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Topographical versus Functional Definition

1. What is the difference between a topographical definition and a functional definition of a target behavior?
2. Discuss some of the situations in which a functional definition would be better than a topographical one.

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Applied Behavioral Analysis is commonly used to treat those with Autism. When working with this population, clinicians select target behaviors for treatment. The target behavior is the problem area that needs to be changed. For example, a target behavior may be aggression. Behaviors that are the most dangerous, disruptive, or frequent are usually targeted first. Clinicians define targets for change operationally, which helps them track changes and ...

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