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Behavior Change

Behavior Change
Order Description
Written report
This experiential learning activity will give you an opportunity to apply basic psychological principles to learn more about your own behavior. The project will be conducted over a 9 week period. By week 3, you will choose a behavior that you would like to change and come up with a behavior change plan. In weeks 4-10, you will work on changing that behavior and record your progress. In weeks 11-13, you will reflect, analyze, and interpret your behavior change and outcomes. A 5 page write-up (double spaced) of this behavior change activity covering the points described below is due the week of presentations at the beginning of the class period.
Here are the steps:
1. Select a behavior that you would like to change, one that you’d like to increase or decrease or modify in some way (Examples: eating junk or high-fat foods, chewing gum, smoking, getting angry, studying, exercising, spending money, worrying, etc).
2. Define your specific goal, consider the benefits and barriers, and choose a behavior modification plan.
3. Design a method of tracking your daily progress. This could be a tallying form, a data table, etc. This device should allow you to record the frequency and/or duration of your behavior on a daily basis. (if your behavior is something that is done several times a day, you might want to create a data tracking device that you can carry along with you).
4. Record your behavior, following the procedures you have developed, throughout the semester.
Write a 5 page report that includes the following points and be sure to include theories and concepts we covered during class in addition to these sections.
Goal-Setting and Monitoring
• What behavior did you try to change? What was your precise goal? (for example, to increase/decrease the frequency and or duration)
• What were the benefits that you perceived to changing your behavior? In other words, why did you want to change your behavior?
• How did you keep track of (record) your daily progress? Very briefly describe the type of tallying sheet (or recording device) that you used.
• Where do you think your goal would fall on Maslow’s hierarchy of motives and why? What types of counter-motives made it difficult for you to accomplish your goal (example; hunger, pleasure, etc.) Where would these counter-motives fall on Maslow’s hierarchy?
• Did you feel more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to change this behavior and why?
• Did your goal involve the behavioral activation system (BAS) or the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and why? Was your goal more approach- or avoidance-oriented and why?
• Do you think that your motives contributed to your outcome? How and why?
• How did you go about trying to change your behavior? Did you use any of the behavior learning strategies that we discussed in class such as classical or operant conditioning?
• How did you use these strategies? Did they work or not?
Emotions, Barriers, and Social Support
• What types of emotions did you feel when trying to change your behavior? How did you feel along the way and how were these emotions related to the amount of effort you invested in trying to change your behavior?
• What were some of the barriers that you encountered while trying the change the behavior? Did you expect these barriers when you started or did they surprise you along the way? What did you do to overcome these barriers?
• Did you enlist the help of family and friends in trying to change your behavior? Was this helpful or harmful?
• Did you reach your goal or not? How do you feel about the outcome? What could you do differently in the future to be even more successful at changing your behavior?
Outline of written report
1) Introduction
a. Description of topic
b. Explanation of why this is an important area of study
c. Reason for picking this area to write about
d. Previous research on topic (Use concepts in your book and relate it to your topic. Give a brief description of the concept)
e. Citations of all work mentioned in the paper (i.e. book)
f. Statement of hypothesis
2) Methods section
a. Description of process in reaching your goal (recording behavior, keeping track, etc)
b. Description of materials used (tally sheet? recording device?)
3) Results
4) Dicussion
a. Goal-setting & Monitoring
b. Motivation
c. Learning
d. Emotions, barriers, and social support
e. Conclusion paragraph (see assignment sheet)
f. Applications (how will these results be useful to individuals and society as a whole?)
5) References
a. APA style
b. Citations in the body of paper should appear in the reference section

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