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December 4, 2023

Behavior Modification – Section A

Behavior Modification – Section A

This paper is designed with 2 objectives in mind. First, I want you to be personally invested in the topic by choosing a behavior change you are invested in. This should be a behavior that you would like to change in yourself – either a behavioral deficit or behavioral excess. Second, I would like you to research the topic and see what behavior modification attempts have been studied in the chosen area and the outcomes of such approaches. Ideally I would like for you to leave this class with a practical approach to managing a personal behavior you would like to modify, while also having a strong understanding of the field of behavior modification itself. Thus, a blend of theory and practice.

Behavior Modification - Section A


  1. (a)Begin be clearing describing a target behavior you would like to adjust/modify/change/eradicate/increase. Operationally define your target behavior. Be as specific as possible because you are going to monitor this behavior. For example, I would like to decrease my sugary food intake to 3 times per week. Sugary foods include, but are not limited to: sodas and fruit juices, dessert-foods (e.g., cake, ice-cream, pie), processed snacks (e.g., donuts, cookies, chocolate bars). Try to be expansive and inclusive in your operational definition of anything that would fall under, or be descriptive of, your target behavior. The more detail provided the better.

(b)Then, explain why you currently find your target behavior to be an issue you would like to focus on. What problem(s)/challenge is the behavior causing you at present? [minimum 2 detailed paragraphs in length]

Behavior Modification – Section A

  1. (a)For 2 weeks (Monday through Sunday for 14 days) you are going to monitor your target behavior and record each and every time it occurs or doesn’t occur. So, if you were focusing on nail-biting, you would keep a daily tally of every time you catch yourself biting your nails. [You can choose whatever consecutive 2 week window suits your schedule.]

(b)I would like you to quantify your behavior in terms of frequency and duration. If you were monitoring attending the gym you would track how many times you attended across the 14 days, what you did while at the gym, and how long you worked out at the gym. Again, the goal is to get a detailed baseline of the behavior as it is currently occurring.

(c)Summarize your findings over the 2 week period (see [b]). [all charts, quantitative data, and detailed summary paragraph are to be included]

Behavior Modification – Section A

  1. After recording your two weeks of data tracking, you want to address the following questions: – where does the behavior takes place; who is around when the behavior does or does not occur? – what reasons did you find for engaging, or not engaging, in the target behavior over the past two weeks? – what were the antecedents (i.e., what happened right before the failure to perform the target behavior or that caused you to perform the target behavior? For example, if the behavior was vaping which you want to stop, what happened right before you decided to vape or not vape that is related to your choice to engage or not engage in the behavior? – what was the consequence of engaging or not engaging in the target behavior? (e.g., emotional reactions and accompanying thoughts you experienced at the time?) – any other observations or insights gleaned from your tracking efforts?

Behavior Modification – Section A

  1. Given the observations you’ve stated above in part 3, I would like you to ask yourself what you think is the biggest hurdle to your own self-control. Look back at the lecture notes for Chapter 25 at the beginning where I provide a bullet-point list of causes for issues with self-control. What do you feel is the biggest reason impacting why you are putting off (and have been putting off) engaging in the desired target behavior currently in your life? Or, why you can’t let go of a habit you really want to change. Or why can’t you start a new behavior you really want to adopt? Discuss. [minimum 2-3 paragraphs] Use APA referencing style.