What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

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Applied behavior analysis is the use of principles of psychology related to learning in order to change human behavior. Behavior analysts focus on the observable relationship between behavior and environment. Assessing the relationship between a particular behavior and the environment, behavior analysis methods can help change a patient’s actions. It’s closely related to the fields of behavior modification and behavior engineering.

How is Applied Behavior Analysis Used?

The analysis of behavior, despite being a classic area in psychology and educational sciences, has undergone a remarkable expansion in recent years. Researchers are re-examining its theoretical developments, such as the dissemination of effective intervention procedures. Among the areas most professional research highlights is the analytical-behavioral intervention in pathology collected within the Pervasive Developmental Disorders such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome, according to the Autism Society. The analytic-behavioral intervention has accumulated evidence in more than twenty independent clinical trials conducted in the US, UK, Norway, Argentina, Israel and Australia. These studies show the effectiveness of this approach in improving activities of daily living, academic performance and communication skills.

There have also been notable expansions in other areas of applied behavior analysis. The psychological intervention in adults is an important breakthrough, either by intervention procedures derived from the theory of relational framework or by direct application of basic behavioral principles of clinical intervention. The so-called analysis of clinical behavior has garnered increasing evidence of its effectiveness in anxiety disorders, mood and psychotic conditions.

Education in developing children is another area of wide coverage, with precise procedures such as teaching and development models of schooling based on behavior analysis. Management of organizational behavior, aimed at improving working conditions and behavior, has developed considerably, with progress as diverse as improved socialization, job security and workplace productivity. Other areas include improvement in sports, behavioral intervention in chronic diseases such as dementia, and behavioral intervention in large social groups. Applied behavior analysis as a general approach to socially relevant behavior has greatly diversified its areas of activity in recent decades.

The Benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis

These methods are based on the analysis designed to help people develop better social behavior and work more effectively in communities. By analyzing behaviors based on learning psychological principles, researchers try to understand why a person does what he or she does. Based on this information, it will then be up to the analysts to recommend which behavior must change or be adjusted based on the individual and his or her surroundings. When analyzing behavior, analysts try to look at the big picture, considering an individual’s biological and and environmental conditions.

Everyone has the opportunity to learn new behaviors regardless of talent and level of functioning. Approaches and methods based on this analysis have proven to be successful for patients with psychiatric problems. Treatment is then designed to prevent further difficulties and problematic behavior of the individual. Psychologists look at what conditions the individual needs from the environment in order to establish and develop alternative behavior. This treatment is an approach that healthcare staff can use in schools, especially with children in need of special support. Healthcare staff for adults and older people with psychiatric disorders can also benefit greatly.

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Mental healthcare is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country, and people with professional training are needed to fill a large number of specialized job positions. If you’re interested in psychology and you have a natural talent for analyzing people, you should consider studying applied behavior analysis in college.