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A Function-Based Plan for a Target Behavior

A Function-Based Plan for a Target Behavior

When examining a target behavior, a behavior analyst must be sure of the following terms for the proper description of a target behavior. The target behavior can also be described as the problem behavior. The antecedents are those things that happen before a behavior takes place or something that happens before a behavior. The consequence is what follows the behavior. Therefore, with this in mind, one can tell that Jonathan’s laziness when it comes to work is the target behavior, and the antecedent is the receptionist’s kind behavior. The consequence, on the other hand, is the lateness of work. Therefore, in this specific scenario, the behavior analyst would be more concerned about Jonathan’s laziness trend, which he demonstrates by using personal issues to get to work late or miss work altogether.

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The target behavior can be labeled as laziness. However, operationally, it can be defined as Jonathan’s lateness to work every day and constant using sickness and personal issues as reasons for this behavior. The target behavior, labeled as laziness, is encouraged by the kindness Jonathan gets from the receptionist, who does not question him and instead wishes him well and sends him “get well soon” cards. Therefore, the consequence of target behavior is poor attendance.

The consequence-based intervention that should be put in place to change Jonathan’s behavior is reward and punishment for the right behavior. If Jonathan is late, he can be punished by deducting part of his remuneration or by making him cover for the lost time. Also, Jonathan can receive rewards in this intervention plan. For instance, he can be given acknowledgment, coffee, or a monetary reward when he gets to work on time. This intervention is expected to encourage Jonathan to get to work earlier all the time. At the same time, other environmental factors that encourage the target behavior, such as the receptionist’s sympathy and kindness, should be changed. Instead, the secretary should question him whenever he checks in late.


Cooper, O. J., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied Behavior Analysis Edition (3rd Ed). Publisher: Pearson

Miltenberger, R. G. (2015). Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures (6th Ed). Cengage Limited.

Shepherd, T. L., & Linn, D. (2015). Behavior and Classroom Management in the Multicultural Classroom: Proactive, Active, and Reactive Strategies. SAGE Publications, Inc. (US).


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You are a supervising board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) working at a local ABA center. One of your technicians, Jonathan, is frequently late to work and often calls out due to illness or personal reasons. Jonathan has been late or has called out 1-2 times per week for the month of April. This is a new company so there is not an attendance policy currently in place. The call-out procedure involves calling and speaking with the receptionist. The receptionist is very kind. She wishes technicians well when they call out sick and sometimes writes them a “get well soon” card. When technicians call out for personal reasons, she “lends them an ear” and gives good advice. Your clinical director has noticed this technician’s poor attendance and would like you to create a function-based plan for this technician.

A Function-Based Plan for a Target Behavior

A Function-Based Plan for a Target Behavior


Please complete your assigned readings and respond to the following:

Identify the target behavior and the antecedents and consequences in the scenario.
Operationally define the target behavior.
Based upon the contingencies (antecedent – behavior – consequence), hypothesize the probable function of the target behavior.
Describe a consequence-based intervention plan that addresses the behavior based on the probable function that you identified. You may add an antecedent intervention as well, but it is not required.

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