Behavior Theory: Practice Model Overview


The behavior model has been pre-eminent in matters regarding social sciences. During the twentieth century, the model became well known by medical practitioners. The model was associated firmly with the advancement of empiricist ideology, first during dogma and eventually in the science field. The model developers include Descartes, a French philosopher who in the 17th century referred to the term empiricism to knowledge acquisition through observation.

The behaviorism reformer who contributed to the origin of the model was a Germany known as Wilhelm Maximillian Wundt. In 1879, Wundt conceptualized the notion of integrating experiences of emotions and cognitive functions using research methods in studying psychology (Prins, 2019). In the year 1902, Pavlov created a theory of dog salivation whenever they see food. Thorndike, an American connoisseur in psychology, significantly contributed to behaviorism by creating a rat experiment and incorporating the conditioning principles. In 1924, Watson was well known for putting humans into the task and deriving from psychology’s mainstream approach.

Practice Model Overview

Basic Assumptions of the Model

The model reiterates that behavior is depicted from learning from environmental surroundings. The model reflects how work surroundings affect change of behavior, ignoring the fact that the conduct of people is inherited from one group to another. New behavior comes into the picture through operant or classical conditioning. The behavior model is perceived and viewed as a science, where factual data is obtained through behavior measurement and observation.

The theory parts should be easy to understand through easily differentiated events, observed, and evaluatedBehaviorismsm is categorically associated with discerning approach compared to internal activities such as mind consolidation and emotions. A slight difference is noted when comparing learning in animals to that of human beings (Prins, 2019). Basically, as a scientist, there exist no qualitative differentiation in behavior between human and animals. Behavior happens when a person responds to a specific phenomenon insinuating through behavior one can predict a reaction that will subsequently follow.

Key Concepts of Behavioral Theory

People get fascinated and have an inward urge to perform a given task because of nature-based seeking gratification, living, and avoidance of suffering. Humans get to behave in a certain way to reinforce and produce a positive impact on living. However, evaluation of what makes up pleasure and suffering is not easily determined. Besides people getting motivated, what people values, have felt on and observable characteristics are considered to be behavior (Simoni et al., 2018). The presumption of human cognitive perception should reduce since it cannot be measured or observed. Additionally, when assessing through various activities, one should focus on observation with a reduced form of interpretation.

Behavior is malleable compared to change, meaning an imperative regarding chance is when a concern in behavior is established in assessing and evaluating indicators perceived to be measurable. People are subjected to behave depending on the effect of environmental surroundings by watching and learning as individuals interact. Interventions by interceding should primarily be centered on the reinforcement association of individual behaviors. Reinforcement that is regarded as immediate and regular is considered to bring change faster (Baum, 2018). How an individual consolidates the mind and portrays feelings is a result of principles subjection.

Goals of the Practice Behavioral Model

The theoretical practice goal of the model is to enable an individual to have a capacity to predict and controlling behavior in response to a given stimulus. The developers of the behavioral model insinuated that behavior is manifested through observation and evaluation of given responses. Therefore, how a man behaves despite the complexity disparities lays a foundation in behavior investigation and research (Janse et al., 2020). The behavior of man and animals cannot be differentiated since they have a common way of responding to therapy.

Nature of Desired Therapeutic Relationship in Behavioral Model

Even though increased percentage, behavior therapy is presumed, necessity is paramount for an increased remedial association between the social worker and the boss. The social worker is assumed to be all-knowing, having mentorship qualities such as being caring, motivator, trustworthy, among other qualities since the client will need advisory from his or her advisor. Initially, if the social worker engages the client freely without lamenting and providing anxiety, the client will stick and get some attraction to the social worker (Muething et al., 2020). The nature of the therapeutic relationship will be maintained when the social worker portrays understanding and empathy when dealing with the client.

The social workers should learn to take caution, especially when offering punishment to the client. Additionally, the social worker must involve the client in decision making and deriving pragmatic solutions and strategies in intervening to change. The client is entitled to evaluate the performance and relationship based on rewards and behavior change (Gao et al., 2017). After the social worker has disseminated the principles regarding behavior, the medical practitioner can carry on and clerk the client using analysis of behavior function.

Specific Techniques Utilized by the Behavioral Model

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) technique has been a standard therapeutic intervention. The technique is viewed as effective for clients, social workers, among other characters who work closely with children suffering from autism disorders. ABA is primarily enthralled in fundamental trained skills in determining child behavioral problems and detrimental effects (Janse et al., 2020). Any preventable precursor for an obstacle in behavior is removed, and appealing behavior is seized up and introduced as the client grows older. Other techniques include small grouping behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Application of the Theory to Diverse Population

Populations the Behavioral Theory Considers Appropriate

Children who have autism are among the population considered appropriate. Recent research insinuates improvement in their condition in suppressing behavior effects, cognitive and skills in the language. The theory applies to members of an organization working under a manager in charge. The theory is best applied in a classroom setup where students learn through observation from the lecturer (Chang et al., 2017). The other set of people are psychiatric patients in a given facility are at a position of learning through group behavior therapy.

Has the theory been applied to diverse cultures?

The theory of behaviorism has been applied to different cultures across the globe. Children raised in different communities have been raised learning through observation. Male and female can perform their roles through learning about behavior change and how to respond to various disciples given a specific stimulus. Parents have taken the social worker’s responsibility to uphold efficient association with the younger ones and the rest of the community members. Learners have embraced the theory by learning how certain teachers behave while in class (Simoni et al., 2018). Teachers in some communities use the model in controlling the class by learning behaviors of certain students through observation.


The outcome from Clients Receiving Behavioral Model

The behavioral theory has enabled lecturers to teach effectively since the theory can be used to assess students’ behavior change. Therefore, tutors use a positive reinforcement technique such as rewarding a student who leads in class stimulates fellow students to change reading and embrace the therapeutic one. On the other hand autism, children using the behavior model have demonstrated increased levels of cognitive function, adapting to environmental surroundings, and reduced negative behaviors (Yadav & Pathak, 2017). The behavioral model has enhanced the nature of the relationship to be therapeutic between the therapist and the client.

Major Contributions Made By Behavioral Theory

In education, the theory has contributed to the introduction of lesson objectives during a class presentation. The learning objectives are regarded as behavioral for the students to understand since set standards have been set. Additionally, the teacher is perceived as a facilitator in charge of creating a conducive and blissful environment that suits learning (Chang et al., 2017). Teachers have been perceived to use behavioral principles to eradicate behaviors not appealing to students.

Limitations of Behavior Model

The behavior model is perceived to empower clients since it provides insight generalized change process. However, the model had been critiqued by various scholars and found to have been having shortcomings. One of the limitations is that the theory only focuses on the biopsychosocial aspect of human behavior. Sometimes, the theory deprives other life aspects that are considered lucrative and essential in an individual’s life (Muething et al., 2020). The other limitation entails therapeutic intervention depends on an environment stimulated; thus, clients have to be reinforced consistently to change to a set of new behaviors.

A child that portraying negative behavior requires some punishment to change and behave positively. However, the behavior can still be instilled in the child, given he or she interacts with colleagues. The connoisseurs in matters regarding behavior strain find therapeutic reinforcements considered efficient but unfortunately cannot indulge in executing the schedule to all clients who need the therapy. Researchers suggest that there exists a challenge in differentiating logic that precedes behavior problems. For instance, the head of the family, a man, gets reluctant to get out and hustle for the family because of the negative sentiments uttered on a previous day by the boss (Gao et al., 2017). For the highlighted substantial reasons, the theory fails to be adequate in its function to capture the broad behavior science, which is the main goal.

How Others Consider Behavior theory to be Generalized Social Practice

Behavior theory is considered a generalized social practice because of the provision of new ideologies to human behavior. The theme of social practice is central since interventions are aimed at a set group of people assembled rather than a single individual (Yadav & Pathak, 2017). The model deprives an individual’s capacity to make his or her decisions since a therapist makes decisions for the clients. As perceived by others, the theory requires social workers to have a glimpse of life experiences that require interactions with other people.


Behavior theory mainly uses a different perspective in assessing, evaluating, and analyzing behaviors of clients and the expected set of outcomes compared to internal cognitive function. The theory provides therapeutic and efficient foundations for practice in social work. The theory favors a different set of populations such as children, leaners among other categories. Behaviorism and other theories are well known for the provision of attention for the effectiveness of empirical research. The theory has some limitations, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages making the model effective and therapeutic. The theory has been embraced and integrated by other communities hence an educative and resourceful element.


Baum, W. M. (2018). Multiscale behavior analysis and molar behaviorism: An overview. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 110(3), 302-322. Web.

Chang, C. T., Hajiyev, J., & Su, C. R. (2017). Examining the students’ behavioral intention to use e-learning in Azerbaijan? The general extended technology acceptance model for e-learning approach. Computers & Education, 111, 128-143. Web.

Gao, L., Wang, S., Li, J., & Li, H. (2017). Application of the extended theory of planned behavior to understand individual’s energy-saving behavior in workplaces. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127, 107-113. Web.

Janse, P. D., de Jong, K., Veerkamp, C., van Dijk, M. K., Hutschemaekers, G. J., & Verbraak, M. J. (2020). The effect of feedback-informed cognitive behavioral therapy on treatment outcome: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Web.

Muething, C., Call, N., Pavlov, A., Ringdahl, J., Gillespie, S., Clark, S., & Mevers, J. L. (2020). Prevalence of renewal of problem behavior during context changes. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 53(3), 1485-1493. Web.

Prins, S. J. (2019). Criminogenic or criminalized? Testing an assumption for expanding criminogenic risk assessment. Law and Human Behavior, 43(5), 477. Web.

Simoni, J. M., Ronen, K., & Aunon, F. M. (2018). Health behavior theory to enhance eHealth intervention research in HIV: rationale and review. Current Hiv/aids Reports, 15(6), 423-430. Web.

Yadav, R., & Pathak, G. S. (2017). Determinants of consumers’ green purchase behavior in a developing nation: Applying and extending the theory of planned behavior. Ecological Economics, 134, 114-122. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Behavior Theory: Practice Model Overview." September 18, 2023.