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Chapter 26

PSYB45H3 Chapter 26: PSYB45 Chapter 26

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Jessica Dere

PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello PSYB45 Chapter 26: Helping an Individual to Develop Self- Control Causes of Self-Control Problems  One type of self-control problems consists of behavioural excesses o Immediate reinforcers vs. delayed punishers for a behaviour  If a behaviour leads to immediate reinforcers but delayed punishers, the immediate reinforcers often win out  Many self-control problems stem from this fact o Immediate reinforcers vs. cumulatively significant punishers for a behaviour  The immediate reinforcement for consumption of harmful substances (ex. Alcohol, cigarettes) wins out over the unnoticeable immediate negative effects that are only cumulatively significant o Immediate reinforcers for problem behaviour vs. delayed reinforcers for alternative desirable behaviour  For self-control problems involving a choice between two alternative behaviours, both with positive outcomes, the one that produces the immediate reinforcer often wins out  Another type of self-control problems consists of behavioural deficits o Immediate small punishers for a behaviour vs. cumulatively significant reinforcers  When the reinforcers are too small for the exercise to be considered worth the unpleasant feelings o Immediate small punisher for a behaviour vs. immediate but improbable major punisher if the behaviour doesn’t occur  People may assume that the immediate but improbable major punisher will never happen, whereas the immediate small punisher always happens, so they’d rather engage in the behaviour that doesn’t cause the small punisher  But the longer and more often one engages in these behaviours, the more likely these major aversive events become o Immediate small punisher for a behaviour vs. delayed major punisher if the behaviour doesn’t occur  Self-control problem that involves preferring to avoid a weak aversive stimulus now, but eventually receiving a strong aversive consequence later PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello A Behavioural Model for Self-Control  There’s a model to help deal with the causes of self-control problems  There are two parts o First part requires clearly specifying the problem as a behaviour to be controlled o 2 part requires that you apply behavioural techniques to manage the problem  Behaviour model of self-control: Self-control occurs when an individual behaves in some way that arranges the environment to manage his or her subsequent behaviour o This means emitting a controlling behaviour to effect a change in a behaviour to be controlled  Problem of controlling the controlling behaviour: Because self-control implies that some behaviour of a person controls other behaviour of that person, the question arises as to what controls or cases the controlling behaviour o The answer is the society in which we live, which teaches us various controlling behaviours Steps in a Self-Control Program 1. Specify the problem and set goals a. Write out the goal b. Make a list of the things that you should say or do that clearly indicates that you have met the goal (What evidence proves that your goal has been achieved?) c. In a group of people with the same goal, how would you decide who has met the goal and who hasn’t? d. If your goal is a product of behaviour (ex. Achieving a certain weight), make a list of specific behaviours that’ll help you to achieve that product 2. Make a commitment to change a. Commitment to change: Your statements/actions that indicate that it’s important to change your behaviour, that you recognize the benefits of doing so, and that you’ll work toward doing so b. Both a commitment to change and knowledge of change techniques are important for successfully accomplishing self-modification projects c. A high probability of success in changing your behaviour requires actions to keep your commitment strong 3. Take data and analyze causes a. Take data on occurrence of the problem behaviour (when, where, and how often it occurs) PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello b. Contingencies mediated by other people are important sources of maintenance for your controlling behaviours c. In some cases, recording and graphing the behaviour may be all that is needed to bring about improvement d. It’s important to analyze antecedents for the undesired behaviour, immediate consequences that might maintain the undesired behaviour to be eliminated, and the immediate consequences or lack of them on the behaviour that you wish to develop 4. Design a
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