Behavioral Modification Directions
Why do we do the things we do? This question is at the heart of the nature vs. nurture debate. Some behaviors stem from natural or biological origins, while others are learned (nurture). Still other behaviors are a combination of both. Most of the time, we don’t even think about the origins of our behavior; we just do them. So, for example, if someone is battling an addiction to smoking, is it just a matter of changing a behavior or does the biological aspect have to be addressed as well? How difficult can it be to change a potentially life-long habit like smoking? That is what this assignment is going to be all about.
Object: This assignment will help us understand how difficult it is to give up a behavior.
What behavior? All of us have a behavior that we do on a regular basis and we don’t even think about it. Examples of these behaviors could include swearing, smoking, checking Facebook, drinking, cell phones, chocolate, caffeine, nail biting…the list goes on. Notice that not all of these things are necessarily bad for us, but they may have become behaviors that we feel we cannot do without.
Here is your task:
1) Determine the behavior that you would like to attempt “doing without” and then give up that behavior for 3 days. This does not have to be a permanent behavioral change, but if it is a change that you would really like to make, this would be a good starting point.
2) At the end of each day of the modification (or the morning of the next day) make a one paragraph journal entry detailing how deleting the behavior from your life impacted your day. Paragraph needs to be at least 5 sentences. Grammar and spelling count.
3) After the 3 days are up, write a 4 to 5 paragraph summary of your experience. Again paragraphs must be at least 5 sentences in length and address the following questions:
a. Why did you choose this behavior?
b. How did you feel giving up this behavior? Did you notice any personal changes?
c. Did you replace your behavior with something else? For example, if you stopped chewing your nails did you replace it with chewing gum instead?
d. How did other people react to your change? Were they supportive, critical, or indifferent? How did their feedback influence you? Did it encourage you to continue with the behavior modification?
e. What was most difficult about giving this behavior?
f. How does what you experienced relate to class concepts including, but not limited to nature/nurture, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory?