Defining Behavior Clear and operationally defined behaviors are important for the field

Defining Behavior

Clear and operationally defined behaviors are important for the field of behavior analysis for several reasons. Clear definitions are necessary to replicate findings and to determine the accuracy of data. This replication and accuracy are key factors in providing the field with solid research. After developing observable and measurable behavior definitions, we can begin to take a deeper look at the environmental variables that influence those behaviors and categorize those behaviors in a meaningful way.

There are two parts to this assignment.

First, you need to observe someone for half an hour and identify three behaviors of interest that could be selected for behavior modification. To avoid reactivity, attempt to keep the observation as discrete as possible without informing the subject that he or she is being observed. Some examples of potential behaviors could include:

  • Observing your child wiping his nose on his sleeve.
  • Observing a TV character telling inappropriate jokes.
  • Observing a friend bite her nails.

After your observation is complete, write a paper using APA style in which you:

  • Define operationally the behaviors you chose.
  • Describe the environmental contingencies surrounding each behavior (antecedents and consequences).
  • Identify if the behavior belongs to either a functional or topographical response class. Provide a rationale for each of your choices.

Next:

  • Define topographical and functional response classes.
  • Analyze the differences and similarities between a response class and a stimulus class.
  • Provide an example for both terms—stimulus class and response class.

Assignment Requirements

Your assignment should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: References and citations are formatted according to current APA style guidelines.
  • Resources: 2–3 scholarly or professional resources.
  • Length: 2–3 double-spaced pages of content, in addition to the title page and references page.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.
  • SafeAssign: You are required to use SafeAssign before submitting the completed assignment to your instructor. Submit your work to SafeAssign as a draft, review the results, and make any needed changes. When you are ready, submit your assignment to the assignment area for grading.

Refer to the Defining Behavior Scoring Guide to ensure you understand the grading criteria for this assignment.

Note: Your instructor may also use the Writing Feedback Tool to provide feedback on your writing. In the tool, click the linked resources for helpful writing information.

Portfolio Prompt: You may choose to save this learning activity to your ePortfolio.

Resources

  • https://courseroomc.capella.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/PSY/PSY7709/210100/Scoring_Guides/u02a1_scoring_guide.html

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