Behavior modification: Chapter 1
Defining Human Behavior:
• Behavior: what we do or say. There are many characteristics that define
behavior. It need not have all these 5 characteristics to be considered behavior.
o Involves a person’s action (what people say or do); describe with action
verbs. Instead of saying “he is angry” (not behavior) you can Describe (his
action) when he is angry.
o Can be measured in different physical ways. Frequency (# of times it
occurs), duration (period that behavior lasts), intensity (physical force in
behavior), can measure speed or latency of behavior.
o It is action so it can be observed. Because it observed it can described and
o Has an impact on physical or social environment (other people and
ourselves) whether we observed or not (i.e. touch switch, light goes off).
o It is lawful (its occurrence is influenced by our environmental events). Thus
if you understand which events in the environment effect behavior, we can
change the environment to get desirable behavior (E.g.Autism kid disruptive
behavior is inversely related to teacher’s attention)
o Can be Overt ( observable and recorded) or Cohort (thoughts only observed
Defining Behavior Modification (BMOD)
• BMOD: involves analyzing ( identify relationship between environment and
behavior) and modifying( implanting procedures to change behavior and involves
changing the environment) behavior
Characteristics of BMOD
• Focus on behavior not the label. (I.e. autism which is a label, rather focus on
behavior these children produce). Target behavior: behavior to be modified.
Behavioral excess (undesirable behavior that you want to decrease) and
Behavioral deficit ( desirable target behavior that you don’t do enough of)
• Procedure based on behavioral principals ( i.e. those that have be discovered
while researching in the lab). Behavior analysis: Is the scientific study of
behavior. Applied behavior analysis (similar to BMOD): scientific study of
behavior to help people change behavior in meaningful ways.
• Emphasis on current ( not the past) environment: look for the controlling
variable (things in the environment that have the effect on behavior) and change