Social Behavior Mapping - Connecting Behavior, Emotions and Consequences Across the Day
How does what’s happening around us influence our thoughts and feelings? Many people don’t intuitively understand how their 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 flowchart outlining the Social-Emotional Chain Reaction, our term describing that 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, how we feel about ourselves. Social Behavior Mapping makes the complicated process of how we affect each other transparent and concrete!
Social Behavior Maps encourage flexibility—use them to figure out how students have social judgments about others and how others have judgments about them.
This book presents a collection of over 50 Social Behavior Maps that are already filled out for common situations that students experience at school, at home, and in the community. Consider these “cheat sheets” for you when you’re helping a student fill out a blank map. This book is designed for parents and professionals to use with individuals of any age. We have found that for those under 3rd grade 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. When you are 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.
Check out this article for more information on Social Behavior Mapping.
Authors: Michelle Garcia Winner