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University of Toronto Scarborough
Zachariah Campbell

Chapter 1: Introduction to behavior modification Defining human behavior Behavior is what people do and say. It involves a persons actions, it is described with action verbs. Have one or more physical dimensions that can be measured. -frequency (count the number of times a behavior occurs) -duration (the time the behavior starts until it stops) -intensity or physical force (example: Garth bench-pressed 220 pounds) It can be observed, described and recorded by other or by the person engaging in the behavior. It has an impact on the environment, including the physical or the social environment (other people and ourselves). -You turn the light switch and the light goes on (physical environment) -You raise your hand in class and your professor calls on you (an effect on other people) -You recite a phone number from the phone book and youre more likely to remember it (an effect on yourself) Behavior is lawful, its occurrence is systematically influenced by environmental events. Basic behavioral principles describe the functional relationships between our behavior and environmental events. Once you understand the events in the environmental events that cause behaviors to occur, you can change the events in the environment to alter behavior. Behavior may be overt or covert. -Overt behavior is an action that can be observed and recorded by a person other than the one engaging in the behavior. -Covert behavior is an action that is not observable to others. (example: thinking can be observed only by the person engaging in the behavior) Defining behavior modification
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