Target behavior

Assignment Content

You will be completing a self-management project in Week 5. This project will allow you to create a plan to change a behavior that YOU currently exhibit, using strategies from our course. Your topic needs to be approved by your instructor to ensure it is behavioral, measurable, and objectively defined; this will help you select an appropriate topic and allow you to think about how to operationally define behavior.

Review the Week 5 assignment, Signature Assignment: Self-Management Paper.

Choose a target behavior that you would like to work towards for this project.

Write a 700-word reflection on your chosen target behavior. Ensure that you:
Describe the target behavior in observable and measurable terms. This behavior should be an overt behavior…one that a stranger could identify if observing. This video may help with defining a behavior: Behavior
Identify the methods that will be used to observe and acquire baseline data on this behavior.
What methods will you use to change your behavior? Will you use classical conditioning? How could you use operant conditioning? Please be specific.
Explain why you chose this behavior.

Submit your summary to your instructor for approval.


A. Behavior is observable. It is what we see or hear, such as a student sitting down, standing up, speaking, whispering, yelling, or writing. Behavior is not what a student is feeling, but rather how the student expresses the feeling. For example, a student may show anger by making a face, yelling, crossing his arms, and turning away from the teacher. These observable actions are more descriptive than just stating that the student looks angry.

B. Behavior is measurable. This means that the teacher can define and describe the behavior. The teacher can easily spot the behavior when it occurs, including when the behavior begins, ends, and how often it occurs. For example, “interrupting the teacher all the time” is not measurable because it is not specific. However, “yelling ‘Hey, teacher!’ 2-3 times each math period” is specific and measurable. Given the definition, even an outside observer would know exactly which behavior the teacher wants to change.

C. Frequency refers to the number of responses in which the behavior occurred. Think count. Frequency is the dimension of interest when you want to know how many times something occurs – such as number of times a student answered a question correctly.

D. The dimensions of a behavior are the characteristics that define the behavior. How do we know when one instance of a particular behavior has taken place? The very specific answer to this question will comprise the dimensions of the behavior.

E. The function of a behavior is what is maintaining the behavior. (i.e. Why does the behavior continue? What is the learner getting out of exhibiting the behavior?)

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