Behavior Modification Program


BehaviorModification Program


The purpose of the behavior modification program is to establish thepattern of undesirable behavior. The program also aims to identifyways in which positive behavior can be nurtured and enhanced. Thetarget behavior concerns poor listening habits. The extent oflistening will be determined by the number of times I handle a mobiledevice during a 30-minute conversation. The program will also measurethe percentage of time in which eye contact is maintained through theentire conversation.

The discussion was held in a quiet place with few externaldistractions. An observer was positioned nearby so as to track andnote my mannerisms during the dialogue. It was observed that Ireached for my mobile device ten times during the verbal exchange. Ialso maintained eye contact for only 10 minutes. Granted, the fewdistractions in the surrounding environment contributed to thereduced time of eye contact. Nevertheless, poor listening habits wereprimarily caused by my mental worries and concerns. For example, Ihad been expecting a critical reply to an earlier text. Since themobile device had been put in silent mode, I was forced to check thephone regularly to see if the message had been sent. Also, I wasreceiving continuous updates of a soccer match featuring my favoriteteam.

Notwithstanding, I have established an elaborate plan to improve mylistening skills. My plan recognizes the power of operantconditioning. In this regard, reinforced behavior is repeated whilepunishments discourage the repetition of detestable listening habits(Skinner &amp Schlinger, 2015). The antecedent condition can belabeled as the listening skills manifested during conversations. Twotypes of behavioral responses can arise from such an antecedent. Icould choose to display desirable listening habits. On the otherhand, I could decide to reply to messages or avoid eye contact duringthe discussion.

The punishment for cell phone use would include confiscation of thedevice for a day while reinforcement involves more time for leisureactivities. The punishment is quite effective since I could notmanage to perform my daily duties without my cell phone. Besides, thereinforcement would be sufficient since I enjoyed leisure activities.Consequently, I would be naturally inclined to display exemplarybehavior.

I used the set methods of reinforcement and punishment to improve mylistening habits. I enlisted the help of few friends to makeobservations of how I behaved during a conversation. Over the courseof four days, many of my discussions were recorded for the sake ofevaluating the extent to which I endeavored to be a better listener.The results of the analysis revealed that I touched my phone onlyonce at the start of the conversation. It was also noted that I hadavoided eye contact for an average of two minutes. However, I hadbeen giving instructions to the service personnel who had beenserving at our meeting table.

Therefore, I had managed to overcome my poor listening skills. Mysuccess was mostly motivated by my aversion to having to get bywithout a cell phone. The operational definition of listening habitswas effective in that it helped me to have a clear plan and focus(Frieman &amp Reilly, 2015). Furthermore, my behavior over the lastfour days was initially challenging due to reluctance to switch offthe phone during conversations. Having the phone in an active modecaused distractions since it was impossible to foresee incoming callsand texts. I will maintain this change in future since I have come toenjoy face-to-face conversations. I have also realized that Iunderstand better than previous occasions when I would only payfleeting attention. In the future, I intend to switch off the phoneso as to devote more attention to the conversation and change thelikely bad listening habits of my listener.


Frieman, J., &amp Reilly, S. (2015). Learning: A behavioral,cognitive, and evolutionary synthesis. Thousand Oaks, Calif.:SAGE Publications.

Skinner, B. F., &amp Schlinger, H. D. (2015). Verbal behavior.Brattleboro, Vermont: Echo Point Books &amp Media.