As a behavior analyst, we look at the "why" behind the behavior. What we do is take the clinical diagnosis of a mental illness (psychopathology) which consists of identifying certain behaviors that have been grouped together and classified as a mental illness.
In the world of behavior analysis, we have what is referred to as a "functional diagnosis", which is often referred to as "function of the behavior".
Let's break down the difference:
Refers to the assessment done at the beginning of the initial consultation to determine where a person is mentally.
Function of Behavior
Refers to the ongoing process of collecting information with a goal of identifying stressors and triggers in the individual's environment that will help determine the best treatment and target the behavior.
Currently, there are four types of behavior:
Escape/Avoidance - getting away from an undesirable task, person, place, or thing.
Often times the person will show aggression, others may seek out something that is more desirable to them and not show aggression at all.
Attention-Seeking - refers to an individual who participates in a series of behaviors that can either be annoying to others or harmful to themselves. The idea is to receive attention in any form; good or bad.
An individual who continuously makes themselves burp at inappropriate times (while someone is speaking to them).