Behavior is termed as the way and means of getting something or rather avoid something. It is important to note that the behavior is earned and is an action that is both observable and measurable. It is observable in the aspect of what is seen or heard. For instance, if a subject is speaking, yelling, writing or even dancing. The behavior is more about how a certain feeling is expressed for instance by making faces, yelling, or even portraying various body postures. Behaviors can also be measured in that it can be defined and described. For instance, in this case a teacher may easily spot the behavior when it occurs, including when it begins, ends or how often it occurs (Walker, 2007). A student may often interrupt the teacher during a lesson and the measurable aspect occurs in the number of times the student does so
Behavior is made up of three components: antecedents; behaviors and consequences. Antecedents are termed as the events or environments that trigger behavior. They occur immediately before a behavior or become an accumulation of previous events for instance; a student walks into class crying because someone called her a name as she was walking down the hall. The antecedent in this case is the name calling in the hallway. Behavior on the other hand refers to an action that is both measurable and observable. It should be described in such a way that any other observer may easily identify the action or rather behavior in question. A consequence is the way people in the environment respond or react to the behavior. If a certain behavior is portrayed it may be received by a warning or ignored. Some examples consequences include warning, ignorance and reinforcement (Walker, 2007).
Behavioral consequences or rather results have a direct influence on the behavior exhibited by children or students. The possible consequences of human behavior are classified as positive reinforcement, extinction, negative reinforcement and punishment. However, this paper will focus on the consequences that decrease behavior. These consequences include factors such as extinction, punishment and reinforcement. Extinction is described as the removal of a rain- force that is nourishing or aggregating a behavior. It can also be referred to as an operative technique of reducing unwanted behaviors displayed by individuals. For instance, there are accidental and randomly practical extinction methods that have been applied naturally from an historical point of view (Walker, 2007).
Another consequence that decreases behavior is reinforcement. These are consequences that increase the likelihood of a specific behavior reoccurring. For instance, a negative reinforcement is when something is taken away and it increases the occurrence of a behavior. A good example would be the case where a student fails to finish his/her homework and their parents tell him that he does not get to watch TV for the night. This will make the student finish his homework the next time in order to get the chance to watch TV (Payne, 2005). The negative reinforce in this case is the loss of TV privileges while the completion of homework is the behavior that has been reinforced.
Similarly, there is also the aspect of punishment that decreases behavior. Punishment is a consequence that decreases the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring. There are positive and negative forms of punishment. It normally occurs when a student finds the consequences unpleasant or undesirable and decreases the occurrence of the behavior in the future, regardless of the fact that other students or the teacher do not perceive the consequence as unpleasant. Positive punishment is the way in which aversive stimulus is presented. For instance, when a student is when employees within a company are harassed for making suggestions, they stop proposing new ways of running the business (Payne, 2005). On the other hand, negative punishment is the removal of a positive reinforce. Therefore, it is important to note that punishment both positive and negative decrease the rate of responding.
Payne, L. D., Mancil, G. R and Landers, E. (2005). Consequence-Based Behavioral Interventions for Classroom Teachers. Beyond Behavior, 15 (1), 13-20.
Walker J. E., Shea, T.M and Bauer, M.A. (2007). A practical Approach for Educators. Excerpt from Behavior Management, 64-71.