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Habits/Learning Theory - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: Using operant conditioning to avoid procrastinating studying Using operant conditioning to avoid procrastinating studying Using operant conditioning to avoid procrastinating studying Introduction The following paper would highlight how a behavioral programme based on operant conditioning would help an individual to avoid the habit of procrastinating studying…
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Habits/Learning Theory
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Download file to see previous pages Lastly, the paper would highlight when and in what cases such a technique to avoid procrastination fails. Methodology The aim of the behavioral programme is to ensure that undesirable behavior of procrastinating studying does not occur. Thus, it will make use of both rewards, as well as punishments in order to ensure that procrastinations in studying do not happen. The basic purpose of using rewards in the model is to encourage myself to study beforehand. In other words, rewards encourage desirable behavior. On the other hand, punishments are going to be used as a deterrent for myself for procrastination to take place. The behavioral programme can start by devising a shaping plan (Lukas, Marr and Maple, 1995). The shaping plan refers to a document that objectively highlights the ideal behavioral outcomes that the programme seeks to obtain. Thus, the shaping plan would involve making of a timetable identifying and assigning studying slots at different times of the day for myself to follow. The timetable can be put up on my door or wall so that there is a constant reinforcement, which may compel me to follow the plan even more. Rewards and punishments In order to implement the programme effectively, a well built reward and punishment system is crucial. The basic purpose of using rewards in the model is to encourage myself to study at the right time rather than continue delaying it. A positive reward to one self as per the behavioral plan may be something desirable, like going to a party on a weekend if the timetable set up is followed properly. The programme may also make use of negative rewards. For instance, the removal of a restriction of not being allowed to listen to music while studying is a restriction that may be removed if the study pattern is consistent with the schedule drafted in the shaping plan for at least two weeks. Next, there will be positive as well as negative punishments incorporated in the programme in order to ensure that procrastinating does not occur, or that when it does happen, then punishments are used to discourage such a behavior from being repeated in future. In this operant conditioning behavioral programme, positive punishments refer to the imposition of undesirable consequences that then leads to the discouragement of a behavior. In this case, imposing a punishment of having to study for another additional hour apart from the usual amount of time is an example of a positive punishment. On the other hand, negative punishment refers to the removal of desirable conditions if a behavior that needs to be discouraged takes place. In this behavioral programme, the restriction on taking power naps in between my study hours because of my procrastination is a negative punishment. Strengths Procrastinating studying is a common behavior arising because of lack of will power or an incentive to work from the beginning. Thus, a possible solution that may help resolve this problem is to bring out external influences, or motivating factors into the picture so that an individual feels obliged to perform desirable actions which in this case happens to be to not procrastinate. Thus, operant conditioning that makes use of external rewards and punishments seem to be a plausible solution to solve this problem. Also, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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