APSY 329 (1805) – BEHAVIOR CHANGE PROJECT
Due 7/25 by 11:59 PM
(takes at least 3 weeks)
Behaviors have a large impact on future health and wellness. Behaviors can be health-promoting and encourage optimal health outcomes, or they can be health-compromising and increase the possibility of later illness and disease. For this project, you will identify one behavior that you would like to change and monitor that behavior for 7 days. Using principles outlined in chapter 3 of your textbook, you will then implement behavioral strategies (stimulus control, self-reinforcement) over the next 14 days in an attempt to change the target behavior. Your target behavior can be either a health-compromising behavior that you would like to decrease, or a health-promoting behavior that you would like to increase. Please choose a behavior that you would be comfortable sharing with the class. At the end of the 3-week period, you will turn in a 1-2 page, double-spaced paper on your experience along with a graph/table of your behavior.
Your write-up should include the following information:
1. A description of the behavior you attempted to change: were you trying to increase or decrease a particular behavior?
2. Why did you choose that behavior? What are the benefits to changing?
3. What kinds of discriminative stimuli were you able to identify (remember to also define what a discriminative stimulus is)
4. How were you able to implement behavior-change strategies (e.g., stimulus control, self-reinforcement) to promote behavior change? Describe the specific things you did.
5. Were you able to change your behavior?
· If not, what could you do differently in the future?
· If so, explain how you will maintain these behaviors.
6. Did you find this project easy or challenging, and why?
Formatting: 12-point font, double-spaced, 1” margins, Word doc/PDF only
Week 1 – Self-monitoring
· Choose a behavior that you would like to increase or decrease
· Engage in self-monitoring for 7 days, keeping track of the target behavior
· Note: this stage does not involve any behavior-change strategies. Your goal is to observe your behavior and determine your baseline frequency (e.g., how often you tend to engage in that behavior)
· At the end of week 1, be able to identify the discriminative stimuli (Ch. 3) which contribute to your target behavior
· A discriminative stimulus is any condition that makes a behavior more likely. For example, an individual who struggles with overeating may struggle more at night – the discriminative stimuli may be nighttime, when others go to sleep, darkness, a certain TV show, etc.
Weeks 2 & 3 – Implement behavior-change strategies
· Begin implementing stimulus-control (Ch. 3) strategies to help increase or decrease your target behavior – record what specific things you do
· Consider self-reinforcement strategies (Ch. 3) – record what specific things you do
· Self-reinforcement involves rewarding oneself in order to increase or decrease a targeted behavior
· Continue to monitor your target behavior over this 2-week period
· Note: this stage involves behavior-change strategies. Even if your behavior does not successfully change, please continue to record the behavior
· Complete your write up, including your graph/table
Where to find information on behavior change
· You can find information on all of the terms mentioned in this project in chapter 3 of your textbook (pp. 50-53)
What are some examples of behaviors that could be used in this project?
· Health-compromising behaviors (discussed in chapter 5) include eating an unhealthy diet, excessively consuming alcohol, smoking, and lack of exercise
· Health-promoting behaviors (discussed in chapter 4) include eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting adequate sleep, and practicing preventative care
· Those are all only examples – feel free to come up with a behavior that is most applicable to you and your lifestyle! If there is something you’ve been wanting to change (and you’d feel comfortable discussing), this is a great opportunity to implement a behavior change plan.
When should I start this project by?
· Since this project takes 3 weeks to complete, you must begin the project by July 3rd to have it completed in time. I would recommend starting as soon as possible!
Remember : If you have any questions about the project, please reach out to me by email (email@example.com). I want you all to succeed and have some fun with your projects!
Points (15 total)
Student thoroughly explained behavior they would like to change, including how much they would like to increase or decrease the behavior and a rationale for choosing their target behavior
Student identified any discriminative stimuli that contributed to the maintenance of their target behavior and thoroughly described each
Student articulated how they planned to change their behavior, including at least one idea from both stimulus control and self-reinforcement
Student described the outcome of their behavior change project, including if they were able to change their behavior or not. A reflection of that result was also provided, examining things that could have been done differently, challenges, positive aspects, and lessons learned
A graph or table of the 3-week period was included (1st week as a baseline, and 2nd/3rd weeks as behavioral experiment)
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