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Target Behavior

Identify Target Behavior: The behavior I have chosen to modify is my sleeping behavior. As a college student sleep is something that I don’t get enough of. I chose to modify this behavior because sleep is an important part of life. I want to be tired when I go to bed and awake when I get up in the morning. I wanted to modify this behavior because I think having good sleeping patterns is a good trait to have in life. So much more can be done when we are awake and refreshed after a full nights sleep.

Baseline Data:

I observed my bedtimes for a week. They vary from night to night. One night I went to bed at midnight and the next night it was 10:45. For the entire week the times varied. The earliest I went to bed was 10:30 and the latest was 12:45. I do get up at the same time every morning because I have class at 8am every day. The fact that I go to bed at different times each night causes my body to respond differently to sleepiness during the day. Usually I would take a nap the day after going to bed late at night. Or I would sleep through my alarm and miss my 8 o’ clock class. Sleeping through class is definitely a bad result of not enough sleep. Taking naps once in a while is OK but I took a nap 4 out of 5 days this week while recording baseline data. I can get other things done during that time if I wasn’t so tired.

Stimulus Conditions: The main stimulus condition that is present is my roommate. We usually stay up late at night talking or goofing around. She usually does her homework at night and that keeps me awake as well. Another condition is my homework. I usually nap during the day so I don’t have time to do my homework until nighttime. I usually start my homework at 9 and it keeps me busy till the later hours of the night. Another condition is my friend. He usually gets off of work at 10:30 and comes to visit us. He stays for about an hour. The hour he is here I can’t get any homework done. Actually I never get anything done while he is here. Sometimes he stays later than an hour. So these conditions aren’t too hard to get rid of.

Setting Goals:

My original goal was to be in bed at 10:30 every school night. I wanted to be able to have everything done by that time so I could get 9 hours of sleep every night. Well after about a week I realized that this goal was very unrealistic. I could never be in bed on time. My punishment was that I couldn’t take a nap the following day if I didn’t got to bed on time. This punishment didn’t seem to affect me because I never had time to take a nap anyway so it wasn’t really a punishment. So when I didn’t go to bed on time I wasn’t being punished by anything. I had to motivation to be in bed on time. So after a few days of this goal not working I switched my goal to being in bed by 11:30 every night. This seemed to be more realistic and I actually got some results.

Remove/Encourage Stimulus Condition: Well since my main stimulus condition is my roommate all I had to do was tell her that. I told her about this project and told her I needed her help in it. She was very understanding and very helpful in reminding me it was past my bedtime. This project helped her as well. She usually wakes up with me in the morning. So she would tend to go to bed with me at night. This worked out well because usually it was because she was staying awake that I was kept awake. As for my homework, as I started going to bed on a regular schedule I wasn’t as tired during the day. It wasn’t necessary for me to take naps as frequently. I started getting my homework done earlier in the day while my roommate was away. Then later in the night I had time to just relax. As for my friend, he also knew about the project. When he came to visit it was earlier in the day. He would always leave by 11:30 so we could go to bed. If I had anything I needed to do I simply told him he couldn’t visit right then. As soon as these three things were modified it was a lot easier for me to get to bed at the time I had scheduled.

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