenly identified as the causes of behavior.
•Precise description of behavior modification procedures. Behavior modification
procedures involve specific changes in environmental events that are functionally related
to the behavior.
•Treatment implemented by people in everyday life. Behavior modification procedures
are developed by professionals or paraprofessionals trained in behavior modification.
However, procedures are implemented by people such as parents, job supervisors, or
others to help people change their behavior.