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Week 4 Psy250

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jarrawr
Words 872
Pages 4
The Habit
Jane Doe
PSY250
10/23/2014
University of Phoenix

The Habit As far back as Jane could remember, he would always wait until the last minute do his homework. Even though he did, he still did pretty well for himself academically. He probably could have done better but was not motivated to. He never really knew why he did this, but through behavioral and social/cognitive theories, this behavior could be explained. In his mind, there was nothing positive in doing something early. In a way his procrastination was reinforced and associated with having fun. This student has been procrastinating since his elementary days. He would always wait until the last day to do an assignment. He probably developed this habit watching his mom. Every morning he would watch his mom with just enough time to get ready and still make it to work on time. He then made the generalization that this could also be done with homework from school. He continues this habit into his adulthood because he values having fun more than completing an assignment. There have been some events in the past where procrastinating made him feel miserable due to lack of sleep and stress, but he continues to do it. He is always under the illusion that he can get it done right before it is due and still get a good grade, so why not have fun now and do the assignment later? This has worked for him in the past. The reason why he still does could probably be explained through positive reinforcement. Although he did the assignment late, he still had fun and got a good grade from the teacher. On occasion he would try to break this habit, but whenever he does, it does not last long. What usually happens is he tells himself that he would start to do his homework early after getting burned from staying up all night to meet a deadline. He probably starts off okay in the beginning by doing his homework as soon as it is assigned, but the bad habits eventually come back and he ends up procrastinating again. Another reason why he has this habit is probably because he was unknowingly conditioned to do it. According to Friedman and Schustack (2011) in Pavlov’s experiment, he uses a dog to show how it can be conditioned to drool whenever it hears a bell. He basically rings a bell, the dog hears it, then receives meat, and then it repeats. Over time, the dog has associated the bell with the meat and starts drooling whenever it hears the bell because it knows that when the bell rings and meat it is going to receive some meat soon. We can use the same concept to describe Jane’s habit of procrastination where he would be the dog, the, drooling is him being happy, having fun is the meat, and procrastinating is the bell. Every time he has an assignment, he wants to have fun first and is conditioned to thinking that procrastinating will allow him to have fun during this assignment. When he has his fun and barely manages to finish his assignment, he still overall feels happy. This could also be explained through social theory of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when you give something in order to increase a certain behavior. (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). In this case the positive reinforcement would be a teacher giving a student a good grade for an assignment that a student waited until the last minute to do. The teacher has been unknowingly increasing this habit of procrastinating be giving him a good grade because now the student will think he can get a good grade if he procrastinates. Although positive reinforcement has probably contributed to his habit of procrastinating, it could also be used to lead him away from it. He could be given something to decrease his procrastination. This would be called positive punishment because he is being given something in order to decrease a behavior. (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). If he finishes an assignment early, the teacher could give him an extra point. His willingness to do his homework early for an extra point might outweigh his urge to have fun. Based on experience, between behavioral and social/cognitive theories, social/cognitive theories is probably the most relevant. In the past people have been thought to do something because they have seen someone else do it. It was probably how humans evolved and why we have teachers, instructors, and role models. If want learn something, it’s easier if you watch someone else do it first, so it sounds like it could also apply to personalities. Although Jane to this day still procrastinates and is probably procrastinating on the assignment he’s working on right now, there’s still hope for him through positive punishment. He might be motivated if he could earn some extra points. He could also probably be conditioned to think that doing all homework early means extra points, but that’s just a theory.

References
Friedman, H.S., & Schustack, M.W. (2011). Personality. Retrieved from
http://newclassroom3.phoenix.edu/Classroom/#/contextid/OSIRIS:46047339/context/co/view/activityDetails/activity/cf232dd5-89a7-4a05-b391-c0b478d8b349/expanded/False…...

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