Acceleration And Deceleration Of Target Behaviors

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Acceleration and deceleration of target behaviors are central to behavior therapy. Acceleration a behavior is to make a behavior occur more frequently or intensely, whereas decelerating a behavior is to decrease the frequently or intensity of a behavior. By employing methods that serve to either accelerate or decelerate a behavior, an individual can overcome acting out maladaptive or undesirable behaviors and promote the occurrence of adaptive or desirable behaviors. Acceleration behavior therapy employs two general mechanisms to accelerate target behaviors; stimulus control and reinforcement. Although these two distinct methods of accelerating target behaviors work to accomplish the same goal (i.e., increasing the frequency of the…show more content…
With that being said, in situations where the setting is the only maintaining condition, altering the setting events can eliminate the undesired behavior. Conversely, many times there are other maintaining conditions other than the setting event that influence patients to continue to engage in undesired behaviors. This is why setting events are often one aspect of a larger treatment package. Altering setting events have been shown to be quite successful in treating gambling addiction, hair pulling, and to assist with weight loss. In behavior therapy, stimulus control is often one of several other methods that are used simultaneously to treat a patient. Although stimulus control can be used on its own, they are commonly used in treatment packages because how simple they are to implement. Stimulus control uses two main practices to accelerate desired behaviors; prompting and setting events. Prompting is performed by presenting cues that elicits a desired behavior. There are four types of prompts; verbal, environmental, physical, and behavioral. Each prompt can be used on their own, or together with other types of prompts. Verbal prompts explicitly tell patients how to behave. Verbal prompts can be administered by people—like a therapist, parents, or peers—or it can be administered electronically, such as with a MP3 player or television. For
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