Behavior and problem analysis

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Behavior analysis
SR model
SOR model
SORKC model
SOEVK model
Dynamic self-regulation model
plan analysis

The behavioral and problem analysis ( English behavioral analysis ) is used to determine which situational and individual features of the occurrence of the (problematic) behavior favor and what consequences and thus maintaining factors has the behavior. In addition, it is analyzed in which other situations the relevant or similar behavior occurs. The terms behavior analysis , condition analysis and problem analysis are synonymous. Occasionally, the adjective “ functional ” is put in front of it to clarify the causal-analytical point of view.

  • The vertical or contextual behavioral analysis ( macro analysis ) is also created in the behavioral therapy, wherein the learning history, plans and objectives are considered the person concerned.

In contrast to classificatory diagnostics ( ICD and DSM ), which aims to generalize (abstract) individual problems, behavior analysis operates on an individual, idiographic level.


A basic distinction is made between two different levels of behavior analysis: the horizontal and the vertical level. It should be noted that the two levels complement each other and are not alternative to each other.

The horizontal behavior analysis describes behavior (V) as a function (f) of temporally preceding and following conditions:

V = f (before / after)

The vertical behavior analysis, on the other hand, describes behavior as a function of persistent and behavior-controlling goals and plans:

V = f (goals / plans)

Horizontal behavior analysis

Based on the SORKC model, the behavior is analyzed in a specific individual situation. The (problematic) behavior (R = reaction; on the cognitive, motor, affective and vegetative level) is determined by previous stimuli (S = stimulus; triggering condition, as an internal or external stimulus situation) and the consequences (C = consequence; reinforcement or punishment of a Behavior) controlled.

The task in behavior analysis is to work out the connection between behavior, stimuli and consequences and to determine the regularity of the consequence (C = contingency) and the moderating aspects of the person (O = organism; e.g. cognitions, biological dispositions).

The individual elements can be collected in different ways, e.g. B. by questioning the person or observing the behavior in a role play / behavioral experiment. Diaries can also be used.

In the context of the horizontal behavior analysis, it is very difficult to map interactional processes between people (e.g. partnership problems ).

Horizontal behavior analysis can be described as a movement from the macro level towards the micro level.

Vertical behavior analysis

In contrast to horizontal behavior analysis, vertical behavior analysis does not focus on a specific situation, but on similar behavior in comparable situations. Here, above all, cognitions, which occur in several events, and cognitive schemata ( values , norms , goals ) come to the fore .

For example, in a horizontal behavior analysis it is found that a patient feels very insecure when giving lectures in front of strangers. In the next step, it would be examined whether he feels unsafe in further interactions with strangers (e.g. when getting to know each other).

If cross-situation patterns of behavior are discovered, these can be summarized in a behavior plan. In the example above, one possibility would be that the person is very careful to be socially compliant. When interacting with strangers, expectations may not be properly assessed and the person may appear very insecure.

Uncovering such behavioral plans is called plan analysis . In the context of schema therapy , the term schema analysis is also often used.

The contextual behavior analysis (vertical behavior analysis) can thus be described as inferring from the micro level to the macro level.


The behavior and problem analysis serves as a basis (or justification) for the selection of the therapy goals and the specific treatment methods ( therapy planning ).

Different models

The models have been further developed several times. The authors Batra, Wassmann and Buchkremer consider the following developments to be particularly noteworthy:

year author model
1958 Skinner SRC summary of the SR and RC theories
1969 Kanfer SORKC behavior equation
1974 Schulte Formation of Kanfer's equation of behavior
1980 Bartling SOEVK: Introduction of rules and plans
1986 Kanfer Self-regulation as a no longer linear system model
1989 Caspar Differentiate the analysis of plans
1990 Schulte Problem analysis on different levels
1992 Bartling S-WP-OEVK: Extension to include perception processes
1996 Kanfer contextual behavior analysis on macro and micro level
2000 Batra, Wassmann, Buchkremer S-POE-RKC: Integrated model

See also


  • Gisela Bartling, Liz Echelmeyer, Margarita Engberding: Problem analysis in the therapeutic process. Practical Guide. 4th edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-17-014510-X . limited preview in Google Book search
  • Michael Borg-Laufs: Cross-disorder diagnostic system for child and adolescent psychotherapy (SDS-KJ). 2nd Edition. DGVT- Verlag, Tübingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-87159-899-9 .
  • Franz Caspar: Psychotherapeutic problem analysis. DGVT-Verlag, Tübingen 1996.
  • Martin Hautzinger: behavior and problem analysis. In: Behavioral Therapy Manual. 5th edition. Springer, Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-540-40678-6 , pp. 81-86.
  • Frederick H. Kanfer, George Saslow: Behavioral Analysis: An Alternative to Diagnostic Classification. In: Archives of General Psychiatry . 12 (6), 1965, pp. 529-538.
  • D. Schulte: Diagnostics in behavior therapy. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich 1974.
  • Hans-Ulrich Wittchen: Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy (textbook with online materials) . 2., revised. and exp. Edition. Springer, Heidelberg 2011, ISBN 978-3-642-13017-5 .
  • Thomas Heidenreich, Katrin Junghanns-Royack, Thomas Fydrich: Diagnostics in behavior therapy. CME training. doi: 10.1007 / s00278-008-0642-6

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Gerhard Stumm, Alfred Pritz: Dictionary of Psychotherapy . Springer-Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-211-99131-2 , pp. 756 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  2. Jürgen Hoyer, Sylvia Helbig, Jürgen Margraf: Diagnostics of anxiety disorders . Hogrefe Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-8409-1960-2 , pp. 101 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  3. ^ Hans Henning Studt, Ernst Richard Petzold: Psychotherapeutic medicine: Psychoanalysis - Psychosomatics - Psychotherapy; a guide for clinic and practice . Walter de Gruyter, 1999, ISBN 978-3-11-014498-7 , p. 50 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. a b Wolfgang Senf, Michael Broda: Practice of Psychotherapy: An integrative textbook . Georg Thieme Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-13-158545-5 , p. 293–294 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  5. FH Kanfer, Hans Reinecker, Dieter Schmelzer: Self-management therapy: A textbook for clinical practice . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-662-09851-6 , pp. 238 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  6. FH Kanfer, Hans Reinecker, Dieter Schmelzer: Self-management therapy: A textbook for clinical practice . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-662-09851-6 , pp. 250 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  7. Anil Batra, Reinhard Wassmann, Gerhard Buchkremer: Behavioral Therapy: Basics - Methods - Areas of Application . Georg Thieme Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-13-154974-7 , p. 54–55 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).