Shyness is a behavior that is limiting my growth and development as a human being. Because of shyness, job opportunities and other opportunities in life have passed me by because I have failed to summon my courage and face them like I should. I am suffering from social anxiety and shyness. I feel that I need to modify the behavior as it has also affected my social life and I find it rather difficult to relate with people who are close to me. I have never been in an intimate relationship all through my life although it is something that I very much aspire to have. I feel that it is about time I faced up to my challenges, and it is the reason why I am ready for the behavioral modification project (BMP).
Description of target behavior
Incidentally, I am very different in familiar environments and can become quite talkative as I have been told in these settings. However, the introduction of another individual or public setting negates or limits my interaction to the extent that I have to leave the area. Indeed, I can create an impression of what I mean. For instance, I was out with two of my very close friends, and we were having coffee in a cafe laughing hysterically as I narrated a story that had happened to me earlier. I remember a girl sitting on the opposite chair coming towards us after eavesdropping and hearing an interesting and funny titbit that I had said. Well, this by any standards is an opportunity to get close and form a relationship, well not for me. I felt my saliva leave my mouth, my lips became hard, and I just stood there like an idiot. It was quite embarrassing, and I would never want that to happen again.
Measurement of Target Behavior
In a day, I tend to keep to myself almost all the time especially when I am away from home. I become myself again when I am in a familiar environment that allows me to be myself again. This is just an approximation and could go up or down depending on the number of people I encounter who need to interact with me. I will indicate every awkward incident in a journal and tabulate the occurrence that I have tended to shy away (McConnell, Patton, & Polloway, 2006). It is going to be difficult because keeping to myself is somewhat of my default setting. However, I am determined to ensure this process is a success.
Defining a Baseline (operant level)
A baseline is a typical behavior and the operant conditioning for an individual. Real change cannot be determined without knowledge of typical behavior which is the measure against which the success of the intervention is measured (Bouton, 2016). I will collect information and data about every aspect of my behavior without an attempt to change it because, without it, there is no behavioral modification program. The data will be collected over a period of two months to identify the baseline properly which are important for the program.
Deciding to change behavior
This stage is where commitment to the program and the base for a successful program start. It is important to ensure that all stakeholders and significant parties who might be impacted by the success or failure of the program are together with you during this journey. It is a difficult process and support is necessary from everywhere (Intarakamhang, 2012).
Create Specific Goals
Create specific and exact behavioral goals that you aim to achieve from the program. Communicate with others before making these goals and use this as a self-check before beginning the program (Bouton, 2016). Clarify through rewriting to ensure unclarified areas are made clear to make everything smooth and free-flowing before the program starts. Precise goals will make the process better (Intarakamhang, 2012). For instance, rather than stating "to be confident" it is better to have a goal such as, "to interact with three people from beyond my circle of friends every day and increase the level of interaction from mere greeting to having a conversation."
Identify whether the subject or program will have an impact on other people. Are the methods for treatment humane? It is important to ensure that the treatment is good for you the project is good for you and others as well and the whole process does not harm you, others, or the environment (McConnell, Patton, & Polloway, 2006).
Consider the context of behavior
It is important to ensure that the changes that one is going to implement do not harm others who are not ready for the change or do not want change. Consider the whole context and identify whether there are any underlying benefits others are receiving from your condition and tweak the program to consider such issues especially if they make sense or ignore them if they are petty altogether (McConnell, Patton, & Polloway, 2006).
Begin the actual program
Use various procedures where necessary but ensure that they are not too complex by striking a balance. One can teach a never before performed behavior, narrow an existing behavior to limited environments and reduce or eliminate the display of an existing behavior (Bouton, 2016). Note that these procedures apply to the behavior in question (social anxiety).
These can use reinforcement procedures. First, identify the best reinforcement for the individual, specify the conditions that the reinforcements best work, continue the collection of data and then apply the interventions (Bouton, 2016).
Evaluate the program
Measuring data and comparing it to the baseline is the only way of seeing whether the program is a success. Graph the results to represent the data in a more scientific manner. Consider changing some aspects of the chosen intervention if it is equal or similar to the baseline. Evaluate results and identify conclusions.
These answer whether the intervention was or was not successful or did it achieve a mixed result. Considering what one has learned, improve the program and try again to achieve better results. Replication and thoughtful reapplication are what ensure progress for the program.
Bouton, M. E. (2016). Learning and Behavior: A Contemporary Synthesis (2nd ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
Intarakamhang, U. (2012). Program Management Model for Health Behavioral Modification in Metabolic Risk of Public Hospitals, Bangkok. Asian Social Science, 8(11).
McConnell, K., Patton, J. R., & Polloway, E. A. (2006). Behavioral intervention planning: A comprehenisve guide for completing a functional behavioral assessment and developing a behavioral intervention plan. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
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