4. Goal-Directed Behaviors

Category 4 out of 12

Theoretical Construct: Motivational and Needs-Based Theories

Associated Category/Categories: Apathy Behaviors, Motor Behaviors, Importuning Behaviors


  • Goal Directed Thinking:
    • “I am going home today.”
    • “My wife is coming to pick me up.”
    • “I need to go to the bank.”
  • Goal Directed Activities:
    • Rummaging, rifling or emptying drawers.
    • Rearranging furniture / fixing items in milieu.
    • Stripping beds / pulling curtains
  • Intrusiveness, purposeful wandering

Purpose of the Behavior

  • Demonstrates heightened motivational drives resulting in:
    • Triggering needs of “belongingness.”
    • Activating motivational forces.
    • Propelling needs fulfillment.
  • Goal-Directed Cognition (GDC):
    • Heightened interest in environment.
    • Increased ability to detect deficiencies in environment / internal state.
    • Consistent, fixated cognitions.
  • Goal-Directed Activities (GDA):
    • Cognitions generated into congruent activities.
    • Functional motor activities (FMA) that are purposeful to the person.
      • Ex. Retired trade workers doing work-related tasks.
  • Stimulus Bound Activities:
    • Tied to overt / obvious stimuli.
    • Persistent behavior as long as stimuli is present.
    • Utilization behaviors that are specific to an overt stimulus.
  • Demonstrates need for extra staff to support “Busy Beaver” state and person’s needs, motives, and fulfillment pursuits.
    • Staff should provide alternative directions and remove triggers in environment.
    • Staff should not attempt to impede the person.
    • Staff should help person fulfill identified need.


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