Behavior Modification Essay

960 WordsApr 7, 20114 Pages
As of lately, my younger cousin has been saying the phrase “shut up” a lot. It is not often that a five year old walks around telling everyone to shut up, so I took advantage of the opportunity to experiment on changing his behavior. Even though it’s not good for him to be saying those types of things, he is not punished for his behavior. Therefore, he has established in his mind that it is acceptable to say “shut up”. My goal by the end of this experiment is to communicate to him that it is not ok to tell people to shut up and eventually remove the word from his vocabulary completely. In the beginning of my experiment, it was hard to get my little cousin to stop saying “shut up”, so as a result, I took matters into my own hands. After telling him to stop it numerous times, I gave him a thump on the head and told him I didn’t want to hear him saying that anymore. He began to cry and went to his room. For the rest of the day, he didn’t say it, making the thump a negative punishment. The next day his sister was talking to him and out of nowhere, he began to tell her to shut. I yelled into the kitchen for him to stop. Few minutes went by and he resumed. Later that day after being told to stop a couple more times, I approached him in the living room while he was playing the game. I asked him if I could play, and he replies, “shut up punk”. Immediately, I told him if he was to say that again today that I would thump his head as I did the day before. After this warning, the words “shut up” did not come out of his mouth again for the rest of the night, resulting in the negative punishment. Day three of my experiment, I had to puck him up from school. When he got in the car, I asked him what he learned in school that day, and with no hesitation, he replied “shut up”. I told him that I didn’t want to hear him saying that. On the way home he said it a couple more

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