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Behavior Skill Training -Appreciation

Behavior Skill Training -Appreciation

The skill that I would like to teach my three-year-old child is appreciation. I would like her always to say “thank you” whenever she is given something or when something good is done for her. The instructions will be as follows. The learner must say “thank you” whenever something good is done for her or given to her. As such, she should use these words to show gratitude whenever she is given food, gifts like candy, or after being bathed by the nanny.

For me to model this behavior, I began by asking the child to say, “Thank you,” after receiving something good from someone or after something is done to her. There was a need to reinforce the behavior. In this case, both positive and negative reinforcement were used (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2019). Positive reinforcement was used when the child remembered to say “Thank you” after receiving something good. For instance, I used gifts like candy, apples, and chocolate. However, negative reinforcement was used whenever the child did not say “thank you.” In my case, when the child did not say thank you, the gift given was taken away (Miltenberger, 2015). For instance, if she was given a bar of chocolate and she failed to say “thank you,” then the bar of chocolate was taken away from her until she could say the words “Thank you.”

When teaching the skill, I observed the child and noted the following. Firstly, when given something in the first instance, the child takes it and runs off with it without showing appreciation. She had to be called, and the gift was taken back until she said, “Thank you.” This tendency happened twice, but on the third time, she remembered to say, “Thank you.” Another observation made is that the child began to master using the words “Thank you” after five attempts. After taking two steps on the eight attempts, she remembered to use these words. Furthermore, during the eleventh attempt, the positive reinforcement was withdrawn to see if the child could say “Thank you,” even without the support. I observed that after ten attempts, the behavior was naturalized.

Consistently, the learner was given one extra item whenever she used the words “Thank you.” The behavior-specific praise was to tell the child, “Good girl” or “Well Done.” The statement used to encourage improvement was, “Say thank you before walking away.” Subsequently, the one goal for the learners is to show appreciation when something is done for them. Notably, over time, the learner’s performance will be monitored by directly observing their behavior whenever something is done for them.


Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied Behavior Analysis. United Kingdom: Pearson.

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


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In this unit, you are learning about Behavior Skills Training and how it is used, the establishment of performance expectations, how to provide feedback to supervisees regarding their performance, and how to select goals for a supervisee based on the assessment of their skills. The four steps of Behavior Skills Training are Instructions, Modeling, Practice/Rehearsal with Feedback, and Follow-Up/Monitoring. First, the instructions are written.

Behavior Skill Training -Appreciation

Behavior Skill Training -Appreciation

Performance expectations are included in the instructions. These are based on the behavioral outcome you expect to see. These can be created as performance items to score on an evaluation and/or detailed, specific, expectations that are established following supervision or evaluation. Second, the expected behavior is modeled for the learner. The trainer should model the behavior as closely as possible to what they would like to see the learner perform. Third, the learner practices the behavior, and the supervisor provides feedback. Feedback should provide behavior-specific praise for the desired behavior and include constructive and specific statements so the learner knows how to improve. Finally, goals are selected for the employee, and performance is monitored over time.

Choose a skill you would like to teach someone and the person you would like to teach it to (ideally, the skill is not already in their repertoire). Think of something realistic – you will try this out with a friend or family member! Then, use the Behavior Skills Training model to guide your discussion response.

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