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University of Toronto Scarborough
Zachariah Campbell

Behavior Modification Reading Notes January 6, 2010 CH 1 Introduction to Behavior Modification Questions How is human behavior defined? What are the defining features of behavior modification? What are the historical roots of behavior modification? In what ways has behavior modification improved peoples lives? There are certain characteristics that define behavior: - What people do and say, it is described with action verbs. Behavior is not static, anger is static, aggression (which generally comes from anger) is dynamic behavior that one can see and alter. - Different dimensions that can be measured, for example the frequency of a behavior, the duration of the behavior and the intensity of the behavior - these are all physical dimensions of behavior. - Behavior can be observed, described and recorded by others. It also has an impact on the physical and social environment, whether it is the environment, other people or oneself. - It is also lawful it is systematically influenced by environmental events. Once one understands the environmental building blocks, only then can one change specific behaviors - They can also be overt and covert: overt is an action that can be observed and recorded and covert behaviors are not observable by others, they tend to be inner events, such as thinking and emotions. The defining features of behavior modification are: analyzing and modifying. - Analyzing - identifying the relationship between the environmental events and a behavior to understand the reason better why someone behaves the way they do. - Modifying - developing and implementing procedures to help people change their behavior Characteristics of Behavioural Modification - Focus on Behaviour - The behavior to be modified is called the target behavior, a behavioral excess is a behavior that a person wants to decrease such as smoking, and a behavioral deficit is a desirable behavior that a person wants to increase. - Behavioural Principles - The scientific study of behavior is called the experimental analysis of behaviorapplied behavior analysis. - Emphasis on current environmental events - Precise description of behaviour modification procedures - Treatment implemented by people in everyday life. - Measurement of behaviour change. - De-emphasis on past events as causes of behaviour - Rejection of hypothetical underlying causes of behaviour. - Must remember that a label is not a behavior. The historical roots of behavior modification are: Major figures: - Ivan P. Pavlov -Pavlovs dogs, he called it conditioned reflex - Edward L. Thorndike - major contribution was the law of effect a behavior that produces a favorable effect is more likely to be repeated. - John B. Watson - He started behaviorism and stimulus-response psychology - B. F. Skinner - distinction between respondent and operant conditioning, Skinners work is the foundation for behavior modification. People have been researching behavior modification with people and have been demonstrating the principles and evaluating the procedures with people. How behavior modification helps people: Developmental disabilities, mental illness, education (special ed), rehabilitation, community psychology, clinical psychology (CBT), Business industry & human services (organizational business), self-management, child management, prevention, sports psychology, health related behaviors and gerontology Behavior: - Includes what people do and say - Involves the activity of an organism at any level: muscle, glandular - It is not static, it involves actions and not states o Anger is a state, but the aggressiveness is the action - It refers to the process and not the product o Product and how we accomplish that Characteristics: 1. It involves actions not labels 2. It can be observed, described, and recorded 3. Has an impact on the environment: physical and social 4. It involves physical dimensions a. Duration & frequency & intensity 5. It is lawful - Functional relationship between behavior and the environment 6. May be overt or covert a. Overt: directly observable to others b. Covert: not observable to others (thinkingprivate events) Summary: - Human behaviour is defined as an individuals actions that have one or more physical dimensions and can be observed and recorded. Behaviours have an impact on the physical or social environment. Behaviour is lawful; its occurrence is influenced by environmental events. A behaviour may be overt or covert. - Behaviour modification procedures involve analyzing and manipulating current environmental events to change behaviour. A behavioural excess or behavioural deficit may be targeted for change with behaviour modification procedures behaviour modification procedures are based on behavioural principles derived from scientific research done by Skinner. He laid the foundation, but also published a number of books demonstrating the application of behavioural principles to everyday life. Behaviour modification procedures often are implemented by people in everyday life. Behaviour is measured before and after the behaviour modification procedures are applied to document the effectiveness of the procedures. Behaviour modification de-emphasizes past events and rejects hypothetical underlying causes of behaviour. - The historical roots of behaviour modification con be found in the work of Pavlov, thorndike, Watson, and especially Skinner, who identified a number of basic principles of behaviour and wrote about applying theprinciples of behaviour analysis to human behaviour. - Behaviour modification procedures have been applied successfully to all aspects of human behaviour, including developmental disabilities; mental illness; education and special education; rehabilitation; community psychology; clinical psychology; business, industry and human services; self-management; child management; prevention; sports psychology; health-related behaviours; and gerontology. - Physical dimensions frequency, duration, and intensity - January 7, 2010 CH 2 Observing and Recording Behavior Questions How do you define a target behavior in a behavior modification program? What different methods can you use to record a target behavior? How does continuous recording differ from interval and time sample recording? What is reactivity of behavior recording, and how can you minimize it? What is interobserver reliability, and why is it important? Behavioral assessment is measuring the target behavior in behavior modification. This is important for a few reasons: Measure before so you can see if its necessary and working Helps you choose the best treatment type Whether the behavior changed at all during the treatment
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