Behavior change | Psychology homework help

 

PAPER ASSIGNMENT
CHANGING BEHAVIOR
Behavioral psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated that most people can modify their
own behavior through the application of operant principles. The text authors delineate
some of the mechanisms involved in self control, such as self reinforcement and stimulus
control. The following exercise, outlines steps (suggested by Anthony Grasha), that will
allow you to experience directly the often, powerful effects of behavior change and
modification. You will be designing a program for yourself in order to change a behavior
that you would like to either increase, decrease or eliminate entirely.
1.
Identify a habit or behavior that you would like to
change
, either by decreasing it or
increasing it.  
It could be a habit you want to eliminate like smoking, or a behavior
you want to increase, like studying more. Set a very specific goal to change that is
observable and measurable
.
a.
Don’t say “I want to get more exercise”; it’s too vague. You will need to
operationally define
“more exercise” and set a goal that is measurable and
observable; such as: “ I need to start jogging one mile every day”.
b.
Don’t say: “ I need to lose weight”; say “ I need to lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks.
c.
” Don’t say:  “I need to cut back on my smoking”, say: “ I need to cut my
cigarette smoking from one pack a day to half a pack a day for three
consecutive months”;
d.
Don’t say: “I need to spend more time studying”, state “ I need to study at
least 1 hour a day, 5 times a week”.
2.
Measure your Baseline
– How often do you currently engage in the behavior or habit
you want to change? In other words, if you are trying to cut back or quit smoking
how many cigarettes are you smoking per day now, before you start on a change
program?
3.
Analyze your “triggers”
or environments that make your habitual behavior more
likely to occur
.
In other words:
a.
What
settings, people, or times of day or week trigger or stimulate your bad
habit or behavior to occur? (e.g. smoking, eating or drinking too much);
Or,
b.
What setting, people or times of day or week tend to prevent you from
engaging in the behavior or habit you want to increase? (e.g. studying or
exercising more).
c.
Also look if you have paired or associated two stimuli (e.g. the smell of coffee
triggers your cigarette craving).
4.
After analyzing these triggers, describe how you would avoid them or change them.
In other words, how would you control your environment so as to optimize your
success? How will you gain control over the settings that either trigger the bad
habits or prevent you from building good habits.  Some people may smoke while
drinking coffee, so giving up coffee may help in changing the target behavior.
5.
Identify how you could use
classical conditioning
to change your behavior (eg. Pair a
noxious stimulus with a bad habit, or a pleasant sound or smell with a good habit
you want to build).
6.
Identify
operant conditioning
techniques such as:

  

PAPER ASSIGNMENT
CHANGING BEHAVIOR
Behavioral psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated that most people can modify their
own behavior through the application of operant principles. The text authors delineate
some of the mechanisms involved in self control, such as self reinforcement and stimulus
control. The following exercise, outlines steps (suggested by Anthony Grasha), that will
allow you to experience directly the often, powerful effects of behavior change and
modification. You will be designing a program for yourself in order to change a behavior
that you would like to either increase, decrease or eliminate entirely.
1.
Identify a habit or behavior that you would like to
change
, either by decreasing it or
increasing it.  
It could be a habit you want to eliminate like smoking, or a behavior
you want to increase, like studying more. Set a very specific goal to change that is
observable and measurable
.
a.
Don’t say “I want to get more exercise”; it’s too vague. You will need to
operationally define
“more exercise” and set a goal that is measurable and
observable; such as: “ I need to start jogging one mile every day”.
b.
Don’t say: “ I need to lose weight”; say “ I need to lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks.
c.
” Don’t say:  “I need to cut back on my smoking”, say: “ I need to cut my
cigarette smoking from one pack a day to half a pack a day for three
consecutive months”;
d.
Don’t say: “I need to spend more time studying”, state “ I need to study at
least 1 hour a day, 5 times a week”.
2.
Measure your Baseline
– How often do you currently engage in the behavior or habit
you want to change? In other words, if you are trying to cut back or quit smoking
how many cigarettes are you smoking per day now, before you start on a change
program?
3.
Analyze your “triggers”
or environments that make your habitual behavior more
likely to occur
.
In other words:
a.
What
settings, people, or times of day or week trigger or stimulate your bad
habit or behavior to occur? (e.g. smoking, eating or drinking too much);
Or,
b.
What setting, people or times of day or week tend to prevent you from
engaging in the behavior or habit you want to increase? (e.g. studying or
exercising more).
c.
Also look if you have paired or associated two stimuli (e.g. the smell of coffee
triggers your cigarette craving).
4.
After analyzing these triggers, describe how you would avoid them or change them.
In other words, how would you control your environment so as to optimize your
success? How will you gain control over the settings that either trigger the bad
habits or prevent you from building good habits.  Some people may smoke while
drinking coffee, so giving up coffee may help in changing the target behavior.
5.
Identify how you could use
classical conditioning
to change your behavior (eg. Pair a
noxious stimulus with a bad habit, or a pleasant sound or smell with a good habit
you want to build).
6.
Identify
operant conditioning
techniques such as:

  

a.

positive reinforcers or rewards for yourself (e.g. reading a favorite magazine, 

telephoning a friend, taking a hot bath) 

b.

Identify any possible negative reinforcers, such as avoiding something 

unpleasant (eg. Avoiding a bad grade or health problems).  Select one or 

more rewards that are likely to influence the behavior you want to change 

and will motivate you. 

c.

Can you think of any 

mild

aversives or punishment for yourself? 

7.

Identify how you would use 

observational learning or modeling

to change your 

behavior:

a.

What models can you select that you can observe, learn from or imitate to 

some degree? 

b.

Describe the kind of social support you would enlist. Modifying behavior can 

be difficult and so it often helps to have a support group or someone to talk 

to who can keep you honest and committed to your plan and possibly 

motivate you and help you meet your goals. For example, if you are starting a

new workout plan have a friend join you if possible or find a workout 

partner.

8.

Evaluate your results:

a.

Describe how you will monitor and record your progress toward changing 

the behavior. Draw a chart that demonstrates what you will be recording.

b.

For a short time, try your proposed plan on yourself to test it. Of all the 

possible techniques you have described in your plan which one do you think 

will be most effective?

c.

Describe any success or failure. What would you attribute them to and how 

would you change the plan for the future?

This is about a five page paper in APA style.

In accordance to APA style, please include a separate & additional title page with 

the assignment title, your name, date, and class. Make sure you also include a 

properly documented Reference page. See the link I provided in the content section 

of your course.

Don’t forget spelling and grammar count! It should also flow logically and clearly.

Your paper should thoroughly cover all of these questions, clearly outlining the steps you take to change behavior