Social Behavior Mapping: Connecting Behavior, Emotions and Consequences Across the Day

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  • Ages: 8+
  • Pages: 108
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780979292200
  • Published: 2007


Note: This book is also available in Spanish!

The Social Behavior Mapping Framework

What’s happening around us influences our thoughts and feelings! Many people don’t intuitively understand how their social behavior affects the thoughts and feelings of others. Social Behavior Mapping, one of the most popular treatment frameworks within the Social Thinking Methodology, is a visual support showing the link between a person’s behavior and the consequences they experience. It outlines a fundamental social concept: how we act in a specific situation affects how others feel, how we make others feel affects how they treat us, and how we are treated affects how we feel about others and, ultimately, about ourselves.

Many of our students are able to see expected and unexpected behaviors in others but struggle with recognizing and understanding how their own behaviors affect others. Social Behavior Maps help students figure out that they have social judgments about others and that others have judgments about them. Social Behavior Mapping makes the complicated process of how we affect each other visual and concrete!

The Social Behavior Mapping Book

This book presents a collection of over 50 Social Behavior Maps that are already filled out for common situations that individuals experience at school, at home, and in the community. Consider these “cheat sheets” when you’re helping someone fill out a blank map. The book also includes a blank map template that can be photocopied and used again and again. This book is designed for parents and professionals to use with individuals of any age. We have found that for those under 8 years old it is helpful to fill out the maps with pictures or graphics instead of written words.

How to Complete a Social Behavior Map

Social Behavior Maps help students dissect a situation—either before it’s taken place so they can better plan, or afterward so they can explore perspectives and bring to light why everyone acted as they did. Behavior is labeled expected, which gives others neutral to positive thoughts and feelings, or unexpected, which results in others having uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Using these terms enables us to talk about expectations without judgement (inappropriate is a negative term; unexpected isn’t) and helps students develop self-awareness and figure out the hidden rules of a situation. Make sure the student understands these terms before filling out a map.

Start by having the student identify a situation and a few unexpected behaviors resulting from that situation, then have him or her figure out the corresponding expected behaviors they are capable of. Next, complete the Expected side of the map (the side with the smiley face), and move progressively through the next sections. Have the student brainstorm behaviors, feelings, and consequences in each column and step in to guide their thinking when necessary. Then, repeat on the Unexpected side of the map. When you’re done, you’ll have a clear map to help your student understand the Social-Emotional Chain Reaction tied to the expected and unexpected behaviors for a given situation—and a teaching tool to show how each behavior predicts how others will think or feel. Learn more teaching tips and discover the official 10 steps to teaching social behavior mapping in the video below.

10 Steps to Teaching Social Behavior Mapping with Fidelity

Sit back and learn from Dr. Pam Crooke as she teaches best practices for working through a Social Behavior Map to enhance learning and improve fidelity. 

Note: The maps in the Social Behavior Mapping book have NOT been updated with the 10-step guidelines presented in this video. Therefore, we created this downloadable handout to help you remember the guidelines as you teach Social Behavior Mapping. Enjoy!

Check out this article for more information on Social Behavior Mapping.

Recommended Teaching & Learning Pathway

Social Behavior Mapping is more powerful when taught with other materials. Teaching social concepts should follow a natural sequence, from simple to complex, to support student learning. The following Teaching & Learning Pathway outlines the recommended teaching sequence by age group. As with our products, this pathway is relevant to clinicians, educators, parents—anyone helping a person develop their social competencies.

Click Your Age Group of Interest
  • Core Methodology: All Ages
  • Ages 4-10
  • Ages 10-18

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