May 19, 2024
Behaviour analysis explores human behaviour and its modification through practical interventions. Investigating the link between behaviour and psychology and the range of behavioural analysis methods, this article highlights its applications in various fields. A case study is also presented to demonstrate the value of such interventions while exploring the technology to progress the field further.


Behaviour analysis is a field of study that focuses on how human behaviour develops and how it is controlled and maintained over time. Its applications are widespread, ranging from clinical settings to classrooms and businesses. This article aims to explore what behaviour analysis is, its link to psychology, the different types of behaviour analysis methods, its practical applications, and a case study that demonstrates its effectiveness.

What is Behaviour Analysis?

Behaviour analysis is the scientific study of human behaviour. It is based on the principles of behaviourism, which proposes that behaviour is learned and controlled by its consequences. The goal of behaviour analysis is to understand and modify behaviour to improve individual’s lives.

Behaviour analysis can benefit individuals with behavioural issues such as autism, ADHD, and anxiety. By focusing on observable behaviour, behaviour analysts can identify the environmental factors that influence behaviour and develop interventions that address problem behaviours.

It is essential to understand behaviour because it can affect our daily lives negatively or positively, depending on whether our behaviour is appropriate or not. Behaviour analysis can help us identify and change problematic behaviours, leading to a better quality of life.

The Link between Behaviour Analysis and Psychology

Behaviourism was born in the 20th century as a school of thought that proposed that psychology should only focus on observable behaviours and ignore inner experiences or feelings. Its objective was to predict and control behaviour based on environmental factors.

Behaviour analysis has contributed to psychology by providing practical applications that effectively address behavioural issues such as anxiety and addiction. Additionally, it has shown that behaviour change can occur without the need for introspection or an understanding of inner processes.

Behaviour analysis is closely related to psychology because it studies human behaviour, but its focus is on observable behaviour. However, both fields are vital in their contributions towards attaining a better understanding of human behaviour.

Different Types of Behaviour Analysis Methods

Behaviour analysis employs various techniques to modify behaviour. The following are the three main types of behaviour analysis methods:

Functional Analysis

Functional analysis is an experimental method used to identify the environmental factors that cause and maintain problematic behaviour. In this method, the behaviour analyst manipulates the antecedents and consequences of a problematic behaviour to determine its function. Once the function of the behaviour is determined, the behaviour analyst can develop interventions that address the underlying causes of the behaviour.

Behaviour Modelling

Behaviour modelling involves demonstrating the desired behaviour to the individual and then reinforcing it successfully. This method works best when the individual lacks the necessary skills to perform the desired behaviour. The modelled behaviour is broken down into smaller, more manageable steps that are easy for the individual to understand and follow.

Token Economy

A token economy is a system in which tokens are used as positive reinforcement to motivate individuals to behave appropriately. The tokens can be exchanged for items of value such as toys, snacks, or privileges. Token economies are particularly effective in reinforcing positive behaviour in children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Practical Applications of Behaviour Analysis

The practical applications of behaviour analysis are diverse, but some of the main areas of application include:

Behaviour Analysis in Classrooms

Behaviour analysis is used in classrooms to improve student behaviour and academic performance. By identifying and modifying problematic behaviour, students can focus better and achieve academic success.

Behaviour Analysis in Hospitals

Behaviour analysis is applied in hospitals to reduce anxiety and pain in patients. For example, behaviour therapists can use systematic desensitisation to help patients overcome their fear of medical procedures.

Behaviour Analysis in Businesses

Behaviour analysis is implemented in the workplace to improve employee performance and productivity. For instance, a token economy can be used to motivate employees and improve their job satisfaction.

Examples of Current Programs that Utilize Behaviour Analysis

Some examples of current programs that utilise behaviour analysis include the Early Start Denver Model for children with autism, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for mental health disorders, and the Good Behavior Game for improving classroom behaviour.

Case Study


A 5-year-old boy, Peter, was showing signs of disruptive behaviour in the classroom. He would frequently interrupt during lessons, refuse to follow instructions, and become aggressive towards other children.

How Behaviour Analysis was Utilized

Behaviour analysts performed a functional analysis to determine the underlying causes of Peter’s behaviour. It was discovered that he was acting out to seek attention because he was socially isolated from his peers. The analysts used positive reinforcement and role-playing to teach Peter appropriate ways of gaining attention.

Positive Outcomes that Resulted from Behaviour Analysis Treatment

After the intervention, Peter’s behaviour improved significantly. He was able to follow instructions, show appropriate behaviour, and interact positively with others. This treatment approach helped him achieve academic success and social integration.

Future of Behaviour Analysis

The future of behaviour analysis is influenced by technology, which has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of interventions. For instance, there has been a recent shift towards telehealth services that allow behaviour analysts to deliver interventions remotely.

Behaviour analysis will continue to evolve with advancements in technology, leading to more effective interventions. Additionally, policy and academic research is needed to promote the dissemination of behaviour analysis to a wider audience.


In conclusion, behaviour analysis is a scientific field that strives to understand and modify human behaviour. Its practical applications span across various fields, including education, mental health, and business. The case study presented in this article shows how behaviour analysis interventions can be successful in modifying problematic behaviour. Ultimately, it is essential to recognise the importance of understanding human behaviour to achieve positive outcomes and improve the quality of life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *