WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE OF BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION AND MENTAL HEALTH?
The conceptual and methodological foundations of behavioraltreatment are to be found in what is known as the functional analysis ofbehavior (Skinner, 1953,1969), according to which the measured interactions between behaviors and environmental events specify their functions for the behaver. That is, in a functional analysis, behavioral and environmental events are defined in terms of their causal relationships withone another.
In application, functional behavior analysis seeks to discover, through the experimental method, events preceding behavior (antecedents) and those following behavior (consequences) that have demonstrable effects on such measurable behavioral dimensions as frequency, duration, intensity,and location of the behavior in space and time (Lindsley). Functional behavior analysis applies to both manipulation of already existing behaviors and the development (i.e., teaching) of new forms of responding (cf. Barrett, 1977). For example, the term “reinforcement” is applied to an event that follows a behavior if — and only if — it…
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