How Does Behavior Modification Work? Techniques for Positive Behavior
How Does Behavior Modification Work? Techniques for Positive Behavior Change

How Does Behavior Modification Work? Techniques for Positive Behavior Change

The entire science of psychology is fundamentally strengthened by the concept of behavior modification. Though every human being is unique with different set of characteristic feature but certain behaviours are vividly maladaptive and need modification. This approach is grounded in the early work of behaviorists such as B.F. Skinner and John Watson. They stated that behavior is shaped by environmental stimuli and can be modified through reinforcement and punishment.

Principles of Behavior Modification – Educational Psychology Interactive

It relies on the following core concepts:

  • Operant Conditioning- According to this principle, behavior is influenced by the consequences. Reward and removal of an aversive consequence strengthen behavior whereas punishment weakens a negative behavior.
  • Classical Conditioning- This concept involves learning by association i.e. if a student associates a sticker with good or desired behavior.
  • Observational Learning- This involves learning a behavior by modeling i.e. if a child starts observing that being honest is appreciated then he or she will start imitating that particular behavior.

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Best Strategies for Positive Behavior Change

Look at here some techniques of Behavior Modification:

  1. Positive Reinforcement- This involves rewarding a desired behavior as and when it occurs to increase the frequency of that behavior. (Lifechanging Power of Exercise: Forget Depression and Anxiety)
  2. Negative Reinforcement- Here the guardian can probably remove an aversive stimulus when followed by a desired behavior. For ex: turning off a loud alarm after getting out of bed on time.
  3. Punishment- Punishment can be positive when we are adding an unpleasant consequence and negative when we are removing a pleasant consequence. For ex: putting a child on time out when he/ she exhibits undesirable stimulus and negative punishment might involve taking away a favorite toy.
  4. Token Economy- This system involves providing tokens i.e. any form of reward to be accumulated for a long time which can be exchanged for a bigger reward after a stimulated amount of time.

These techniques can be implemented at various settings like schools, at home, professional places etc. to stimulate a change in one’s behavior and convert the maladaptive behavior into a desirable behavior. These tips will enable to have a healthy classroom environment where students are motivated to study and develop a personality using unconventional methods.

Tips for a healthy state of mind

Similarly it will enable the therapist to treat various psychological disorders like anxiety, depression and phobias. It can also be used at workplace to improve the employee’s productivity and job satisfaction level.


Sneha Narayan
Department of Psychology
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Lingaya’s Vidyapeeth
Best Colleges in Faridabad for BA Psychology

June 12, 2024

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