Behavior Analysis Project


DUE:  November 22nd

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          An excellent way for students to gain a greater appreciation for learning concepts is to put what they’ve learned to practical use.  For this assignment you are to apply principles of the scientific method and operant conditioning to modify/ change an existing behavior.


  1. Identify a target behavior to be modified, either an undesirable behavior that you would like to eliminate or a desirable behavior that you would like to strengthen. Specify the problem and observe events.  By taking a close look at many aspects of your own behavior—such as study habits, sporting skills, health habits, or personal-interaction skills—you should have no trouble selecting a behavior you would like to change.  Share a little of this process in your reflection.  Once you have identified a target behavior, monitor that behavior for a few days to generate a plausible explanation or hypothesis for why the problem exists.  Report your observations and describe why you want to change the behavior, what benefits will the change bring?  How will it improve your life or the lives of those around you (remember the goals of science)?


  1. Next, you will carefully design a program for modifying the behavior. This can be any means of control or systematic approach that you believe will help.  If you utilize reinforcement make sure to clearly label what type of reinforcement (primary or secondary, positive or negative) and explain.  If you utilize punishment make sure to clearly label what type of punishment (primary or secondary, positive or negative) and explainMention and specify any other terms or concepts of importance (schedules of reinforcement for example).  Describe your plan and implement your program for the period of one week.


  1. Write up an honest report of the results and reflection on the exercise. To what degree was the program successful?  You are to use Chapter 5 material on conditioning principles to explain the successes and/or failures of your program.  In other words, plausible explanations for success or failure should be highlighted.


  1. Lastly, given what you learn in the course about positive and negative reinforcers, punishment, shaping, schedules of reinforcement, modeling, extinction, stimulus discrimination or gernarlization, primary and secondary reinforcers, the problems with punishment, etc. reflect upon your target behavior and modification program. How might you improve upon your plan using these principles?  How might you use this knowledge to maintain your behavioral change or improve your behaviors (your target behavior or others) in the future?


Paper should be typed, in APA format, double spaced, 12 pt. font, and approximately 4-7 pages in length.  Utilize proper writing organization and structure.  Be sure to review grading rubric and use the Academic Skills Center for assistance (also worth 5 points extra credit).




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