Successfully reported this slideshow.
What Is It, And How Do We Use It?
Keith E Lyons
+ What Is Behavior Modification?
✜ A therapeutic approach designed to change a
particular undesirable negative behavior. 1
✜ By using a system of positive or negative
consequences, an individual learns the correct set of
responses for any given stimulus. 2
✜ It is structured learning in which new skills and
behaviors are learned, undesirable habits are reduced,
and the client becomes motivated for change.
✜ Behavior Modification can not eliminate genetic,
hereditary, physical, or psychological struggles –
but it can help the individual live the most fulfilling
life possible no matter his/her current struggles.
of an act affect
of it occurring
Other Common Clinical Approaches
Abnormal behaviors are viewed
as symptoms of basic
underlying causes within the
psychological system 1
Medication may be prematurely
or incorrectly applied for
Disempowering to individual
May feel they can not change
because it is pathological 2
Implies defect in individual, and
can ignore environmental
States it is our thinking that
causes us to feel and act the way
we do, if our mind is healthy.
requires focus on the disruptive
or maladaptive thoughts an
individual has, behavior is a
result of this thinking.
Can be combined with Behavior
Modification as Cognitive
This works well with individuals
that have typically developed
Medical Model Cognitive Therapy Approach
✜ Ivar Lovaas is referred to as the
“Grandfather” of ABA.
✜ Dedicated nearly half a century to
researching how to improve the lives
of individuals with Autism and their
✜ In 1965 he published a series of
articles on therapeutic approaches:
✜ Researched effective ways to teach
nonverbal children to speak,
establishing social (secondary)
reinforcers, procedures for teaching
children to imitate, and several
studies on interventions to reduce
life-threatening self-injury and
+ Applied Behavior Analysis
Process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles
of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful
degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are
responsible for improvement of behavior
Contrary to popular belief, the science of behavior must be a natural
science, not a social science (Marr, 2009)2
Behavior analysts focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the
environment, including antecedents and consequences; without
hypothetical constructs (Thompson, 1984)3
ABA differs from traditional behavior modification because it analyzes what
is prompting a behavior (the antecedent), establishes replacement
behaviors, and then develops consequential strategies to instill change4
What is it?
How do we use it?
+ Applied Behavior Analysis
When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the
behavior is more likely to be repeated.
Techniques for instructions are research based, and behaviors
are measurable through operational definitions.
Behavior is tracked and measured in order to analyze what
approaches and schedules of reinforcement are resulting in an
actual positive change in behavior.
Why does it work?
Behavior is learned through
motivation. The stronger the
motivation, the easier to
increase or reduce behavior
There can be no discriminative stimulus without motivation, which
is created through reinforcement 1
Motivating Operations (MO) are the change in motivation, and include:
• Establishing Operations (EO): Increase in value of a consequence
as a reinforcer
• Abolishing Operations (AO): Decrease in value of a consequence as
MOs vary all the time in strength
• Must change MO all the time to maintain interest 3
As well as asking what maintains a behavior, it is equally important to
ask, “Why is this consequence acting as an effective reinforcer for this
person now?” (McGill, 1999)
This is what we try to figure out using cognitive therapy, and talk therapy
+ What do
What currently elicits and
In the moment it
does not matter
how the individuals
got where they are
or acquired certain
Historical and psychological
information are still used, but
only to help determine current
variables affecting behavior 1
Behavior could be the result of a co-occurring disorder1
Be aware, the behavior may or may not be a result of drug use
The solution is not to block or remove access to substance abuse
Giving the addictive disorder and the co-occurring disorder, including any
problem behaviors, the same level of attention and care is imperative
A co-occurring disorder can help to explain some behaviors, but the client
should never be allowed to use it as an excuse.
Do not dismiss a co-occurring disorder, but also do not allow it to
become a crutch
Current Strategy Process
Result: Behavior Reinforced
Increased attention to problem behavior(s)
Removal of aversive setting (Gets to leave)
Missed therapeutic opportunity/learning moment
Stimulus: Aversive Setting / Advantageous Situation
Response: Disruptive Behavior (Glorify drugs, disrupt group)
Consequence: Removed from Therapy / Asked to Leave
“A person who has been
punished is not less inclined
to behave in a given way; at
best, he learns how to avoid
punishment.” – B.F. Skinner1
Proposed Strategy Process
Stimulus: Aversive Setting / Advantageous Situation
Response: Disruptive Behavior (Glorify drugs, disrupt
Consequence: Behavior Module: Process 1
Behavior Module: Process 2
Result: Negative behavior not reinforced, Other
Staff Tools and Resources
Behavior Contract: Can include behavior in group and sessions.
Does not allow for manipulation or confusion as an excuse.
Clearly outlined expectations for client
Aftercare Contract: Client can “step-down” in services, but still
have a behavior contract to refer to and maintain solid and clearly
Process Flowchart: Reference sheet for staff to clearly define
steps to be taken without deviation1
Behavior Module: Worksheet to help client identify maladaptive
behavior and encourage insightful thought and discussion
Staff Training: It works!
Typically used restraint and medication
After receiving training on proper use of these techniques both went up in
Staff received Positive Behavior Tools training utilizing ABA1
Post training results:
Positive statements were more likely to occur
Less interaction and attention to “junk” behaviors
Overall there was a decrease in behavior for all patient areas2
Utilizes behavior theory to improve performance on an organizational level
Tools to monitor behavior producing work outputs that contribute to business
Analyze and improve human performance
Overview and Conclusion
Look for antecedent or stimulus to understand what may have
“triggered” the behavior
Be aware of what behavior you are reinforcing when responding
Are you allowing client to gain control and reinforcing negative behavior?
Be consistent, do not argue, stick to procedure1
Be patient, it took a long time to learn negative behaviors
Pay attention to what the client is really trying to achieve with
Are they crying out for help?
Are they trying to take control?
Are they uncomfortable and trying to avoid situation?
Is there a co-occurring issue?
Conditioned Stimulus: A stimulus that acquires the ability to invoke
the same response as another stimulus that naturally invokes the
Discriminative Stimulus: A stimulus in the presence of which a
particular response will be reinforced (Malott, 2007)
Shaping: The reinforcement of successive approximations of a
Positive: Adding a reinforcing stimulus or consequence
Negative: Removing an aversive stimulus
Positive: Adding an aversive stimulus
Negative: Removing a desired stimulus
Generalize: Teaching ability to engage in social
communication, self-initiation, self-management, and to be
responsive to multiple cues across multiple settings.
Respondent Conditioning: Also known as “classical
conditioning”, behavior that is a response to an antecedent.
Operant Conditioning: Behavior that is an operation of the
environment. Behavior that is determined by antecedents and
Extinction: Systematically removing the reinforcer(s) to a
behavior in order to minimize and eventually extinguish
targeted behavior. Often results in an extinction burst.
Extinction Burst: Temporary increase of behavior targeted
for extinction, as a response to the removed reinforcer(s).
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). (n.d.). Retrieved March 9,
2015, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/
Baer, D.M., Wolf, M.M., & Risley, T.R. (1968). Some current
dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of
Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 91–97.
Langthorne, P., & McGill, P. (2009). A Tutorial on the Concept of
the Motivating Operation and its Importance to
Application. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 2(2), 22–31.
Marr, M (2009). The natural selection: Behavior analysis as a
natural science. European Journal of Behavior Analysis,
Sundberg, M. L. (2013). Thirty Points About Motivation From
Skinner’s Book Verbal Behavior. The Analysis of Verbal
Behavior, 29(1), 13–40.
Skinner B. F. (1936). The verbal summator and a method for the
study of latent speech. Journal of Psychology, 2, 71–107.
Skinner B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: An experimental
analysis. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Skinner B. F. (1954). The operational analysis of psychological
terms. Psychological Review, 52, 270–277.
Skinner B. F.(1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY:
Skinner B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York, NY: Appleton-
Skinner B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York, NY: Knopf.
Thompson, T. (1984). The examining magistrate for nature: A
retrospective review of Claude Bernard’s An
Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 2(41),