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Think about a behavior modification you would like to see in your child, your spouse, a friend, an employee or anyone else you believe you can have an effect on. Please do not use the same example provided in the text.

  • Whose (no names necessary) behavior would you like to change? I would like to change my Friends behavior.
  • What type of behavior modification will you choose?
  • Using the seven (7) guidelines, please share with us how this modification can be successfully applied. 
May 6th, 2015


Children tend to continue a behavior when it is rewarded and stop a behavior when it is ignored. Consistency in your reaction to a behavior is important because rewarding and punishing the same behavior at different times confuses your child. When you think your child's behavior might be a problem, you have 3 choices:

  • Decide that the behavior is not a problem because it's appropriate to the child's age and stage of development.
  • Attempt to stop the behavior, either by ignoring it or by punishing it.
  • Introduce a new behavior that you prefer and reinforce it by rewarding your child.                                               
  • 2=There are very few differences between types of behavior modification for children, except in terms of what rewards and punishments are used and when they are implemented. It is not advisable to use food as a reward or punishment under any circumstances, as this can result in serious psychological damage. Many children respond to verbal complaints or praise, but others may need a more tangible symbol of accomplishment. In these cases, a reward might take the form of getting to do a favorite activity, while a punishment might take the form of being denied an enjoyable activity.

     the biggest challenge in performing behavior modification techniques in children involves consistency.If the child understands the rules and realizes that there are consequences for their actions then they will become compliant.However, if the consequences are spelled out and the child misbehaves and the parent does not follow through on the punishment then the child will continue the problematic behavior. The way that the child will understand the consequences to their actions is if they realize that they have choices that they can make and if they choose poorly the punishment will follow.


    Behavior modification—quite similar to operant conditioning (except antecedents are either absent or assumed)—relies on the following:

    • Reinforcement (Positive and Negative)
    • Punishment (Positive and Negative)
    • Extinction
    • Shaping
    • Fading
    • Chaining

May 6th, 2015

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