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Question:

Write a Report on Behaviour Modification.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Behaviors arise from long period practiced habits. Continued habits lead to the lack of self-discipline. For this reason, behavioral modification is necessary to iron out the unproductive habits. Behavioral change is achieved through the application of various techniques that encourage the habit or renders punishment for unwanted habits. Behavioral modification relies on the concept of conditioning. The various techniques applied in modifying behavior include positive and negative reinforcement, punishment flooding, systematic desensitization, aversion therapy and desensitization.

The application of these techniques relies on continued practice to achieve the desired outcome which changes of behavior as a result of change in habits

The term behavior modification was first cited in the article Provisional Laws of Acquired Behavior written by Edward Thorndike in 1911. In the article, he explains the term as a psychological technique of adaptive behavior through the emphasis on the desired habits and the decrease of undesired behavior through punishment or extinction. However, in recent years, punishment has received a lot of criticism with other arguing that it brings about emotional disorders. E.g. in clinical settings that deal with behavior modification, it is agonist the policy to use spray water bottle as a mode of punishment on patients. Behavior modification runs on the following, reinforcement, punishment, extinction, fading and chaining.

According to researcher who undertook a study on children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), children who had been taken through behavioral modification process, had few felony arrests compared to the children in medication group who had twice the number of felonies("What Is Behavior Modification? Definition, Techniques & Examples - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com", 2017).

In this report, we will be dealing with a male participant aged twenty-five years old who currently works with a government ministry. The participant is also engaged in a relationship that is about eight months old.

The participant in the behavioral program has a habit of using the laptop until late hours in the night and this has affected the time at which he wakes up in the morning.

The consequences of this behavior have led to strained relationships, poor eating habit as well as poor health, work indiscipline and time mismanagement. The reason as to why the participant uses the laptop until late is the fact that he enjoys the privilege of free WI-FI connection at his apartment (Behavior modification, 2016).

Though it is in order to use the laptop to surf the internet, the consequences of this habit are undesirable and need to be eliminated. For this reason, a behavioral modification program is laid down to help the participant.

The program will be targeting to change the behavior of the participant such that he is able to wake up at seven in the morning or earlier, by decreasing the amount of time spent on the laptop in the evening.

The table below shows the occurrence of the behavior that the participant exhibits.

Days

Sleep time

Wake time

Day 1

02:23

07:45

Day 2

03:00

07:50

Day 3

01.02

07:45

Day 4

01:56

07:47

Day 5

12:00

07:40

Day 6

03:20

09:54

Day 7

02:30

07:40

 

The participant arrives home at around eight in the evening, takes a shower, prepares supper and by nine thirty he is already surfing the internet. The participant shuts down the laptop only when he realizes that it is already late. By this time, he has washed the dishes, forgot to call his girlfriend, and has yet to arrange the clothes to be worn for work in the morning.

Treatment plan

The plan will aim at reducing the internet addiction by the participant, this kind of procedure is referred to as control antecedent, in order to direct the few remaining hours to more productive activities. It is well known that the WIFI cannot be turned off for the sake of the participant. Therefore, extinction will not be one of the manipulative techniques applied.

 


The manipulative technique to be applied will include the token economy where each hour saved through the avoidance of the internet in the evening can be redeemed in the morning by waking up early before seven in the morning. Surfing the internet will be used as the bait or condition that will motivate the participant as it is his addiction. This will not only save time but also help to retain what he has learned on the internet, as the mind is still fresh(KAPLAN, 2017).

After the participant arrives at home, takes a shower, and prepares supper, he proceeds to iron his clothes, call the girlfriend, and do the dishes. By eleven-thirty, he is already in bed. The participant ought to wake up at five thirty in the morning, take a shower, prepare breakfast and six o’clock seat him surfing the internet while having breakfast.

At seven o’clock in the morning, he starts to prepare for work and be leaving the house by seven thirty.

The participant will have a schedule as shown below.

Participant Activity Schedule

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Arriving at home, take shower, prepare supper

9:30 pm to 11:30 pm

Iron the clothes, call the girlfriend and do the dishes

11:30 pm to 5:30 am

sleep

5:30 am to 6:00 am

Take shower, prepare breakfast

6:00am to 7:00am

Surfing the internet

7:00am to 7:30am

Prepare for work

NB: the schedule is not as such ridged as the participant may choose to accomplish the tasks with less time in order to increase the number of tokens in terms of hours that rare latter redeemed in the morning hours available for surfing the internet.

The above treatment program is set to run for twenty-one days that is three weeks consecutively. For the first one week, the results were as follows.

Days

Sleep time

Wake time

Day 1

11:23

06:30

Day 2

11:00

05:46

Day 3

11.32

05:30

Day 4

11:25

05:30

Day 5

11:59

05:54

Day 6

11:30

05:35

Day 7

11:30

05:30

 

The graph above shows that the implementation of the treatment is slowly bearing fruits as the participant is mindful of time and is able to accomplish all the set-out tasks while at the same time satisfying his addiction.

Thinning and Monitoring Phase

Thinning is set to take place after the third week where the participant will be deprived the access to the internet for four days and in its place, morning run will be introduced. This will enable to reinforce the self-control behavior that is not reliable on redeeming the tokens. At this point, all the controls removed and the participant is acting on his own. The aim of introducing the morning run is because he hates exercise, this will be a resourceful point of testing self-control as well as improve his health (Redd, Andersen & Porterfield, 2009).

Days

Sleep time

Wake time

Day 1

11:30

05:30

Day 2

11:00

05:40

Day 3

11.00

05:30

Day 4

11:25

05:30

Day 5

11:30

05:04

Day 6

11:30

05:10

Day 7

11:30

05:10

 

According to the graph above the participant showed improved outcomes after the thinning period such that he managed to accomplish tasks much earlier as well as wake up early. The improved results can be attributed to improved health because of morning run (Sudak, 2008).

Conclusion:

Behavioral modification is essential in enhancing productive habits as well as eliminating old habits, therefore the participant should continue with the newly adopted schedule especially the one used during thinning phase as it is more productive and helps accomplish allot.

 

References:

Behavior Modification. (2016). Journal Of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 7(4), 278. doi:10.1097/00004703-198608000-00023

Discriminative Stimulus definition | Psychology Glossary | alleydog.com. (2017). Alleydog.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017, from https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Discriminative%20Stimulus

Kaplan, J. (2017). BEYOND BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION (1st ed.). [S.l.]: PRO-ED.

Redd, W., Andersen, B., & Porterfield, A. (2009). Behavior modification (1st ed.). New York: Random House.

Sudak, D. (2008). Training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Psychiatry Residency: An Overview for Educators. Behavior Modification, 33(1), 124-137. doi:10.1177/1059601108322626

What Is Behavior Modification? - Definition, Techniques & Examples - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com. (2017). Study.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017, from https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-behavior-modification-definition-techniques-examples.html

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