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Self-Management. Chapter 27. “Self-Management”. The personal application of behavior change tactics that produces a desired change in behavior Examples??? Why not “self-control”?. Applications of Self-Management. Living a more effective and efficient daily life e.g., shopping list

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Self management l.jpg

Self-Management

Chapter 27


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“Self-Management”

  • The personal application of behavior change tactics that produces a desired change in behavior

  • Examples???

  • Why not “self-control”?


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Applications of Self-Management

  • Living a more effective and efficient daily life

    • e.g., shopping list

  • Breaking bad habits and acquiring good ones

    • Baum (2005) – impulsivity, bad habits, and procrastination result from reinforcement traps

      • Immediate but smaller consequences control our behavior rather than delayed but more significant consequences

    • Malott (1984) – being able to state a rule about the long-term consequences does not always control our behavior – why?

      • Weak rules describe outcomes that are delayed, incremental, and/or unpredictable

    • Self-management is a way to provide short term outcomes that will control behavior when weak rules and delayed outcomes do not!


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Applications of Self-Management

  • Accomplishing Difficult Tasks

    • e.g., thesis, lit review

  • Achieving Personal Goals

    • e.g., exercise, relaxation


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Benefits of Self-Management

  • Can be used to change…

    • thoughts and feelings

    • behaviors that cannot be easily observed by others

    • behaviors that might go unnoticed by others

  • Can be used to promote generalization and maintenance of behavior change

  • People with diverse abilities can learn self-management skills

  • Self-selected tasks performance criteria may lead to better performance


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Benefits of Self-Management

  • It’s an ultimate goal of education

    • “The development of independent, self-directed people who are capable of behaving appropriately and constructively without the supervision of others” (p. 583)

    • Dewey (1939) – “the ideal aim of education is the creation of self-control”

    • Expected, but not often specifically taught!

  • Benefits society by foregoing immediate reinforcers in favor of very delayed outcomes (e.g., global warming)

  • Helps a person feel free (not bound by immediate consequences)


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Self-Management Software for Children

  • KidTools and KidSkills

  • Developed with partial funding by the DOE OSEP

  • Download for free at

    • http://kidtools.missouri.edu

  • Kidspiration


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Antecedent-Based Self-Management Tactics

  • Manipulating MOs

    • Person behaves in a way that creates an MO

    • The MO then evokes or abates behavior

    • e.g., eating before grocery shopping

    • e.g., drinking tea to quit smoking

  • Providing Response Prompts


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Antecedent-Based Self-Management Tactics

  • Performing the Initial Steps of a Chain

    • e.g., leaving the open bag on the counter…

  • Removing Items Necessary for an Undesired Behavior

  • Limiting Undesired Behavior to Restricted Stimulus Conditions

    • e.g., reducing stereotypy or sexual behavior in public

  • Dedicating a Specific Environment for a Desired Behavior

    • e.g., studying with the peach candle…


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Self-Monitoring

  • AKA Self-recording, self-observation

  • Person observes his behavior systematically and records the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a target behavior

  • Monitoring alone can change behavior!

  • Can be combined with Self-Evaluation

    • Compares performance with a goal or standard

  • Can be combined with contrived consequences for meeting or not meeting goals

  • Why does self-monitoring work?

    • Covert statement “I did well!” self-reinforces performance

    • Performing below standard produces guilt that can be avoided by improving your performance


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Guidelines for Self-Monitoring

  • Provide materials that make it easy

    • Wrist counters, timers, stop watches

    • Simple datasheets

  • Provide supplementary cues or prompts

    • Tones, MotivAider

    • Use more prompts in the beginning and gradually decrease

  • Self-monitor the most important dimension of the target behavior

    • Frequency, rate, latency, interresponse time, duration

    • Productivity more effective and preferred than on-task

  • Self-monitor early and often

    • Record as soon as possible but don’t interrupt the behavior to do it

    • Use permanent products if possible

    • Record the first step in the chain if possible

    • Monitor more in the beginning

  • Reinforce accurate self-monitoring

    • Spot check and reinforce accuracy

    • But perfect accuracy may not be necessary!


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Self-Administered Consequences

  • To Increase Desired Behavior

    • Positive Reinforcement

      • Examples: tokens, points, mins of free time, self-recruited SR+,

    • Negative Reinforcement

      • Avoid token loss, paying money, exercise, chores

  • To Decrease Undesired Behavior

    • Positive Punishment

      • Examples: snap rubber bands, sit-ups, bad taste on nails, overcorrection

    • Negative Punishment

      • Response cost: pay a fine, lose tokens

      • Time-out: don’t allow yourself to engage in a behavior for a period of time (e.g., don’t talk for 2 min)


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Guidelines for Self-Administered Consequences

  • Select small, easy-to-deliver consequences

  • Set a meaningful but easy-to-meet criterion for reinforcement

  • Eliminate “bootleg reinforcement”

  • If necessary, put someone else in control of delivering consequences

  • Keep it simple


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Other Self-Management Tactics

  • Self-Instruction

    • Self-generated verbal responses, covert or overt, that function as response prompts for a desired behavior

    • e.g., student is taught to say to himself, “If I wait, I’ll get to have _________.”

  • Habit Reversal

  • Self-directed Systematic Desensitization

    • Substituting one behavior, usually relaxation, for the unwanted behavior, fear/anxiety


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Guidelines for Conducting an Effective Self-Management Program

  • Specify a goal and define the target behavior

  • Begin self-monitoring the behavior to obtain baseline

    • And to observe effects of self-monitoring alone

  • Create contrived contingencies that will compete with ineffective natural contingencies

  • Go public

  • Get a self-management partner

  • Continually evaluate and redesign program as needed

    • A-B and changing criterion designs



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