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.

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.
(PLEASE TRY NOT TO USE THESE EXAMPLES.)

After your observation is complete, write a paper using APA style in which you:
1. Define operationally the behaviors you chose.
2. Describe the environmental contingencies surrounding each behavior (antecedents and consequences).
3. Identify to which response class each behavior belongs. Provide a rationale for each of your choices.

Next:
1. Define the different types of response classes in ABA.
2. Analyze the differences and similarities between a response class and a stimulus class.
3. Provide an example for both terms—stimulus class and response class.