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Behavior Modeling

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Updated June 10, 2014

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Definition:

In social learning theory, behavior modeling is the precise demonstration of a desired behavior. According to the theory, we learn not only by doing, but by watching what others do. In a therapeutic setting, behavior modeling is purposeful and positive, teaching clients healthier ways of behaving. But behavior modeling can also be negative, such as a parent passing on a prejudiced way of dealing with others or a friend teaching a child to use drugs. Therapeutic behavior modeling is often used to help clients change previously learned negative behaviors.

Also Known As: Modeling
Alternate Spellings: Behavior Modelling, Modelling
Examples:
Janet's parents often had violent arguments. When Janet sought therapy for her own anger management issues, her therapist modeled calm, rational discussion of difficult topics.
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