What Is a Behavioral Assessment? - Definition, Tools & Example Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Hoarding: Meaning & Causes

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Behavioral Assessment
  • 0:35 Assessing Behavior
  • 1:37 Explaining Behavior
  • 2:46 Types
  • 3:17 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Behavioral assessment is used to observe, describe, explain and predict behavior. This lesson explains the process and application of behavioral assessment and tests your understanding with a brief quiz.

Behavioral Assessment

Behavioral assessment is a method used in the field of psychology to observe, describe, explain, predict and sometimes correct behavior. Behavioral assessment can be useful in clinical, educational and corporate settings.

For example, Sara is five-year-old girl who has started getting into trouble at school. She has been sent to the office three times in one week and is now crying and refusing to go to school. What could be going on with Sara? A behavioral assessment might be the next step toward answering this question.

Assessing Behavior

There are many different tools that are useful in behavioral assessment and allow for a deeper understanding of why a behavior is occurring.

Observation allows those performing the assessment to see the behavior in action; it can take many forms and be done virtually anywhere. The most basic form of observation is to simply watch someone. Through observation, specific details about the behavior can be gathered. Let's say during a classroom observation it is noted that Sara has trouble following directions during spelling lessons, squints and rubs her eyes, speaks out of turn and gets up from her desk without permission.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account