Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .


Review the current literature regarding the implementation and benefits of ABA, and organizational behavior management (OBM) the field of Performance Psychology (adapt this The Impact of Fear on Success and Failure.Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .


  1. A brief review of the current literature regarding the implementation and benefits of ABA in the selected field. (Articles 2015-2020)
  2. A brief review of the current literature regarding the implementation and benefits of OBM in the selected field.  (Articles 2015-2020)

Applied Behavior Analysis

When an individual faces a stimulus presented as a situation in which there is a need to either adapt or perform, it is likely that fear will present as there is a possibility of either success or failure. While success is welcome failure is an aversive and scary result. It is perfectly natural for an individual to want to avoid uncertainty in success and possibility in failure, especially when there is no reinforcement. When the individual faces what he/she fears, or a new situation in which the possibility of success is uncertain, then this would be considered as fear of failure.Applied Behavior Analysis Paper . Perhaps it is the fear of not being able to complete the required activity that translates into success, or getting into a new social situation and having a non-amiable reception. It is a universal human nature to experience fear that presents as some form of hesitation in decision-making. This fear become a concern when it turns into an escape-maintained behavior that serves no real purpose to protect the individual but instead acts as a hindrance to hold the individual back. This is especially seen when the individual has a fear of failure so that he or she tends to not even try (Martin & Pear, 2015). The present analysis discusses the use of advanced behavior analysis (ABA) and organizational behavior management (OBM) in addressing the concept of fear as it relates to success and failure.Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

Advanced behavior analysis

ABA has much value in treating fear by systematically training the individual to extinguish the learned escape maintained behaviors that present as defenses associated with the fear. The training makes use of psychiatric techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. As ABA eliminates the behaviors that serve to reinforce the fear, the fear itself fades away.Applied Behavior Analysis Paper . While this explanation might appear simple, in actually it is not that simple. Dealing with fear through the use of ABA is difficult because it involves combatting reinforcements that are offered by the body’s deep-seated learning mechanisms. The escape-maintained behaviors that characterize fear are hard-wired into the autonomic nervous system as legitimate protections that are intended to help the individual survive. The anticipated fear carries the expectation of pain or hurt. Even if the escape-maintained behavior serves no real purpose with regards to survival, such as recoiling from a harmless butterfly, the brain would interpret the absence of pain as a positive outcome thus reinforcing the escape-maintained behaviors (Critchfield & Reed, 2017).Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

ABA address the escape-maintained behaviors by acknowledging that fear is a healthy and normal human emotion so that the experience of fear should not be quashed. However, ABA also admits that fear becomes a concern when it is unhealthy, excessive and unreasonable, and even finds expression through different self-destructive or disruptive behaviors. It is the unhealthy, excessive and unreasonable behaviors associated with fear that ABA seeks to suppress and replace with normal behaviors. Like any other phobia treatment, ABA begins by carefully analyzing the situations in which the fear arises and its antecedents, the associated problematic behaviors, and the consequences that reinforce the problematic behaviors (Sandoval-Norton & Shkedy, 2019). For instance, ridicule can act as the antecedent of fear for an individual asked to lead a project, hiding would act as the problem behavior, and the consequence would be the perceived relief from the imagined terror of being ridiculed by others.Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

ABA makes use of exposure therapy to help in addressing the concern by primarily focusing on the consequences, and demonstrating that the actual consequence of being ridiculed may not be that bad with the perception of relief being false so that a new perception is created. In addition, ABA can apply contact desensitization with positive reinforcement. Unlike exposure therapy that simply offers exposure without any negative consequences, contact desensitization actively introduces positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding the individual when being exposed to the fear so as to develop a positive, rather than a negative, perception of the situation (Martin & Pear, 2015).Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

It is important to note that although ABA is beneficial in addressing fear, its application presents a challenge. There is difficulty in creating adequate fear scenarios. It is not that easy to flood an individual with what he or she fears. Still, modern technological innovations have sought to address this concern. This is particularly so for virtual reality (VR) technology that have turned ABA widespread and more effective by presenting realistic simulations to replicate the fear situation (Martin & Pear, 2015). Overall, ABA helps in addressing fear by applying controlled exposure until the aversive situations turns neutral.Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

Organizational behavior management

Fear has a place within an organization, and it typically used in management as a motivator. However, fear can also act as a negative motivator that damages individuals so that their work efficiency is reduced. Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .This is particularly seen when individuals become paralyzed with fear and start delegating upwards while being reluctant to innovate. OBM acknowledges this concern by noting that any short-term gains from perpetuating fear to achieve results would easily be offset by the long-term losses from decreased growth, collaboration and innovation. That is because fear results in defensive behaviors. Still, it must be noted that OBM does not discount the use of fear, especially when rational reasoning fails to achieve the desired results with fear being the only available motivators. In such cases, OBM argues that fear should be balanced with respect for the leaders to create a perception of rationality and fairness so that the consequences of failure are considered acceptable. This would turn the fear into a positive and purposeful motivation. OBM notes that fear can be used as a management tool and incentive by demonstrating competent threat management .Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

It becomes clear that while fear is useful for an organization, it requires a delicate balance. If used wrongly, fear would hinder innovation, creativity and teamwork. In applying OBM, the organization is able to use fear while simultaneously apply psychological safety as the antidote to the fear. This would require the organization to create safety by primarily reframing failure as a learning opportunity, highlighting the extent to which fear can be used so that it does not eliminate ‘voice’, and emphasizing the value of every individual so that fear becomes more acceptable. In addition, OBM acts by sanctioning actions and persons who increase fear, destigmatizing failure and appreciating contributions .Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

Overall, OBM acknowledges that controlled fear is useful for the organization as it serves an important purpose as a lever in such areas as personal performance, competition and negotiation. It would be difficult to achieve the desired organizational results without fear in these areas. Through applying OBM, it is possible to control the realms in which fear is applied as well as consequences and results to as to improve the organization’s performance .  Applied Behavior Analysis Paper .

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