Behavior Analysis Case Studies Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  889 Words
Date:  2022-10-20

Case 1: The Case of Brenda

According to Cooper, Heron & Heward, (2007), chaining is associated with sequencing and linking specific stimulus and responses with the end goal of forming new performances. It is a general strategy of realizing the final result in the behavioral change journey. Breaking down the behavior in small components makes it easy to track the process. Breaking into small components enables the behaviorist to watch the progress, and also allows the individual to do it themselves and track the progress. In this regard, forward chaining is appropriately applied in Brenda's as it would greatly contribute to success of the process (Miltenberger, 2012). As the behaviors are linked together, she can easily handle the beginning independently after which she can progresses with help from the behaviorist. Continued handling of the components will enable her to master the process.

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While the forward chaining procedure relies on a sequential approach to handling tasks as seen above, the backward chaining procedure is designed in such a manner that all the behaviors identified during the task analysis phase are complete with the aid of the behaviorist, except for the final task. Two main components of chaining are conducting a task analysis and assessing the mastery level. Task analysis is mentioned above and includes breaking down the behaviors into smaller and teachable units. Mastery level assess and determines which components of the task analysis. From the case, Brenda has difficulties with speed and accuracy of her serves and the behaviorist could focus on this component first before going to the next. The behaviorist also needs to provide reinforcement every time she swings the rack at the right speed and demonstrating mastery will be critical.

As seen, reinforcement plays a critical role in the chaining process. Primary reinforcement serves to reward and fulfil a biological process or given need. Secondary reinforcement is linked with the fulfillment of the need. Both forms of reinforcement are critical in the chaining process as they help to strengthen the chosen behavior and hence ensure increased frequency of occurrence of the desired behavior.

Cooper, Heron & Heward, (2007) also suggests two main principals of assessing one's mastery of a given level of task; the single-opportunity approach and the multiple-opportunity method. The single-opportunity method asses the learner's ability to handle each behavior in the task analysis phase in the right sequence. The multiple-opportunity method, on the other hand, evaluates the individual's mastery across all the behaviors of the task.

Case 2: The Case of Mrs. Riley

The token economy is a system of managing and striving to change a given behavior based on the principles of operant conditioning. The behavior change system has three main components; a list of desired behaviors, tokens or given points that the participants receive the desired behaviors, and a menu of select backup reinforcement items. The reinforcement items are those that the participants strive to earn by exchanging the tokens they have earned. The application of this behavior modification approach helps to increase desirable qualities and behaviors and decrease the undesirable behaviors using the tokens. The token system is the right approach to decrease fighting and violent behavior in Mrs (Miltenberger, 2012). Riley's class and it can also help increase desirable traits such as a more focused and settled class with better performance.

There are six basic steps that are critical in the design and implementation of a token economy system. Firstly, the target behaviors to be realized are identified. In the case of Mrs. Riley's class, the aim is to have order, ensure the class is settled and that respectful behavior is cultivated. Secondly, the problem behaviors are identified as mentioned in the case. These includes yelling at other students, making noise and unruly behavior. Thirdly, the tokes that will be used as a medium of exchange are selected. This can be points to be earned, stickers, pennies or other pointers. Tokens selected need to be unique, attractive and desirable, easy to carry and also difficult to forge. When the learners in Mrs. Riley's class portray desirable behavior, they are given a given number of tokens. The reinforcement intervals is also determined. Fourthly, the rules, backup reinforcers and the fines are determined such that the target audience understand what exactly they have to do so as to earn tokens. These are pegged on the behaviors that the process seeks to rectify and the target objectives that are to be achieved. Backup reinforces are the meaningful objects, favor, or activities that the individuals can exchange for the tokens. From the perspective of Mrs. Riley's class, the students can collect tokens and exchange with a reward at the end of a given duration such as the end of week. Fifthly, it has to be decided how the tokens will be stored and monitored. Furthermore, it has to be agreed how the tokens will be dispensed and exchanged (Kerr & Nelson, 2010). Lastly, the time duration for earning and exchanging the tokens has to be established.


Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E. & Heward, W.L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis (2nd Ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kerr, M. M., & Nelson, C. M. (2010). Strategies for addressing behavior problems in the classroom. 6th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Miltenberger, R. G. (2012). Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures, 5th Edition. [Purdue University Global Bookshelf]. Retrieved from

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Behavior Analysis Case Studies Paper Example. (2022, Oct 20). Retrieved from

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