HUS 2315 St Petersburg College Psychology Behavior Reinforcement Discussion
A) One behavior that I struggle with is waking up at a productive time in the morning. Since I work really hard during the day and night, it’s really tempting for me to take those extra hours of sleep instead of waking up to be productive. Before I tried adjusting my behavior, I was typically waking up around 9:30am everyday and then immediately had to start work around 10:00am. Does not give me much time in the morning to be organized. This means that I would typically have to rush eating breakfast, getting ready, skip exercising and not check my emails for school. It started to really mess with my schedule and realize I had no real free time. This was a behavior I wanted to change and get into a creature of “habit” with waking up early.
I had to keep in mind deprivation and satiation as using reward systems for myself to keep myself on track.
09/17- For this day I prepped the night before using my sunrise alarm clock that gradually wakes you up instead of intensively. I also place my alarm across the room so I would have to walk quite a bit to turn it off. I was successful in the mission of going about my morning of my duties and since this was my baseline day, I did not reward myself.
09/18- This day was a Saturday so it was definitely difficult waking up early on a weekend. For this day I woke up early, but I took longer to get ready and skipped my exercise because it was the weekend. I supplemented by doing other productive things like making breakfast and feeding my cat. I subtly rewarded myself with my favorite ice cream after.
09/19- Sunday was a little bit easier to wake up earlier for because that is the day I go to church. I woke up to the alarm and went to the early service and got a lot accomplished. I rewarded myself with my favorite cup of coffee.
09/20- Feeling a little tired because it is still the first week of my new routine, I did still get up. I changed my sleep schedule to going to bed early so I can get more rest. I rewarded myself with a good meditation practice.
09/21-09/22- Being a lot more acquainted with my new trained behavior, I continued to wake up early to create a productive routine for myself. I immediately rewarded myself after turning off my alarm.
Reflecting on my behavioral modification tactic using deprivation and satiation, it was an interesting experience training my body into a behavior that was more beneficial for my life. It was not an easy thing to do and I wasn’t perfect, their were even times when I was tempted to sleep in and think it was silly. But, I had to remind myself of that reward I would give myself and the impact it would have on my overall life.
B) A simple behavior that I struggle with everyday is hanging up my towel after I shower. I typically shower twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before I go to bed. I find that there are often times where I forget to hang up my towel after drying off causing my towel to still be wet the next time I need it. This means that I either have to dry off with a damp towel or constantly be getting clean towels out of the closet causing an excessive amount of laundry to pile up. With deprivation and satiation in mind, I did struggle with finding a reward to help reinforce my behavior that I could use immediately after hanging up my towel in the morning and evening. Eventually I decided on keeping a small bag of variety candies in my nightstand that I could immediately reward myself with if I hung up my towel.
I used this day as my baseline. While I had set up my plan the night prior, I woke up and showered while I was still half asleep and the thought of hanging up my towel did not even cross my mind. After I had gone about my day, I showered that evening. Fully awake, I was conscious of my assignment and that in itself was enough to make me think about hanging up my towel. Because this was the baseline day I did not reward myself.
Once again, I woke up early, showered, and forgot to hang up my towel. Just as the baseline day, by the end of the day I had thought about my school assignments and consciously hung up my towel. I immediately rewarded myself after.
9/19, 9/20, 9/21
Each day I hung up my towel in the morning and in the evening, immediately rewarding myself directly after the target behavior occurred.
As I reflect back on the last few days, I do consider what was the true motivator to start hanging up my towel. Was it the candy or was it just the fact that I was aware I was observing myself? I chose a small pack of candy for my reward because it is something that I enjoy but have not had in a good while. However, while I felt this reward was good for this specific assignment, it is not a reward I could use long term. Eventually I would be in a state of satiation because candy is not something I constantly crave. As stated prior, I do feel that my behavior changes could be contributed to the fact I am aware I am observing myself and that I like perform well in school. To truly check whether a reward is effective I believe this would have to be conducted on someone that is not aware they are being observed.