Chapter 2: Observing and Recording Behavior
Behavioral assessment is the measurement of the target behavior in behavioral modification.
Its important for the following reasons
•Measuring the behavior before treatment provides information that can help you determine
whether treatment is necessary.
•Behavioral assessment can provide information that helps you choose the best treatment.
•Measuring the target behavior before and after treatment allows you to determine whether the
behavior has changed after the treatment was implemented.
Direct and Indirect Assessment
•Indirect assessment involves using interviews, questionnaires, and rating scales to obtain
information on the target behavior from the person exhibiting the behavior or from others.
•Direct assessment , a person observes and records the target behavior as it occurs. To observe the
target behavior, the observer must be in close proximity to the person exhibiting the behavior so
the target behavior can be seen or heard. The observer must register the occurrence of the
behavior when it is observed.
•Direct assessment usually is more accurate than indirect assessment. In indirect assessment,
information on the target behavior depends on people’s memories.
Steps To Recording Behavior
1.Defining the Target Behavior
•You must identify exactly what the person says or does that constitutes the behavioral
excess or deficit targeted for change.
•A label is not used to define the behavior because labels do not identify the person’s
•Labels for behaviors are ambiguous; they can mean different things to different people.
An example is to one person, unsportsmanlike behavior might mean fighting with a
member of other team, whereas another person considers it to mean cursing, throwing a
•The main value of labels is that they may be used as convenient shorthand when referring
to a target behavior.