Topic: Learning and Unlearning Behavior
Chapter 5 is all about learning behavior. Each and everyone one us acquired a number of behaviors over many, many years. And whether these behaviors are good, bad or extremely ugly, they were learned through one of the three learning theories we’ve been discussing (at least according to learning theorists). The great thing about learning is that if a behavior can be learned, odds are that it can be unlearned. In this reflection paper your goal is to:
3 points: What is the behavior? Identify a behavior that you have learned but would like to change. Think about a BAD HABIT that you would like to change, NOT something more complex that could be considered a personality trait or an emotion that would be difficult to explain using learning theory. For example, don’t say “I’d like to change my anger.” Anger is an emotion not a behavior. BAD choices for this paper = anger, anxiety, shyness, rudeness etc. GOOD EXAMPLES for this paper= procrastination, nail biting, smoking, drinking, overeating, too much TV/videogames/social media, etc. Remember, Behaviorists focus on OBSERVABLE, MEASURABLE behavior. Think of a bad habit that you may have and focus on that. Something that you can easily see if you begin doing more or less of. Then briefly describe the behavior and how it has become problematic in your life.
7 points: What learning theory applies? Identify which theory (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, or social-cognitive learning theory) best explains how you acquired the behavior and why? Be sure to use terminology that is appropriate to that learning theory. The point of your essay is to demonstrate your understanding of these theories and your ability to apply them accurately.
7 points: How can you unlearn this behavior? Now that you have explained how you acquired this behavior, use learning theory to discuss how you can extinguish the behavior. Which learning theory (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, or social-cognitive learning theory) will you use to help unlearn the behavior and how? Again, be sure to use appropriate learning theory terminology. It is necessary to demonstrate an understanding of the material in Chapter 5, Module 3.
3 points: Grammar, Spelling and Organization. This is a college level and essay and should be organized in essay format. You should carefully spell check and grammar check your work. Try this: Read your essay OUT LOUD and see how it sounds. If there are sentences that make you pause, then they are not good sentences—fix them. Remember you may also utilize the writing center for assistance. They can proofread a draft and offer suggestions. The essay should be 12 point font, double-spaced, no more than 2 pages.
The following grading rubric will be used, so make sure that you have accurately addressed each component. Remember, the point of the essay is to demonstrate an understanding of the theories presented in Chapter 5/Module 3 and your ability to accurately apply those theories: