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William strong.paper

  1. 1. William Strong PSY 1400 Fall 2012 Final Fiesta Project Working Hard to Become A Tough Mudder Throughout my life, I have always been very interested in sports and working out.However, since being in college and working a new job, I have struggled to find the timeand the motivation to continue to workout. Two of my roommates, Andrew and Evan, arealso very interested in working out and have talked me into training with them for aTough Mudder competition in the summer of 2013. Tough Mudder is a fundraisercompetition that is a 10-12 mile obstacle course, designed by the British Special Forcesto test stamina along with physical and mental strength. Therefore, I have decided to usemy final fiesta project as an opportunity to develop a self-management intervention toincrease my physical fitness to a level capable of taking on the Tough Muddercompetition. The first step to designing a self-management intervention was to gather baselinedata, on myself. A baseline is the phase of an experiment or intervention where thebehavior is measured in the absence of an intervention. Baseline measurements weretaken for two weeks, prior to initiating the self-management intervention. Duringbaseline, I worked out for thirty minutes in the gym an average of two days per week(one thirty minute session in week one and three thirty minute sessions in week two).Also, during baseline measurements, I ran an average of two miles per week (two milesduring each week). In creating this self-management intervention, my roommates and I looked uprecommendations on how to train for a Tough Mudder competition. Mostrecommendations state that you should prepare for Tough Mudder by being able to run aminimum of five miles, lift a minimum of three days per week, and incorporate full bodyworkouts into your daily weight-lifting routines. Therefore, my roommates and I createda workout routine that resembles the following: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Arm & Chest Crunches & Legs & Lower Crunches & Full Body Workout Pull-Ups Back Workout Pull Ups Workout Run 2 Miles Run 2 Miles Run 2 Miles Run 2 Miles Run 2 Miles In order to monitor my progress and stay on task, I enlisted the help of myroommates, in creating a behavioral contract. A behavioral contract is a written rulestatement describing the desired or undesired behavior, the occasion when the behaviorshould not occur, and the added outcome for that behavior. First, a deadline wasestablished in which the five-day workout must be completed (the five workouts must becompleted by Sunday, of each week). The deadline principle states that if an indirect-acting contingency is to increase or maintain performance, it should involve a deadline.Also, in order to maintain on task, I must pay each of my roommates a quarter for everyworkout missed throughout the week. Paying my roommates a quarter for each missedworkout was a very aversive condition, as I need quarters in order to complete my
  2. 2. laundry at the end of each week. Therefore, I used a rule-governed analog to avoidancecontingency in establishing my self-management intervention. A rule-governed analogto avoidance contingency states there will be an increase in the frequency of a responseas a result of a rule stating the occasions when the response will avoid an aversivecondition. The rule stated in this contingency by my roommates, was that for everyworkout missed at the end of the week, I would have to pay each of my roommates aquarter. A rule is a verbal description of a behavior contingency. Also, a behavioralcontingency is the occasion (SD) for a response (behavior), the response (behavior), andthe outcome of the response (behavior). Rule-Governed Analog to Avoidance Contingency In this course, we have learned that all self-management interventions consist ofthree behavioral contingencies. These three contingencies are the ineffective naturalcontingency, the performance management contingency, and the inferred direct actingcontingency. The ineffective natural contingency occurs because the reinforcement andpunishment contingencies that occur naturally in our environment are not effective, as theoutcome for each instance of behavior is either too small (though may be of cumulativesignificance) or too improbable. The performance management contingency is acontingency designed by a person with the intent to increase, decrease, or maintainbehavior. The inferred direct acting contingency is the statement of the rule (whichdescribes the performance management contingency) acts as an establishing operationthat establishes noncompliance with that rule as aversive. In other words, when you arenot doing what you are supposed to be doing, you are in the aversive state of fear. Thethree contingencies associated with my self-management intervention resembled thefollowing: Ineffective Natural Contingency
  3. 3. Performance Management ContingencyDeadline: By the end of the week (Sunday night) Inferred Direct Acting Contingency I have currently been following this self-management intervention for the last 4weeks. During the first week, I had to pay both of my roommates three quarters (lost atotal of $1.50), as I failed to complete the required workouts on three of the days. Thesecond week was slightly better, having to pay my roommates each two quarters (a totalof $1.00), as I failed to complete the required workouts on two of the days. However, Ihave not missed a single workout in the previous two weeks, which means the self-management intervention has been successful at motivating me and keeping me on taskwith my daily workouts. Eventually, if I continue to be successful in my self-management intervention, I will begin to notice vast changes in my physical and mentalhealth. 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week Workouts Missed 3 2 0 0Workouts Attended 2 3 5 5 Money Lost $1.50 $1.00 $0.00 $0.00
  4. 4. In order to make training with my roommates more enjoyable and reinforcing, Ihave decided to implement an avoidance of the loss of a reinforcer contingency. Anavoidance of the loss of a reinforcer contingency is the immediate, response contingentprevention of loss of a reinforcer resulting in an increased frequency of that response. Ifby the beginning of February, I have increased my physical strength and am capable ofrunning five straight miles, without fatigue, then I will sign up for the Tough Muddercompetition outside of Detroit, Michigan on June 29th & 30th of 2013. If I complete theserequirements, I will sign up to do the event with my roommates, which would be highlyreinforcing. The avoidance of the loss of a reinforcer contingency used, resembles thefollowing: Avoidance of the Loss of a Reinforcer Contingency