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ANTECEDENT MODIFICATIONS (in "Normalspeak", changing what happens before the behavior) | Erik Young Counseling LLC
Did you ever hear the old joke about the guy that goes to the doctor? He says to the doctor, "Doc, it hurts my arm every time I do this," (as he raises his arm). The doctor, looking thoughtful, says, "Well, don't do that!" I'll bet you're wondering, "What does an old vaudeville routine have to do with behavior modification?" Simple! By avoiding or changing the THINGS THAT TRIGGER behaviors, we can better manage them. ABC's Behaviorists describe behaviors in three parts labeled "the ABC's": 1. Antecedent, 2. Behavior, 3. Consequence. In the previous articles, you learned about the Behavior (What is the function?) and you learned about consequence (reinforcement). This article will focus on antecedents...the things that happen before the behavior. For practical purposes we are concerned about two things that happen before a behavior: 1. Triggers & 2. Setting events. Triggers are the things that consistently cause the behavior to happen. For