The purpose of this assignment is for students to demonstrate and apply their knowledge of operant conditioning principles and methods used to assess the efficacy of a behaviour modification program.
Behaviour modification is a process where a specific target behaviour is systematically changed through the use of conditioning principles. It has been used very successfully for many different types of problems in a variety of contexts (such as schools, businesses, hospitals, mental health facilities and with animals). One valuable contribution has been helping people change their own behaviour (self-modification).
For this assignment, students are required to write a Behaviour Modification Research Proposal on Cigarette smoking using the principles and theories of behaviour modification and behavioural research designs and methods. The purpose of this assignment is twofold:
a) To design a behaviour modification program to decrease Cigarette smoking, a target behaviour, using the principles of operant conditioning (NOT classical conditioning).
b) To propose an appropriate research or experimental design that would test/monitor the efficacy of your intervention (behaviour modification) program.
The aim of the assignment is to change an observable behaviour using principles of operant conditioning. You are required to be objective in designing the behaviour modification plan and in proposing an evaluation design to test it.
You are expected to produce a research proposal that demonstrates your understanding of behaviour modification, the use of operant conditioning principles in interventions designed to change behaviour, and also the relevant methods used to assess the efficacy of a behaviour modification intervention.
When determining the appropriate design and measures to include in your paper, you are expected to refer to the following articles:
Kahng, S., Ingvarsson, E., Quigg, A., Seckinger, K., Teichman, H., (2011). Defining and measuring behaviour. In W.W. Fisher, C.C. Piazza & H. Roane, (Eds.). Handbook of Applied Behaviour Analysis (pp. 113-131). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Roane, H., Rihgdahl, J., Kelley, M., & Glover, A., (2011). Single-case experimental designs. In W.W. Fisher, C.C. Piazza & H. Roane, (Eds.). Handbook of Applied Behaviour Analysis (pp. 132-147). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Requirements of the Behaviour Modification Research Proposal and Format
Title of Paper
Background (note that you do not need to include this as a heading in the proposal as this section acts as an introductory paragraph. However, you do need to provide a title)
a. Introduce and define behaviour modification using empirical sources
i. For students enrolled in 6669G, as part of this component you also need to provide a brief description of its theoretical background and review and critique this literature/empirical evidence
b. Provide a structured and coherent rationale, using empirical sources, for the development of a behaviour modification plan for the target behaviour you have selected
c. Define the aim of the Behaviour Modification plan Proposed Behaviour Modification Plan
• Provide a full description of the behaviour modification program you propose for the target behaviour, and ensure you explain how, why, when, and where you propose to change (either by increasing or decreasing) the target behaviour according to operant conditioning principles. Include references and empirical resources to support and justify your proposed program. Ensure you include the following:
a. Target behaviour. Provide an appropriate operational definition of the target behaviour
b. Aims. What the behaviour modification program aims to achieve (e.g. increase or decrease target behaviour)
c. Reinforcement schedule. Describe the reinforcement program you would propose based on operant conditioning principles and justify it (including, where relevant, why you have selected particular reinforcement schedules and not others) using empirical evidence
d. Considerations. Discuss any challenges or barriers that may need to be identified or addressed in implementing the plan
• This section provides an opportunity to propose and plan a research design that will test the efficacy of your behaviour modification program. This section is similar to the Methods section in a scientific report and should include details as described below:
a. Participants. Who is targeted in the program (age, gender, type of participant)
b. Design. Describe the design of a proposed research study to assess the efficacy of the behaviour modification plan (e.g. experimental, survey, interview, observation)
c. Materials & Measures. Describe and justify what measures or equipment will be used to assess the success of the program and when these will be implemented
d. Procedures. Briefly describe the study procedure, including (where relevant) the timeline of the evaluation and its components, any ethical issues to consider.
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