Behavioral Objectives

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Anthony will know his name

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ProbesBehavioral Objectives

Behavioral objectives are the most basic instructions for any behavioral program. As an RBT, you will be reading and applying many behavioral objectives. You will see these in instructional protocols written by a BCBA/BCaBA and also in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Individual Program Plan (IPP). In order for behavioral objectives to be interpreted and implemented the same way by everyone, all objectives include same four components:

  1. the learner
  2. the target behavior
  3. conditions of intervention
  4. criteria for acceptable performance

Behavioral objectives are important for measuring learning and collecting data on problem behaviors. Below is an example of a complete behavioral objective, containing all of the components.


  1. the learner: Anthony
  2. the target behavior: use his communication book
  3. conditions of intervention: when placing an order at a restaurant
  4. criteria for acceptable performance: for three consecutive restaurant visits.

Anthony will use his communication book when placing an order at a restaurant for three consecutive restaurant visits.

[icon icon=”pencil” size=”medium” style=”solid” shape=”square” bg_color=”#9b95b6″]Practice the Skill: Interpreting Objectives

Although objectives may seem clear when they are written, it takes some training to know exactly how to recognize whether the objective is followed. Consider the objective below and answer the questions regarding it’s application.

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Behavioral Objective

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Caroline’s RBT will know the skill has been mastered when Caroline is raising her hand on her own at least twice per class for three consecutive classes. The procedures for teaching the skill, such as when and how to provide prompting and reinforcement, will be specified by the behavior analyst who wrote the objective. These considerations will be discussed in more detail in later modules.