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Behavior Modification

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Behavior Modification

Behavior Modification, a psychological theory of human behavior. It evolved from the application of experimentally derived principles of learning to the modification of problem behaviors. The theory is based on a psychological model of human behavior that rejects the psychoanalytic or quasi-disease model of mental illness. Approaches to behavior modification assume that abnormal behavior is acquired and maintained in the same manner as normal behavior and can be changed directly through the application of social-learning principles. Assessment procedures focus on describing how an individual behaves, thinks, and feels in specific situations. Treatment methods are derived from the theories and findings of experimental psychology. These approaches also share a commitment to the use of scientific research methods to evaluate objectively the clinical utility of their procedures.
Behavior-modification procedures have been applied successfully to a broad range of psychological, medical, and educational problems among diverse populations. Some of the problems ...

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...tion and symbolic modeling, in which learning occurs through observation, are examples of treatment methods derived from the social-learning approach. See also Behaviorism.

Bellack, A. S., and M. Hersen, Behavior Modification: An Introductory Textbook (Oxford 1977).
Watson, D. L., and R. G. Tharp, Self-Directed Behavior: Self Modification for Personal Adjustment, 4th ed. (Brooks/Cole Pub. Co. 1985).
Yule, William, ed., Behavior Modification for People with Mental Handicaps, ed. by Janet Carr, 2d ed. (Methuen 1988).

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