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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


Chapter 27

self management2
  • The personal application of behavior change tactics that produces a desired change in behavior
  • Examples???
  • Why not “self-control”?
applications of self management
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!
applications of self management4
Applications of Self-Management
  • Accomplishing Difficult Tasks
    • e.g., thesis, lit review
  • Achieving Personal Goals
    • e.g., exercise, relaxation
benefits of self management
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
benefits of self management6
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)
self management software for children
Self-Management Software for Children
  • KidTools and KidSkills
  • Developed with partial funding by the DOE OSEP
  • Download for free at
  • Kidspiration
antecedent based self management tactics
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
antecedent based self management tactics9
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…
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
guidelines for self monitoring
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!
self administered consequences
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)
guidelines for self administered consequences
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
other self management tactics
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
guidelines for conducting an effective self management program
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