Title:  Designing, Applying, and Evaluating a Self-Modification Program (Improving Sleep behavior)

Format and Length:  The completed assignment will be in essay format with clear    

introductory and concluding paragraphs but no subheadings.  It will be 6- 7 double-spaced typed pages and have additional title, reference, and appendix (tables, charts, etc.) pages.  

Evaluation:  This assignment is worth 25% of the final grade.

Instructions:  All of us have behaviors that we would like to change.  We might want to

stop biting our nails, reduce the number of energy drinks we drink or study more.  This assignment requires that you design, apply, and evaluate a self-modification program: 

  1. Begin by reading Personal ApplicationAchieving Self-Control Through Behaviour Modification appearing in Chapter 6 of the course text (p. 245-247); 
  • Choose a behaviour that you would like to increase or decrease; 
  • Follow the five steps outlined;
  • Write your assignment covering all five steps;
  • improving sleep schedule : This is my selected project topic

Term Assignment (Fall, 2022):  Purpose, Expectations, and Evaluation Criteria

Purpose:  The topic was developed to accomplish a number of objectives, including: 1) to facilitate a better understanding of the terminology, key concepts, and processes of operant conditioning; 2) to demonstrate the practical applications of operant conditioning theory; 3) to provide students with an opportunity to change their own behaviour in a systematic, meaningful way; and 4) to allow students to critically evaluate the successes and challenges of self-modification programs.

Format:  The completed assignment must be in essay format with no subheadings.  It

will include: 1) a title page with the title of the essay, student’s name, course name, professor’s name, and due date; 2) an appendix containing at least one graph clearly showing baseline data and program results (additional graphs, charts, or tables must be well-labeled and relevant); 3) a reference page with at least the course textbook listing. 


  1. Choose a behaviour. Choose a desirable behaviour (e.g., studying) that you’d like to increase or an undesirable behavior (e.g., social media consumption) that you’d like decrease, making sure that this target behaviour is clearly defined, observable, and measurable.
  2. Gather baseline data. Observe your target behaviour (the one you want to change) for at least five days, keeping track of the following:
  3. The antecedents to the behaviour. What happens before – triggers – the behaviour that you are trying to change? Are there situations, events or feelings that make your undesirable behaviour more likely to happen? Are there conditions (situations, events, feelings) that encourage the desirable behaviour, that make it more likely to happen? 
  4. The consequences that follow the target behaviour.  What you are getting out of this behaviour?  Why are you doing it? Thus, you need to identify the good outcomes that keep you doing the undesirable behaviour, and/or the bad outcomes of your desirable behaviour that discourag you from doing it.
  5. Plan your program to change your behaviour. First, set a reasonable – attainable – goal for yourself. Plan on using tangible- real!- reinforcements and/or punishments not just willpower to make the change in your behaviour. Consequences are the guts of a successful behaviour modification program!. To increase a behaviour, you’ll have to choose a reinforcer that’s motivating for you and decide how you’ll deliver it. If you’re trying to decrease a behaviour, you’ll have to use a different strategy: Will you reward yourself for NOT doing the behaviour? Punish yourself if you do? Try to avoid the antecedents of the behaviour? Good plans involve a variety of components
  6. Execute your program. Run your program, taking note of your target behaviour for at least five (5) days.
  7. Evaluate your program. Reflect on your program and consider it’s strengths and weakness – what went well, what was challenging, and what, in retrospect, you would change if you were to run the program over again?     

Content:  Your paper must begin with a clear introductory paragraph and go on to cover

all five of the self-modification program steps.  Specifically, you must 1) identify the target behaviour and indicate why it was chosen; 2) describe the baseline data (noting behavioural antecedents, pre-program level of response, and behavioural consequences); 3) outline the program design; 4) discuss the implementation of the program and 5) critically evaluate the program upon completion.

Evaluation:  This essay is worth 25% of the student’s final grade and will be graded out

                      of 25 points, assigned as follows:

                      2   –    for well-written introductory paragraph

                      1    –    Step 1: for selecting appropriate target behaviour and justifying


                      5    –    Step 2: for discussing level/frequency of pre-program target

         behaviour, including reference to the controlling antecedents                                                 

         and controlling consequences of the behaviour

                      4    –    Step 3: for designing a thoughtful self-modification program

                      3    –    Step 4: for discussing program execution  

                      5    –    Step 5: for critically evaluating program, including discussion of

                                             successes and possible improvements

                      2   –    for well-written concluding paragraph

                      1    –   for clear, well-labeled graph(s), chart(s), and/or table(s)

                      2   –    Grammar, spelling and proper citations (APA format)

Please note: Your writing does not have to be polished, but it does have to be clear. Grammar and spelling are important simply because they are standard ways of communicating. When writers follow the conventions of grammar and spelling, it makes the job of the reader, which is to understand the writer’s intentions, much easier. And when writing, that is your goal: to communicate. Having another person who is not familiar with the material read your paper before handing it in is a valuable way of determining whether or not you have been clear.Please proof read your paper before submitting it

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