Maricopa Community Colleges  PSY241   19976-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 3-25-1997

PSY241 1997 Fall 2011 Summer II

LEC 3.0 Credit(s) 3.0 Period(s) Load 3.0 Acad

Understanding and Changing Behavior

Theory and methods for observing, analyzing, and modifying behavior.

Prerequisites: PSY101 with grade of "C" or better or permission of Instructor.

Go to Competencies Go to Outline

MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


PSY241 1997 Fall 2011 Summer II

Understanding and Changing Behavior



Compare and contrast major theories in development with implications for understanding and changing behavior. (I)


Describe multicultural issues impacting communication, observation, education, and employment. (II)


Explain how various environmental factors impact socialization. (II)


Demonstrate effective techniques for communication with individuals from a variety of cultures. (II)


Distinguish among pre-natal, congenital, and genetic influences. (III)


Summarize various temperaments and the behaviors associated with each (i.e. "easy," "difficult," "slow to warm.") (III)


Describe issues related to "goodness of fit" of caregiver and an individual's temperament. (III)


Analyze individual differences in personality as they impact understanding and changing behaviors. (III)


List various causes and treatments of congenital defects and defects related to poor prenatal care which impact behavior. (III)


Describe techniques of gathering different types of data, including their strengths and limitations. (IV)


Describe degrees of objectivity in observational data. (IV)


Define validity and reliability. (IV)


Identify and give examples of methods of establishing validity and reliability in observational and self-report data. (IV)


Describe approaches to managing behavior, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. (V)


Identify community resources available to support interventions. (V)


Plan and demonstrate an individual intervention to modify behavior. (V)


Demonstrate a group approach to modify behavior. (V)


List techniques for enhancing communication in the family system. (VI)


Describe techniques for using peer influence to help individuals reach desired goals or attain specified behavior. (VI)


Identify parent, peer, and community influences on behavior. (VI)


List factors which affect observational learning. (VI)


Differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. (VI) Competencies:


Describe how shaping occurs. (VI)


Describe appropriate use of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment. (VI)


Evaluate strategies for monitoring behavioral change. (VII)


Demonstrate appropriate methods of documenting behavioral change. (VII)


Describe the role of assessment in evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. (VII)


Compare and contrast types of assessment, indicating when each is appropriate. (VII)

Go to Description Go to top of Competencies

MCCCD Official Course Outline:


PSY241 1997 Fall 2011 Summer II

Understanding and Changing Behavior


I. Theoretical concepts with implications for understanding and changing behavior

A. Cognitive development theories

B. Emotional development theories

C. Behavioral theories

II. Multicultural issues in development

A. Cultural perspectives

1. Language

2. Behavior

3. Expectations

B. Factors in socialization

1. Socio-economic status (SES)

2. Socio-historic context

3. Environmental factors

C. Differences resulting from socialization

1. Aesthetics

2. Values

3. Goals

D. Communication skills

1. Listening skills

2. Non-verbal communication

3. Language-based communication

III. Pre-natal, genetic and congenital influences on behavior

A. Pre-natal exposure

1. Environmental teretogens

2. Fetal alcohol syndrome

3. Addictive drugs

4. Maternal stress level

5. Other

B. Nature vs. nuture: genetic issues

1. Arousal level

2. Temperament

3. Shyness/risk-taking

4. Personality

5. Other Outline:

C. Congenital problems

1. Down's syndrome

2. Klinefelter's syndrome

3. Fragile X syndrome

4. Other

IV. Techniques for observing behavior

A. Types of data

1. Qualitative

2. Quantitative

B. Methods of gathering baseline data

1. Operationally defining and recording behaviors

2. Structured and unstructured interviews

3. Naturalistic observation

4. Self report questionnaires

5 Other

C. Evaluation of data

1. Objectivity

2. Consistency (reliability)

3. Accuracy (validity)

V. Approaches to behavior management

A. Individual approaches

1. Identifying community resources

2. Utilizing community resources

B. Group approaches

1. Structured teams

2. Collaboration

VI. Guiding behavior

A. Dynamic systems approach

1. Family

2. Peers

3. Community

B. Observational learning

1. Modeling

2. Rewarding

C. Behavior modifications

1. Shaping

2. Reward and punishment

3. Differential reinforcement and extinction

D. Cognitive approach

VII. Evaluating effectiveness

A. Monitoring change

1. Continued observations

2. Appropriate documentation

B. Assessment

1. Normative

2. Individual outcomes

3. Other


Go to Description    Go to top of Competencies    Go to top of Outline