Author: Ellee Chin
Have you ever heard someone you know mention anything about behavior analysis or something along the lines of behavior management? If so, did you ever wonder if they were psychics who can read your mind by simply observing your behavior from afar or figure out your intentions by simply having a conversation with you? What does it feel like? Scary isn’t it? Regardless, if you’ve heard or haven’t heard of behavior analysis (or something along the lines of it) before, allow me to guide you through what actually goes on in the minds of behavior analysts.
What exactly is Behavior Analysis?
Behavior analysis is a natural science (much like biology, chemistry, and physics) that seeks to understand the behavior of individuals. For example, in chemistry, when you mix sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl), you get sodium chloride (NaCl) which is equivalent to your regular table salt; the same thing happens in behavior analysis. Behavior analysts focus on how biological, pharmacological, and experiential factors influence the behavior of humans and animals.
Furthermore, behavior analysis is separated into three branches: applied behavior analysis (ABA), experimental analysis of behavior (EAB), and organizational behavior management (OBM). Acknowledging that behavior is something that individuals do, behavior analysts establish special emphasis on studying factors that reliably influence the behavior of individuals, an emphasis that is effective when the goal is to acquire adaptive behavior or decrease socially inappropriate behavior such as tantrums and aggression (for example, hitting peers, slapping, self-injurious behavior).
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and what is it used for?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) uses behavioral principles that focus on improving specific skills such as social skills, communication skills, as well as adaptive learning skills like hygiene, domestic capabilities, motor skills, and appropriate replacement behavior for problem/challenging behaviors (such as behaviors that hinder social relations, communications and learning of a child and cause harm to them, their families, their peers, and other adults).
What is Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and what is it used for?
Organizational behavior management (OBM), on the other hand, uses the same behavioral principles to develop desirable behaviors in individuals and/or groups in the workplace. Throughout the years, OBM has resulted in three specialty areas:
- Performance management: This branch focuses on improving performance on the employee level. This used to be synonymous with the term OBM, but it is now its own field, contrasted by specialty areas geared toward other levels of the organization.
- Systems analysis: As the name says, this branch refers to the analysis and modification of organizational processes to benefit the organization. This field focuses on how individuals or groups of workers can complete interdependent tasks that lead to created products or services important to the entire organization.
- Behavior-based safety: This branch is a fast-growing specialty that analyzes and modifies work environments to reduce injuries and promote safe behavior. Instead of targeting safety solely from the standpoint of machinery mechanics and technology, behavior-based safety concentrates on changing employees’ behavior to reduce injuries and make safe performance more common.
So, under what kind of circumstances would behavioral services be needed? If so, how do I know which kind?
The science of behavior has made breakthroughs that demonstrate the effectiveness in addressing socially important behavior such as drug-taking, healthy eating, workplace safety, education, and the treatment of pervasive developmental disabilities (for example, autism).
In Malaysia, ABA is most frequently used as an intervention method for individuals with autism. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), for those who are unfamiliar with it, is defined by challenges in social and communication skills, either in higher or lower intensity. For those affected, certain behaviors can often be identified, including some or all of the following: delayed language development, eye contact avoidance, repetitive behaviors, and/or lack of capacity to control emotions.
Apart from all the clinical settings, behavior analysis can also be used under different conditions (and called a different name under those settings). OBM is often used in business settings. There are two categories of OBM interventions: antecedent-based interventions (things we can do to set up the right environment) and consequence-based interventions (things we can do to tell someone they did great work or provide points/feedback for improvement).
Antecedent-based interventions include task clarification, equipment modification, goal setting, prompting, and training.
- Task clarification involves clearly defining employees’ tasks.
- Equipment modification involves altering equipment used for tasks.
- Goal setting involves setting performance goals and access to rewards.
- Prompting involves prompts to perform or continue performing an activity.
- Training involves identifying and modifying inadequate employee knowledge, skills, or capacity.
Consequence-based interventions include feedback, praise, and monetary and nonmonetary incentives.
- Feedback involves delivering information about past performance to the employee, which can vary according to format (verbal, written, graphic) and delivery agent (manager-supervisor, consultant-researcher, or fellow employee). It is by far the most common intervention used in OBM.
- Monetary and nonmonetary incentives involve money, benefits, or tangible items contingent on performance; in practice and research, they are often combined.
Just like every amazing field of expertise—medicine, where doctors implement treatments for the benefit of an individual’s health; manufacturing, where workers produce goods that assist in making a lot of areas of our lives easier; service industry, where establishments contribute to increasing our quality of life—behavior analysis can contribute to the betterment of many people’s lives and businesses through the use of systematically changing the tiniest details of the environment and data collection through direct observations; all based on the science of behavior.
Author: Ellee Chin
Translated by: Shin Yap
您周遭的人是否曾向您提及有关行为分析或类似 “行为管理” 的内容？如果有，那您是否想过，这些出现的人其实是行为学者，通过距离式行为观察或以简单交谈的方式了解你的意图？
应用行为分析（ABA）使用行为原则以增强人类的特定技能，例如社交技能，沟通技能，以及适应性学习技能，如卫生、家庭能力、运动技能、以及对于问题 / 挑战的行为，这些技能在不同情况下亦可作为合适的替代行为。（例如：妨碍儿童的社会关系、沟通、学习及各种源自于他们的家庭、同龄人和其他成年人的伤害）
- 系统分析：顾名思义，此分支是分析和修改以使组织受益的过程。 该领域专注于个人或群体如何完成相互依赖的任务，从而创造对整个组织重要的产品或服务。
- 行为安全：该分支机构的专业是用于分析和修改快速发展的工作环境，减少伤害并促进安全的行为。 基于行为的安全性不是从机械技术和技术的角度来关注安全性，而是着眼于员工行为，以减少伤害并提高安全绩效。
- 反馈将涉及向员工提供有关过去绩效的信息，该信息可能会根据格式（语言，书面，图形）和交付代理人（经理-主管，顾问-研究员或同事）而有所不同。 迄今为止，这是OBM中最常用的干预措施。
- 货币和非货币奖励的涉及则取决于绩效的金钱，利益或有形物品； 在实践和研究中，它们经常结合在一起。
就像各个专业领域 – 医学领域，医生为了个人健康而实施治疗； 制造业，工人生产的商品有助于人类的生活变得更加轻松；服务业，为生活质量作出高度贡献。行为分析可以通过直接观察，系统化地更改最细微的环境细节及数据收集，从而改善许多人的生活和业务；这些全部都源于行为科学。