Behavior Modification And It Application To A Variety Of Behaviors Within In An Educational Setting

1523 words - 6 pages

Behavior Modification and it Application to a Variety of Behaviors Within in an Educational Setting


Behavior modification is based on the concepts of observable
antecedents, observable behavior, and consequences. A behavior
modification program consists of a series of stages to achieve a
desired modification of a target behavior. A token economy based
behavior modification program that was applied for a full academic
year in an entire elementary school, spanning from kindergarten
through sixth grade was used as an example to show the application of
behavior modification. Behavior modification has shown to be
effective and efficient in dealing with behavioral problems among
students within an educational setting and has become a valuable asset
to teachers and parents.

Behavior Modification and its Application to a Variety of Behaviors
within an Educational Setting

Behavior modification has long been used to help solve human
behavioral problems within a wide range of settings such as prisons,
homes, mental hospitals, rehabilitation centers, educational
institutions, communities and businesses. According to Weiten (2004),
behavior modification is a systematic approach to changing behavior
through the application of the principles of conditioning. Advocates
of behavior modification assume that behavior is a product of
learning, conditioning, and environmental control. Therefore, they
believe that people can be “reconditioned” to produce more desirable
patterns of behavior. This essay will describe the theory of behavior
modification, the stages of behavior modification methods and examples
of cases where behavior modification is applied to a variety of
behaviors within an educational setting.

Behavior modification is based on the concepts of observable
antecedents, observable behavior, and consequences (Weiten 2004).
Antecedents are events that typically precede the target response and
consequences are events that occur after the behavior occurs. The
process of behavior modification consist of a series of stages. An
inappropriate behavior is observed, identified, targeted, and stopped.
A new, appropriate behavior is identified to replace the inappropriate
behavior and is developed, strengthened, and maintained. According to
Skinner (1969, cited in Weiten, 2004), two types of reinforcers are
used to strengthen positive behavior. An increase in the probability
of a response due to the presentation of a rewarding stimulus is
called positive reinforcement. An example of a positive reinforcement
used immediately after appropriate behavior can be as simple as
offering praise immediately after the behavior occurs. An increase in
the probability of a response due to the removal of a negative
condition is called negative reinforcement. Taking medication to

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