Behavior Change – Effectiveness of the Program, Essay Example

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Essay

Implementing change through the Behavior Modification Theory proved to be quite effective. First and foremost, I researched how the theory worked and found several helpful tips about implementing it for changing my own behavior. As noted by Olive, identification and a baseline must occur before a plan of action can be implemented (2010). This was conducted through the monitoring of time spent on the cell phone. This allowed me to make a plan and identify how much time was actually being spent on the phone. By being able to track my own behavior it allowed me to identify the behavior and in this case the quantity of time that needed to be changed or reduced. Behavior modification also requires an individual to set a goal. I did set a goal of reducing the time spent on my cell phone by one hour per day. By setting this goal, I actually entered into a behavior modification contract with myself, which assisted with accountability. While it seems ironic that a person would enter into a contract with themselves, I found this quite helpful. Not only was I able to see what I needed to do, but it was placed in measurable steps that allowed me to identify progress or short comings throughout the process.

The positive reinforcement of the Behavior Modification Theory was the most effective with this particular goal. I found that the positives of feeling better and getting more rest played a large role in my ability to change the amount of time that I was spending on the cell phone. Of course the negative reinforcement was the deviation from my goal and feeling poorly the next day.

I also found that implementing a token economy helped me stay focused in saving money to make purchases of those things that I wanted. It seems easier to change a behavior when there is something to look forward to and the goal is clearly identified, which I feel assisted me in achieving success.

One noted limitation is the fact that there was not a great deal of observable positives for health other than not feeling tired throughout the day. Through research I found that losing sleep can interfere with a person’s health, but that is a long term issue that I was not able to see at this time. According to Olive, reinforcement is most effective when it is more immediate rather than a long term, behavior change. While this did not deter or hinder the process, it can be seen that it could cause difficulty in other behavioral changes. There were also some periods of frustration based on the fact that there was not a clear cut or obvious benefit from reducing the time spent on my cell phone. This was especially true when I wanted to spend more time on the phone or had gone over my desired goal. I would think to myself, “it doesn’t matter, I have gone this long and what does it really hurt?” That is self sabotaging which is a clear problem with behavior and the reason that many people are unable to make change.

The ability to understand that the behavior change was for my own good and that something positive would come from a reduction in cell phone usage is what made this most effective for me. Taking into consideration the amount of sleep that I got rather than being on the

Cell phone did help improve my attitude and also my ability to study. I found myself more alert at work and able to engage in homework or studying for tests. I was not as tired or sleepy during the day and opted for homework or socialization rather than napping, which was an added benefit to this goal.

Documented Progress

Week Average Time Personal Reaction
Week One (Baseline) 2 hours per day Frustrated that there is so much time spent on the cell phone. Realized that not only was this behavior taking time from my daily activities, but also reducing the amount of sleep and has the potential to interfere with my health.
Week Two –

Intervention Began

2 hours per day Excited that I have made a goal and am prepared to research needs and how to go about engaging in positive changes. Implemented a behavioral log and plan of identifying through the A-B-C method. Learned more about what caused me to spend more or less time on the phone.
Week Three 1.5 hours per day Frustrated because there were days that I went over my goal, however do not plan on giving up or quitting. Realized that there are certain things that happen that lead me to spend more time on the phone, which can be avoided in order to achieve the overall goal.
Week Four 1.75 hours per day Frustrated with myself for exceeding my goal, especially since it was more than I averaged last week. I have put a plan of action in place to ensure that I get my “shopping” reward at the end, which has given me a new lease on my goal.
Week Five –

Intervention Cessation

1.0 hours per day Goal was reached this week and the intervention has been stopped. Daily log will continue to ensure that week 6 is also in compliance. Found pride in achieving my goal of reducing phone usage by one hour per day.
Week Six 1.0 hours per day Proud that I completed my goal and also excited that I was able to facilitate my own plan toward success.

Personal Reaction

Through this entire process there were a number of things learned. I learned more about behavior modification and the process that is most effective. While it was clear that spending too much time on the cell phone could interfere with daily schedules and times, it wasn’t until I began researching that I realized the extent of the impact. While it seemed like common sense to identify the problem and what was causing the problem, it was actually more complicated than I expected. During the baseline week, not only did I note how much time was being spent, but also what was occurring before long periods of time on the cell phone. This was a part of the A-B-C method, which I became more comfortable and knowledgeable about.

The most important thing that I took away from this entire experience is knowing that I am able to implement a plan of change. Through life there will be many actions and behaviors that will likely need to be changed for my own good. Participating in this class and experiment, gave me the knowledge to know how to go about making positive changes. I now understand how to identify behavior, track it and research to find out the consequences of the behavior. It not only gives a person an increased self esteem, when achieving a goal, but also makes other behaviors easier to change. When you come to the realization that most any behavior can be changed, it is somewhat liberating.

In conclusion, I feel this project was very worthwhile and am glad that I participated. In the beginning I was somewhat skeptical about changing a behavior and felt that I would most likely fail. This was especially true about my cell phone usage, because I had come to rely on the phone for just about everything. Through this project, I found success in changing my behavior. I now have an improved understanding of both positive and negative reinforcement, as well as how people change in general. Not only is that information beneficial to me, but also will assist me in helping others change. Having that knowledge allows me to become a better person, one behavior at a time. My sleep habits have improved and I am actually socializing more in person with friends and family rather than by cell phone. Along with not being as tired, my relationships seem more personal and not only identified by a simple text or phone call. I feel better, have an improved attitude and believe that any behavior can be changed through identification, acknowledgment and finding a system of reward for the desired behavior.

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