Explore BrainMass

Behavior Modification Program

Can you please help me with this question?

I need to select a behavior that I wish to change in myself and design a basic behavior modification program to change this behavior.

1. Discuss the behavior to be changed and write a target behavior definition.
2. Choose the best program of behavior modification for your target behavior. In your discussion, include the rationale for your selection and the underlying theory.
3. Describe the procedures with which you will implement your behavior modification program; for example, shaping, behavior chaining, differential reinforcement, etc. In addition, discuss the issues of selecting appropriate and effective reinforcement and/or schedules of reinforcement (if applicable).
4. How will you measure your behavioral change (assess the effectiveness of your program)?

Solution Preview

1) Discuss the behavior to be changed, and a target behavior.

I suggest you find your own example, but of course, it's easier to explain things with an example of my own, so let's say that I've come to realize that I am shy about talking to people. I tend to avoid social interactions with strangers, looking away when I meet them. This is the behavior I wish to change. I want to be able to initiate some small talk between myself and strangers when I first meet them. That is my target behavior.

Notice that both the behavior and the target behavior are linked by a common theme: social interaction.

It's much harder to change a behavior from one thing to another thing that is completely unrelated. So, for example, I can't easily say that I will modify my behavior from avoiding talking to strangers to being able to drive a car. The training and modification of those two tasks are too unrelated. Lastly, notice that I'm also specific about the issue behavior and the target behavior: avoiding talking and initiating talking. The more specific you are, the easier it is to develop a strategy towards the target behavior. Just imagine if you stated your goal is: "I want to talk more". Well, in what context? When? With whom? Do I train you to talk to everyone more? Or just this person? Or your dog, perhaps?

2) Choose the best program of behavior modification

There are many "programs", which is why I had hoped you would be able to tell me which ones you've been taught. That said, the best behavior modification program depends on the subject. In general, we can refer to different forms of operant conditioning for choices in programs.

Operant conditioning refers to modification of behavior based on consequences of actions a subject elicits inside an environment. A rat presses a lever and therefore gets food. My dog rubs up against my leg and therefore gets her head scratched. Note that operant conditioning isn't only about rewards, but punishments as well: my dog pulls a piece of chicken from the table and gets sent to her crate (without the chicken).

In general, we split operant conditioning ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses behavior modification in approximately 1500 words.