The Theoretical Background Upon Behavior Modification Techniques

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The theoretical background upon behavior modification techniques

Abstract

Behavior modification is a technique about the change in undesired behavior and enhancing desired behavior. In this paper is shown the history of this technique, when it dates from, a theoretical background and the steps of the modification, in order to be successful and thriving. This paper will show one of the first experiments with the behavior modification and how they helped this behavior technique to evolve, so to be helpful for therapeutic purposes as well as for parental purposes.

Table of contents:

1. Introduction………………………………………………………………..…2
2. History of behavior modification………………………………………….....2
3. Principles of behavior modification……………………………………….....3
4. Techniques of behavior modification ……………………………………......3
5. Steps of behavior modification…………………………………………….....4
6. Conclusion………………………………………………………………...….4
7. Reference list……………………………………………………………...….5

1. Introduction

Behavior modification is a technique concerning the change in the undesired behavior and enhancing desired behavior. It is an approach that aims to modify the behavior of a person through the use of positive or negative reinforcement and punishment. Rewards such as approval, cloth, food or even money can support and strengthen the desired behavior and improve its regularity and occurrence. Behavior modification technique is used in many different situations, varying from the performance of children in their classroom, in their home or in the playground to the actions of adult prison inmates or people who need therapeutic treatment. For instance, if a child is doing her or his homework, this is a desired and wanted behavior. A teacher can support this kind of activity by providing the child with praise or a star on a chart to encourage the child to repeat this behavior. In the next lesson the kid has done the homework in order to get another star. This is a behavior modification.

2. History of behavior modification

The theoretical background of behavior modification technique dates since 1911 when this term is used for the first time by Edward Thorndike. The behavior modification can also be traced to lab research in 1800's and 1900's. The greater part of this research was done through experimenting with animals. However, this technique is profoundly and intensely developed by American behaviorist Burrhus Frederic Skinner. He developed the idea of operant conditioning, which is the concept that the behavior of a person or an animal can be shaped by reinforcement or lack of one. (Skinner, B.F, 1938). Nowadays, these notions are used by parents and mental health professionals. Behaviorists strongly believe that people are a creation of their life experience with the ability to manage their behavior and study new once. Many routine programs are about reducing cholesterol, blood pressure or weight by using behavior modification techniques as a means of thoroughly modifying eating habits. In another words, behavior modification technique is used to replace undesirable behavior with desirable once. It is the process of modifying a person's reaction to different stimuli.

3. Principles of behavior modification

In the behavior modification technique there are two main principles and they are reinforcement and punishment; both can be either positive or negative. The reinforcement fortifies the behavior. It is something that a person obtains as a result of their behavior that makes it more possible to do it again in the future. A positive reinforcement is about encouraging desirable behaviors through a technique of rewards. In the behavior therapy, therapists often make contracts with their patients and clients in order to establish the terms of the reward system.A negative reinforcement illustrates wanted behavior which is rewarded with the elimination of a negative stimulus. On the other hand, the...
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