Understanding human behavior entirely has been challenging, and therefore, it requires incorporation of various variables that affect human behavior either directly or indirectly (Baum, 2017). Impulsive behavior is usually an erratic and poorly controlled behavior in humans. This paper, therefore, discusses the impulsive human behavior, discriminative stimuli, positive reinforces, and how the behavior can be supported socially.
For a while now I have realized the frequency of occurrence of my impulsivity. I usually attempt tasks and assignments before understanding the instructions and the direction of the question fully. Impulsive behavior is an action taken or initiated before putting into consideration the outcome, costs, consequences and result of the action (Sharma et al., 2004). Therefore, I have decided to make it a habit of reading the instructions keenly before undertaking any task.
Baseline measurement of my impulsivity
Recently, I have noticed how remorseful I become when any of my actions lead to a mishap or an error. Many are the times I call out in class with the wrong answer as well as experience difficulties in organizing my materials in an orderly manner. Individuals showing impulsive behavior usually cause a lot of harm to themselves, friends, and their family (Bridge et al., 2015). For the past few days, my actions have made me get into unintended trouble with my teachers and colleagues, hence, need to undertake measures to improve my behavior.
A discriminative stimulus usually increases the chances of a response occurring. It signals the behavior-consequence relationship. Quick questions normally disorganize me, and I find myself making hasty decisions and thereby answering wrongly. To overcome this, I have decided to take my time before answering any question directed to me. I thereby write them down and analyze all possible outcomes to overcome forgetfulness and hence give the best answer.
Positive reinforcers are events that can trigger the occurrence or increase the probability of the occurrence of the behavior (Clark, 2017). Social activities such as games increase the likelihood of the impulsive behavior occurring. Positive reinforcement such as teasing, jeering, and laughing accelerate the manner in which am likely to respond. Therefore, to avoid becoming aggressive, before engaging in any social function, I analyze the situation keenly and think before I act. I also, ask my friends to be patient with me in case I unconsciously make a mistake.
Progress towards changing the behavior
Reading instructions keenly and analyzing of the situation before answering or engaging in a task, has seen me improve my behavior bit by bit. Now I don’t make same silly mistakes as I used to do before. Though I still find myself making hasty decisions at times, I have made a significant effort in giving out the correct answers. Also, have been able to control my remorsefulness and aggressiveness especially in the presence of discriminative stimuli and positive reinforcers.
Simple self-monitoring in changing the behavior
Identification of the behavior one expresses and understanding its manifestation, is key in changing the behavior for the betterment of oneself. Personally, I have analyzed my behavior, and I can confidently say that self-assessment and monitoring helps in changing an impulsive behavior. It’s not easy to change behavior, however, with discipline and following a reinforcement schedule, it’s possible to change the behavior with time and eventually achieve your target.
Social support intervention
Impulsive control can be learned and adopted, but it requires patience. Therefore, need for social support is vital to ensuring individuals control themselves by teaching them on various impulsive control techniques. My social support intervention helped me immensely as they taught me on various social skills such as self-control, relaxation techniques, and reinforcement of alternative behaviors (Hamilton et al., 2014).
The most effective technique
Though there were various social skills taught by my support team, self-discipline played a vital role in improving my behavior. It requires discipline to stick to your reinforcement schedule as well as hold on to your decisions and be consistent. Through self-discipline, I have been able to make a habit of reading instructions keenly before undertaking any task.
Problems encountered during self-regulation process
Changing one’s behavior is not an easy task. After resulting in taking time in analyzing a question or task, I became too slow in answering questions, and therefore, all my colleagues would hand over their tasks before me. I received criticism sometimes which made me lose temper and engage in violent activities. Exercising self-discipline and self-control also is challenging. However, despite the challenges being consistent helped me through my success journey of my behavior change.
Social support team
My greatest social support team was my friends, teachers, and family. They were patient with me even when I acted harshly without thinking. They taught me waiting skills and gave me shorter and smaller tasks one after another. Though these, they encouraged me in bettering my behavior.
Impulsivity usually places an individual at a higher risk of adverse actions (Brodsky et al., 2001). However, through social support, self-assessment, self-regulation, and self-monitoring, it is possible to be successful in changing an impulsive behavior.
Baum, W. M. (2017). Understanding behaviorism: Behavior, culture, and evolution. John Wiley & Sons.
Bridge, J. A., Reynolds, B., McBee-Strayer, S. M., Sheftall, A. H., Ackerman, J., Stevens, J., ... & Brent, D. A. (2015). Impulsive aggression, delay discounting, and adolescent suicide attempts: effects of current psychotropic medication use and family history of suicidal behavior. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, 25(2), 114-123.
Brodsky, B. S., Oquendo, M., Ellis, S. P., Haas, G. L., Malone, K. M., & Mann, J. J. (2001). The relationship of childhood abuse to impulsivity and suicidal behavior in adults with major depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(11), 1871-1877.
Clark, R. (2017). Psychology 152 01 Introduction to Behavioral Psychology.
Hamilton, K. R., Sinha, R., & Potenza, M. N. (2014). Self-reported impulsivity, but not behavioral approach or inhibition, mediates the relationship between stress and self-control. Addictive behaviors, 39(11), 1557-1564.
Sharma, L., Markon, K. E., & Clark, L. A. (2014). Toward a theory of distinct types of “impulsive” behaviors: A meta-analysis of self-report and behavioral measures.