Six Funny Videos that Illustrate Behavioral Principles

By Emily Mandel, M.S., BCBA, LABA

bSci21 Contributing Writer

The following are six excellent videos that demonstrate various behavioral principles, from reinforcement to counterconditioning. So the next time you are teaching a class or giving a training, keep these in mind to keep listeners engaged.


This parody video is about a hypothetical phone app that plays a Nickelback song every time you try to look at your ex’s Facebook profile. This is an example of positive punishment, because the presentation of the aversive stimulus (Nickelback) following the behavior of looking at your ex’s profile results in a decrease in that behavior. The end of the video is also an example of counterconditioning, as the ex-boyfriend has been paired with Nickelback so many times that he is now an aversive stimulus.

Big Bang Theory

In this video, Sheldon experiences unpleasant respondent behaviors (more mentalistically, anxiety) that revolve around not getting “closure.” Amy helps Sheldon go through a respondent extinction procedure (aka exposure therapy) to help him overcome it.

Ed, Edd n Eddy

In this video, Double D uses positive punishment (pain) to decrease his friends’ impolite behaviors. After a while, every time Double D raises his hand (signaling impending pain), Ed stops engaging in the problem behavior, making the raised hand a CMO-R.

Bookworm Baby

In this video, the baby cries every time a book is finished. The reader positively reinforces the crying behavior by restarting the book every time the baby cries. On the flip side, the woman’s behavior of reading is being negatively reinforced, as starting the book over removes the aversive stimulus of the baby’s cries.

Big Daddy

This video depicts a good deal of modeling an imitation in social learning, as Adam Sandler’s character teaches his son various behaviors (unfortunately both good and bad).

Cat Doing Tricks

This video demonstrates the use of positive reinforcement in teaching a cat to give its owner its paws when asked. The person gives the cat a treat each time the cat presents its paws, resulting in the cat more frequently giving its paws as the video progresses.


Emily Mandel, M.S., BCBA, LABA, is a behavior clinician in the Greater Denver Area who works with children with a range of developmental and social-emotional disabilities. She has over 4 years of experience delivering therapeutic services both in-home and in school settings. Though she is predominantly focused on the utilization of Applied Behavior Analysis in treating individuals with disabilities, Emily enjoys examining topics such as religion, medicine, politics, and social constructs, through a behavioral lens. You can contact her at [email protected].

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