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Behavioral Concepts and Applications

  • By: David P. Wacker, Joel Ringdahl, Danielle Dolezal & Eric Boelter
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

The behavioral approach views behavior as being responsive to the environment. In the most general sense, the environment consists of the antecedents that occur prior to a behavior (e.g., settings, tasks, presence of people, instructions, prompts) and the consequences that follow a behavior (e.g., reinforcers or punishers after a behavior occurs). Antecedents and consequences that are discriminated by a student define the behavioral context, and behavior is considered to be related to the context or situation within which it occurs. Thus, to understand why a behavior is occurring or not occurring, the behavior is evaluated within specific contexts and is often described as being a function of the antecedents and consequences that surround it.

Behavioral models have been used successfully with a wide range of appropriate ...

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