Every ABA professional should be familiar with the 4 functions of behavior and how to identify them. We cover those four functions, provide real-life examples, and give you tips on what you can do when you encounter each function. Although the functions of behavior are important, they aren’t always intuitive, which makes them hard to spot. We can also accidentally reinforce problematic behavior when we’re unsure.
Through their behavior, our students and clients are communicating something to us, and it’s our job to figure out what that is. To remember the 4 functions of behavior in ABA, we like to use the acronyms EATS or SEAT. The S stands for sensory, or things that are automatically reinforcing. In other words, it’s something that feels good. E stands for escape or avoidance. The A stands for attention, and the trigger is usually a lack thereof. Finally, the T stands for tangible, or engaging in behavior because they want something.
Make sure you check out our free functions of behavior worksheet by clicking the link below.
- The 4 functions of behavior and how to identify them.
- How to identify what’s being communicated through a certain behavior.
- 4 functions of behavior examples.