Self-Management Plan: In your self-management plan, you will (i) identify one of your own behaviors that you would like to change and (ii) develop a comprehensive, detailed, and realistic self-management plan to change that behavior. You are not required to actually implement the self-management plan. On pages 424-427 of the textbook, the nine steps of a self-management plan are described. Because you are not required to implement the plan, you can ignore steps 7 and 8. Your self-management plan must contain the following: 1. A thorough definition of the target behavior, which is the behavior that you want to decrease or increase in frequency. Explain clearly why it is important to you to increase or decrease the target behavior, and how you believe your life will be positively impacted by an increase or decrease in the frequency of the target behavior. Determine whether the target behavior is a behavioral deficit (i.e., the target behavior is a behavior you want to increase) or a behavioral excess (i.e., the target behavior is a behavior that you want to decrease). Determine which specific dimension(s) of the target behavior you want to change. 2. An identification of the competing behaviors. If you want to increase your target behavior, identify the competing behaviors, which are behaviors that you are currently doing instead of the target behavior – these competing behaviors are behavioral excesses that you want to decrease. Or, if you want to decrease your target behavior, identify the competing behaviors, which are behaviors that you are currently not doing very much, but behaviors you could do more to help you avoid the target behavior – these competing behaviors are behavioral deficits that you want to increase. Create definitions for the competing behaviors. Determine which dimension(s) of the competing behavior(s) you want to change. 3. A thorough functional assessment of the target behavior and the competing behavior(s). Include a chart which indicates time spent in a typical week engaging in the target behavior and the competing behaviors. (See Chapter 13 in the textbook for more details.) To help you understand the variables that contribute to the occurrence or non-occurrence of the target behavior and the alternate competing behavior(s), identify reasons why you are not engaging more or less in the behavior that you want to change. Identify any stimuli that may be present that are causing you to perform the behavior in excess or are preventing you from performing the behavior in the frequency that you want. This functional assessment will allow you to develop the strategies in your self-management plan. Indicate what you learned from doing your functional assessment, and if there was any part of the assessment that surprised you, worried you, etc. 4. A statement of goals. State specific and attainable goals for each dimension of the target behavior you want to change. If you plan to work toward the final goal gradually, make intermediate goals and identify when you plan to reach each one, and what would need to happen in order for you to reach your goals. 5. Self-management strategies to modify your target behavior and competing behaviors. First, choose strategies that manipulate antecedents to the target behavior and manipulate antecedents to the competing behaviors. The antecedents that you manipulate are chosen on the basis of the functional assessment. (Types of antecedent manipulations can be found in Chapter 16.) Second, choose strategies that alter consequences of the target behavior and of the competing behaviors. If you want to decrease your target behavior, you should (i) eliminate the reinforcements for the target behavior, (ii) arrange punishment for the occurrence of the target behavior, (iii) provide reinforcements for the competing behaviors, and (iv)eliminate punishments for the competing behaviors and use behavioral skills training procedures to teach the competing behaviors. If you want to increase your target behavior, you should: (i) arrange reinforcements for the target behavior, (ii) eliminate any punishments for the target behavior, (iii) eliminate the reinforcements for the competing behaviors, and (iv) provide punishment for the competing behaviors. (A summary of this step can be found on page 426 in the textbook.) The strategies that you propose should include: types of differential reinforcement, antecedent control procedures, behavioral contracts, establishing reinforcements and punishments as necessary, habit reversal procedures, etc. Propose strategies that affect the target behavior directly and strategies that affect competing behaviors directly. Discuss why you believe that your strategies will work to either increase or decrease the frequency of the target behavior and the competing behaviors. 6. Discussion of maintenance strategies. Assuming that your strategies have been successful at modifying your target behavior, suggest realistic maintenance strategies that will maintain the target behavior in the frequency you wish. (As noted in the textbook, the self-management strategies you originally proposed to modify the behaviors should be dropped at this point, and replaced with “natural” reinforcements to maintain the target behaviors and competing behaviors at desired levels.)
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