Standard Article

Behavior Modification

  1. Edward P. Sarafino

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0115

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Sarafino, E. P. 2010. Behavior Modification. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. The College of New Jersey

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Behavior modification is the field of study that focuses on using principles of learning and cognition to understand and change people's behavior (Sarafino, 2001). Although not all experts in this field would include cognitive processes in the definition (see Lee, 1992; Sweet & Loizeaux, 1991; Wolpe, 1993), these processes have been widely adopted and applied by behavior modification professionals since the early 1970s (Dobson, 1988; Kazdin, 1978; Mahoney, 1993; Williams, Watts, MacLeod, & Mathews, 1988).