Online Class Only Assignment (Due each Friday)

This assignment is for the On-line class only and is due each Friday. It is worth 10 points.
After you have read the sections for each week you are asked to submit the responses to the "boxed" in portion of the readings. We will ask that you respond to each question in full and keep in mind the grading rubric for the 10 point assignments. 

An example of a "boxed" portion in Section 1.1 asks "How do you feel about manipulating someone else? Is this a good thing or bad thing?" For each box in the readings we ask that you include the question(s) and then your detailed response and please keep it organized so we can read it fairly easy. If there is more than one question be sure to answer each question fully. Don't worry if you don't get it perfect the first time as we will shape your behavior as we go.

When you submit the assignment please use the following email address:

This way our TA can access it and give you feedback.

Let us know if you have any questions.

--Dr. M


This article discusses how small savings can turn into big savings, and how small decisions we make every day can add up to big differences in how much money we can retire with, and how soon we can retire – it is possible to retire at thirty years old if we start making good decisions since our early twenty’s, with approximately six hundred thousand dollars in our bank account. Ways so achieve early and comfortable retirement include making forty, ten dollars decisions a week. If you can save ten dollars forty times a week that means you may retire early and comfortably. People are not often aware of how much unnecessary spending they are making – luxury cars that needs a new tank of gas every one hundred miles, twelve dollars movie tickets, manicure, pedicure, spas, salons, bottles of wines here and there, a cup of Starbucks coffee every morning, and many more – people often live this way and wonder why their savings account is not beefing up. This article makes us become aware that small savings can add up, and that small, daily decisions we make about money can affect how comfortable and early we can retire later in life.

What I like about this article is that it breaks down all the numbers, to show the audience that small amounts can add up to bigger savings. They also provide examples of some behaviours people emit that may contribute to either the failure or success of their retirement plan, and those behaviours will be the centre of my blog for today.

Saving money is a big umbrella terms for countless of behaviours people may emit, and those behaviours are similar functionally, but no so much topographically, because there is a wide range of behaviours that may cause saving money as a consequence. One can say that saving money is a behavioural class, with smaller, several sub-behavioural classes underneath it. More specific behaviours are: making coffee instead of buying coffee, cooking and eating office meals instead of going out to lunch, spending less time in retail establishments, driving the car less and use bicycles or walk instead (healthier for you too!)… and many more.

To reinforce money saving behaviours, you can either reinforce yourself for emitting more money-saving behaviours, or for saving more money by the end of the week. This require smaller steps and enthusiastic data keeping. To reinforce yourself for emitting more money-saving behaviours, it is important to keep track of every time you make a decision that saves you some money, such as skipping the appetizers and jump straight to the entrée in the restaurant (assuming that you treat yourself for the first time in two weeks by eating out), buying a generic brand of cold medicine instead of a more expensive one, or purchasing a more fuel efficient car that is cheaper and easier to maintain. This can be hard to keep track of, since decisions are sometimes made internally as one becomes more willing to make those decisions. The second option, to keep track of your spending is a lot easier to keep track of. You can reinforce yourself, within your budge, of course, if you spend less money every week. To effectively achieve that goal, you must know how much money you spend every day in order to keep track of your progress.

Reinforcement can be either positive or negative when it comes to money-saving behaviours. Positive reinforcement can mean treating yourself with a cupcake or doughnut once a week, and negative reinforcement can mean loosening the budget up a little bit for a few decisions that you may want to splurge on. Some negative punishment may also come into play during this behaviour modification progress. For example, if you choose to spend more money for one decision, you should make it up by spending less money for the following two or three other decisions you make. This will ensure that you think long and hard before allowing yourself to spend more at one occasion, and by spending less later, you can compensate for your earlier indulgent.

As time goes by, your daily lives should elicit money-saving behaviours automatically. You should be able to make better decisions regarding money every day. Behaviour modification can shape your habit and lo and behold, those habits can help you retire early and comfortably!

TERMS: reinforcement, punishment, reinforce, punish, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, emit, elicit, behaviour modification, behaviour, behaviour class, consequence

I have been very interested in goals recently and have done a few posts about the importance of goals and good goal setting behavior. I found a post on Mr. Money Mustache about one of his life goals and I thought it added an interesting new caveat to goal setting behavior.

Mr. Money Mustache wants to gain 20 pounds of muscle and set a personal bench-press record (this actually happened in 2012, but I’ll keep using present tense). This is his goal. According to all good goal-setting procedures that I have looked into, he is on the right track. This goal is realistic- he gave himself 5 months to train and he the numbers he came up with are achievable according to his previous body type. He has set a timeframe- he has from November (the time he stated this goal) to March. This goal is achievable- at one point in his life he had the body type that he desires now. And he has made a plan- he says he is going to do two heavy workouts per week with a strength coach (he even posted a picture of the strength coach and invited other people to join him in his workouts).

So the goal itself is solid. It has all the features of a good goal for Mr. Money Mustache. But he has taken things a step further to ensure he reaches this goal. He has made it public. This is the interesting extra step the Mr. Money has taken. He discusses the Publically Proclaimed Goals as the powerful tool that can take you over the edge when you want to change your life. Most things are not goal driven, but when you need to make a change, publically stating your goal leads to more accountability and a higher likelihood that you will succeed.

The reason for this is that now you have a broad support system. This is an important aspect of goal setting. They hold you accountable for your actions and keep you in check and on pace to achieve your goal. Many times this support system is your parents or your friends. But Mr. Money has made his support system his entire Internet following. This is brilliant. He now has people that will call him out when he slips up. These people don’t have to be nice to him or be contentious of maintaining any sort of good relationship with him because they are anonymous online followers. He has basically built a system where he will be punished if he doesn’t stick to his word. He even asked people to join him in his workouts and told everybody where and when he will be doing it. By publically stating his goal, he created a system where he is either reinforced when he does his workouts, or punished if he misses workouts.

If you write your goals down, you are far more likely to achieve your goal. This has been empirically proven, and it is now stressed as an important aspect of goal setting. Mr. Money Mustache took it one step further- he wrote his goal in a public place. This not only satisfies the important aspect of writing the goal, it makes it so other can hold you accountable. With the public eye watching, the plan you set and the steps you take are scrutinized and you feel motivated to stick to your word and achieve your goal.

Cassidy Monaco

The idea of the “Mr. Money Mustache” money saving for early retirement is very interesting. I am sure that anybody who had enough money to retire at age 30 and enjoy a leisurely lifestyle for the rest of their many, many years would love to do so! However, is it realistic? The blog states that you should cut unnecessary costs, such as your cell phone, car payment, tv service, etc., and then invest the money in stock index funds. I do agree that most people’s “current middle class life is an exploding volcano of wastefulness”. Essentially, Mr. Money Mustache wants us to save much less money than we earn. Let’s think about this from a behavioral standpoint.
I found a blog post called “Selling the Dream of Financial Independence – Part 2” on Mr. Money Mustache’s website. This post suggests behavior modification at its finest; take baby steps and the reinforce yourself. We talked about this in class with baselines and doing as much as you can handle at one time, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. Figure out your baseline and divide your goal into manageable steps. So, bite off only as much as you can chew. This means start saving a little percentage of your paycheck each pay period, and eventually build up to saving a larger amount and spending very little of it. You can’t just cut out multiple things you usually buy at one time, so figure out a way to cut out a little piece at a time, so you gradually spend less and save more. The example from the blog supports this well:
“A beginner consumer is like an alcoholic who has a vodka dispenser in his kitchen, connected to a pipeline that runs directly to Russia. His consumption is limited only by his ability to stay conscious. If you take away his tap and replace it with a vodka dispensing machine that plunks out one 750mL bottle every 24 hours, which he desperately downs as soon as it shoots out, you HAVE improved his life somewhat. But he’s still not going to be happy about it. He needs to keep developing his self-control, until he realizes that he’s got better things to do with his life than drinking vodka at all.”
Then, when you meet your baby step of goal each time, reinforce yourself. This is a continuous schedule of reinforcement, but you could use other schedules of reinforcement as well, such as by only rewarding yourself when you emit the target behavior a fixed number of times (fixed schedule of reinforcement). For example, when you save $100 of your check two pay periods in a row, you get reinforced. For this case of money saving, a schedule of continuous reinforcement works best since pay periods only happen once or twice a month. Reinforcement rather than punishment is the best way to modify a behavior. If you set a reinforcer you are very interested in, you will work harder to meet your goal so that you can receive this reward.
Overall, I found this blog to be very interesting. While I don’t necessarily agree with the realisticity of cutting “unnecessary” costs such as cell phone and tv, some ways to save money, such as riding your bike to work, are more realistic. However, the best way to modify your behavior and save more money is to evaluate your behavior, find the baseline, set realistic goals, and reinforce yourself.

TERMS: behavior modification, baseline, reinforce, reinforcement, punishment, emit, target behavior, elicit, continuous schedule of reinforcement, fixed schedule of reinforcement

After checking out this website, reading some posts about what exactly this website was, comments from people who check out the website on a daily basis, and finally figured out how to search, I came across an article that was written that I thought related rather well to what we have been talking about the past 2 weeks in class and on the blog, behavioral change. We are still in the process of conducting our behavioral change project and with this we have been discussing reasons why we change our behavior and how we can go about changing those particular behaviors.
On this website, the article I read was called, Chasing Electrical Demons to Cut your Power Bill by 80%. So I thought to myself, this is an example of changing a behavior. In order to save money, you must figure out how you can save electricity in order to get your Power Bill to be reduced. Mr. Money Mustache, talks about what he uses so much electricity on and then how he can go about reducing this behavior. Conducting a baseline of the electricity he uses would consist of him keeping track of how much he runs his dishwasher, uses his washer and dryer each week, and how efficient each and every one of this appliances are. After he has collected this data, he can figure out ways he can reduce this behavior and what he will use as a reinforcement if he successfully follows his plan. Mr. Money Mustache installed Efergy, he states that the benefit of the Efergy is its ability to measure even direct-wired devices: alarms, dishwashers, and your central a/c system.
He could use this device to measure how much electricity is used by his family each week in order to create a plan of what they want their goal to be. They then need to create consequences whether it be reinforcement or punishment for following these guidelines. Electricity is measured in kilowatts, so you could try and lower the amount of kilowatts used each week by 10, until you reach the desired amount that you would feel comfortable paying.
Some of the ways that Mr. Money mustache said they reduced the electricity they used by figuring out little appliances that cost them the most money. A few of the items he mentioned were, their porch light, the light underneath the stairs they always forgot to turn off, and changing their light bulbs to more energy efficient ones as well.
This article was good practice for me to apply what we have been talking about with what steps we need to take when trying to change an unwanted behavior for ourselves. The only part that would be hard about this behavior, is that I don’t personally know Mr. Money Mustache so I am not sure what type of reinforcement would be most beneficial for him in order to reduce the behavior of using large amount of electricity.
Behavior, consequences, behavioral change, reinforcement, punishment, reduce, baseline

For this assignment, I read the article “The Incomparable Advantage of Having to Work for what you Get”. The way that this author was raised elicited him to emit the behavior of writing this article. The main idea behind this article is that children who are raised in an environment where they have to work for their stuff will grow up to be well-rounded and financially stable.
One point that the author makes is that when children expect handouts from their wealthy parents, and the money is given to them as a reinforcement, it results in an unhealthy cycle between expectation of free money and getting money without working for it. In this instance, the parents’ financial status is a discriminative stimulus, because it tells the kids that they will always be reinforced with money when they ask for it. If the antecedent is expecting money, the behavior is giving money, and the consequence will be children expecting money whenever they like. This is an example of positive reinforcement and a continuous schedule of reinforcement. In some instances, the children get unlimited money from their parents and it becomes so satiated that the value of money has decreased for them. If the parents suddenly decide to stop handing money to their kids, then this would be an example of extinction. The children may then try to vary their behaviors, or change up the way they ask for money, which would be an example of an extinction burst.
Another point that this author makes is about whether parents should pay for their children’s higher education or not. In order to have a debt free college experience, a person would have to work hard for several years and receive paychecks on a fixed interval schedule. They would need to have the will power to save a majority of their paychecks. One way to make this happen is by using reinforcement for saving instead of punishment for spending. An example of a good differential reinforcement for this scenario would be for your parents to take away some of your chores if they see you are saving a lot of money. This is also example of negative reinforcement.
This author was very insightful about what it means to work for your money rather than just have it handed to you by your parents. He described the ABC’s of receiving money without having to work for it, and made a lot of excellent points about money as a reward.
Terms used: Elicit, emit, discriminative stimulus, antecedent, target behavior, consequence, positive reinforcement, continuous schedule of reinforcement, extinction, extinction burst, fixed interval schedule, punishment, differential reinforcement, negative reinforcement, satiated.

First off, I would like to say this is an excellent website filled with intriguing and helpful information. I bookmarked it and will likely check it frequently.
Above is the article I chose called ‘Killing your $1,000 Grocery bill’. Most of us don’t have grocery bills that high but that’s not too far off from the USDA average for a family of four; cutting that bill down to less than half is certainly do-able. The antecedent here can be many things, such as wanting to save more or already stressed financial situation. The consequence of our behavior is having more money to save or spend.
Our goal in this situation is to eat a healthy, low cost, and delicious diet. Setting our specific parameters for this goal is to be under $400 per month for family food costs. That’s $100 a month per person. To start this intervention sit down with a notepad and do some research online to find out what’s cheap and nutritious. There are many target behaviors we want to emit to reach this goal. The first is to be frugal. Although the word frugal congers up ideas of a stingy penny pincher that lives without the comfort and luxuries enjoyed my so many of us, it doesn’t need to be that way. We want to be frugal while we shop for food, sticking to our list of items we know will be nutritious and inexpensive. One thing we can do to illicit this behavior is to only shop with cash. Studies have shown that you spend less on average when you use physical cash money instead of debit or credit cards. The higher the frequency you display this behavior the more natural it will become. A good reward is just looking at how much money you saved. But, you really want to, buying something you want may be a good backup reinforcer.
If you’re ready to take it a step further and bring your food costs down to near zero you’re going to need a serious change in lifestyle. Make an initial investment and start a garden. It’s fairly inexpensive although it does take time to learn what grows well in your area with the soil you have. Start canning the food you get from it. And, if you have the space, chickens or goats are very economical animals to have around. Chickens provide an endless supply of eggs and goats will grow quickly to slaughter weight.
The initial investment and lifestyle changes intimidate most people. Don’t despair. It’s much easier than it seems and can be fun when done with family and friends. Saving money every week, and showing off your awesome cooking skills defiantly provides continuous reinforcement.
Terms: Antecedent, behavior, consequence, target behavior, elicit, emit, reward, backup reward, intervention, goals, continuous reinforcement.

For this assignment, I went onto the website and looked around for some possible topics to look at from a behavioral perspective. I had a hard time just finding something so I started to search topics related to psychology. I typed in ‘stress’ hoping to find an article, and I did! In college, a lot of us undergo stress on a daily basis and it can get in the way of literally everything. So for my assignment I read the article: “First Understand, Then Destroy Stress.”
A goal of mine everyday, that’s not part of our behavioral project, is to reduce stress. I have had so much of an issue with stress while in school, that it’s led to physical issues regarding my health. This article addressed that “worrying” can really be the worst disease, because the mental and emotional distress it causes can weaken the immune system, causing you to be more prone to getting sick. Which is something I had issues with. So as someone who stresses out frequently, I wanted to reduce this, and this article gave some tips.
At first this article talks about their experience with stress in their work, and I could recognize the ABC’s of behavior modification. First the antecedent was issue in their company; it wasn’t following through as he had planned. The behavior then became mentally stressing out to the extreme. The consequences were lack of sleep and appetite, weight loss, and all sorts of physical health issues. It was evident to the writer that they wanted to reduce this behavior. So our target behavior in this example would be stressing out. We want to decrease it. So then he went on to understand stress by reading materials and learning more about it and how to deal with it. Here we can see more ABC’s too. Antecedent was stressing out, behavior was then reading and learning about stress, the consequence was knowing how to decrease stress. So, when the individual started to feel stressed (antecedent), the behaviors were to try these new tactics learned through reading (behavior), and consequence was feeling better.
Some of these new ways of how to handle stress were both examples of positive/negative reinforcement. 1.) When you start to stress out, simply think positively. You’re adding in more positive thoughts to your mindset, not negative ones. This is positive reinforcement, feeling better and less stressed is what you want to increase and by adding in those positive thoughts can help you do so. 2.) Taking breaks from stressful work. After you’ve worked for so long, set a timer (like an alarm on your phone ever 90 minutes, schedules of reinforcement), and quit doing the work and relax. This is an example of negative reinforcement-the time spent on undesirable or negative valence of work that causes stress; you reinforce yourself by taking some time away from it, to increase the desirable behavior of feeling better. 3.) Remove the amount of unnecessary things in your life that might be causing stress or are irrelevant, so you can increase the frequency of feeling stress free. And example given here were gossip magazines and television, which can sometimes make us feel bad about our self-image because we don’t look like the models on the front cover or on TV. It’s not valuable in our life. So in negative reinforcement we get rid of it, and we feel better about ourselves, and can focus on more important things in life. 4.) Lastly try adding in a desirable activity that is of interest to you, when you are feeling stressed out. Some examples given were reading a book you like, or playing music. This is positive reinforcement, by adding in a desirable activity that has positive valence you increase the likelihood of feeling stress-free and staying healthy.

Terms: ABC’s, behavior modification, antecedent, behavior, consequence, target behavior, positive/negative reinforcement, positive/negative valence, desirable behavior, undesirable behavior.

I read an article entitled “Killing your $1,000 Grocery Bill” and it discussed how many families are spending way too much at the grocery store. The author said that, on average, a four person family spends $944 per month on groceries, which the author pointed out was financially feasible for some people, but not for others. The rest of the article continued to discuss how to calculate how many calories each family member needs per meal and how many meals that is a month and how to set an amount of food to buy each month and set that within your budget. The author even provided a few staple food items that everyone should have in their kitchen that even out to less than $1 a meal, such as, spaghetti noodles, rice, black beans, organic chicken, canola oil, etc.

While this article might not discuss a person emitting behavior or specific antecedents or consequences of a behavior, I think this is a good example of how someone might want to change their own behavior and how to take steps to modify grocery-spending behavior. The steps of the behavior modification process in section 5.3 is a great model to follow for this article. Step 1 is to describe the target behavior and that would be to spend less money per month on groceries, this step involves establishing how many calories and meals each family member needs to consume a day and calculate what that equals per month. Once you have established those numbers you can set a realistic grocery budget for each month, which will be your specific target behavior. Step 2 is to describe the consequences, which would be increased financial health of the family. Step 3 is to describe the antecedents, which would be which grocery store you shop at and how much food/what types of food you buy. Some stores charge a lot more for certain foods than do other stores, which the author mentioned; the author said that Costco is the cheapest place he has found to buy groceries compared to some Whole Food stores that some people prefer to shop at. Step 4 is the perform a functional assessment in which you measure how much you spend on groceries a month, where you shop, what you buy, and how much your family eats. Once you have established all of these things, you can begin to implement behavior modification strategies to elicit your target behavior budget, which is step 5: Devise new antecedents and consequences. Step 6 is to evaluate the outcome, which means analyze your monthly grocery spending after you have implemented the behavior changes and adjust your behavior accordingly.

I also believe that this would be an example of rule-governed behavior because this type of behavior modification is something that people do not need to experience the consequence of to know that they want it. People do not need to experience better financial health to know that that would be a pleasurable reinforcer for behavior change. This is the type of rule governed behavior that we put on ourselves.


Terms: emit, antecedent, consequence, steps of behavior modification, functional assessment, target behavior, elicit, rule governed behavior, reinforcer

Upon opening the link in the email sent to us, I had no idea where to start as far as finding an article on this crazy site. I found the button that said “random” and clicked it, hoping it would give me something relevant to behavior mod. Low and behold, it gave me an article titled “The Joy of Self-Employment.” This is easily relatable to something we have actually just recently talked about in class- self directed behavior or reinforcement. In this article, the author talks about his struggles at his previous job, thinking about how if he lost his job “how would he ever be able to find another job?” and then it hit him that he could create his own business or, in other words, be self employed. Self directed reinforcement plays a huge role in self-employment, because if it’s only one person running the company or business, they themselves are the only person that can reinforce or punish themselves. For example, a behavior that they may want to punish themselves for is not paying a bill on time. They could take that target behavior, figure out how often it happens, determine a baseline, and start either reinforcing it or punishing it, based on the consequences. In the conclusion of this article, it talks about wanting to gain the most control of your own life as you possibly can, and the only way to do this is to control and manipulate your behavior. By using self-directed reinforcement or punishment, you yourself are controlling as much as you possibly can in your own life!

TERMS: self-directed behavior, reinforce, punish, behavior, target behavior, baseline, consequence

After it took awhile to figure out the website I finally found an article that I thought would be interesting. It wasn’t a very long article, only a couple paragraphs but it fit well with the goals people have been trying to reach. In class, students were talking a lot about how they want to increase their exercising routine or decreasing the amount of money they were spending. Well this article was about how people generally are spending more money because they aren’t exercising as frequent as they should be. A lot of people find it easier or more quick to go to the store to buy new jeans if your old ones don’t fit you instead of running a little or taking the stairs. Mr. Money Mustache is saying that you will spend less and feel better by exercising instead of spending more. The target behavior would be to fit into your old jeans. In order to do that, the antecedent would be to start working out. Making the consequence, that you will fit into the clothes that you are wanting to. This would be positive reinforcement because you are increasing the likelihood that you would continue to do that behavior in the future. You are adding a behavior that would increase it by exercising.

Terminology: target behavior, antecedent, consequence, positive reinforcement, behavior, increasing behavior, decreasing behavior.

At the beginning of this article he mentions jokingly that he is taking the year off. This can be looked at as negative reinforcement because since he has emitted the behavior of working hard all year he gets the removal of something aversive, more work as his consequence.
Then looking at when his friend says biking season is over, that would another example of operant behavior: his friend continues to take the bike out and he is punished because of the cold which decreases the likelihood that he will do it more. This can also be looked as extinction, his friend enjoy the weather which is desirable and reinforcing to him until he is no longer reinforced when the weather changes. Extinction can be looked at for the weather in general for everybody. If you think about those nice fall evenings where the weather is not to hot or cold and it is reinforcing, and then slowly over time it gets colder and colder. Like with the bike example, it becomes punishment and extinction.
Although not mentioned here in the post, the idea of weather being reinforcing and then extinct reminds of something funny that has happened a couple of times in my time at UNI. Just mentioned with extinction, the nice weather is reinforcing and then is not anymore when cold. Spontaneous recovery does happen sometimes and has happened a few times this winter. We have really cold winter which makes us not want to go outside and then all the sudden for a day or two the temperature will shoot up into the sixties (and usually goes back down then in Cedar Falls) and then becomes reinforcing, spontaneous recovery!
Also looking at reinforcing is when he encourages people to go outside and look at the stars or enjoy the quiet while everyone else is “hibernating” during winter. You can look at the freedom of being away from people as reinforcing, being able to see the beauty of outer space, or even just being outside in general.
He mentions that most people just like to stay inside and watch Netflix or do whatever to avoid the aversive weather. A lot of people do this, I am guilty of it. What do you expect though for those days in Cedar Falls when the wind is whipping causing the wind chill to drop to -10, -20, or even lower.

Negative reinforcement, emit, behavior, consequence, operant behavior, punishment, aversive, extinction, reinforcing, punishing, reinforcing, spontaneous recovery

I decided to read the article “A Millionaire is Made Ten Bucks at A Time” to see how I could apply the behavior modification steps to emit a money saving behavior. The entire article was about taking small steps for a certain amount of time for a large pay off, or teaching yourself delayed gratification. According to the article; if you save $796 per week for ten years, and get a 7% compound investment return inflation, you’ll have $600,000 saved up in 10 short years. I can not yet imagine making enough money to save almost $800 dollars a week at this point in my life, but the concept is still simple and applicable. We learned in section 4.3 the importance of setting goals. If I wanted to save $50 a week, which is much more realistic for my income than saving $800 a week, I would be able to save $200 a month and about $2400 a year. I would also do this by setting a sub goal of saving $10 a day 5 days a week. This is doable because I often spend money on coffee or a quick sandwich on my way to campus or to work. By setting realistic, achievable goal I know that I am much more likely to achieve maintaining my target behavior. If I were to apply the “10 at a time” rule to my own life I would save $50 a week by emitting a behavior of saving ten dollars a day Monday through Friday. If I wanted to do this I would first set the antecedent as described in section 5.4 by avoiding the parts of campus that make me want to buy a quick coffee or sandwich. I could also not bring my debit card with me when I leave home unless I know I need to go shopping. By setting the antecedent I am able to control the operant behavior and therefor elicit money saving behavior. The other important part of behavior modification is a consequence of emitting a target behavior. The consequence of saving $50 a week would be having more money saved up in a while, which would be a reward. So maybe I could reward myself monthly by taking $10 back out of my savings account and buying myself and a friend a coffee (after a month of skipping it I will surely need one!) My long term reward would maybe be having enough money saved up in two or three years to buy myself a newer car, or at least to be able to afford the down payment.

Terms: Behavior modification, operant behavior, target behavior, elicit, emit, goals, antecedent, sub goal,

It took me a while to figure out how the website worked, but once I did I found some pretty interesting ones. The article I found on the Mr. Money Mustache website that was the most interesting to me is called “Chasing Electrical Demons to Cut your Power Bill by 80%”. The blog discusses how you can measure everything that uses power so you can see how much power you are actually using (or wasting). It also discusses the biggest power consumers in the average home, and tips on how to use those things wisely to reduce power use and electricity bill costs. According to the blog, the biggest power consumers in the average home are lights, exterior lights, the clothes dryer, air conditioning, electric heating of anything, the refrigerator, and gadgets (DVR’s, game consoles, cable boxes, etc.). The end of the blog states, “With the right adjustments, your electric bill can be a trivial affair that feels like a small monthly reward for your thoughtful use, rather than a painful but necessary draining of your bank account”. In other words, this blog talks about making behavior modifications to have a more desirable electricity bill. To do this, you would need to use self-directed behavior and effective goal setting. The steps for self-directed behavior changes are: 1) set a goal, 2) define/specify the goal as a set of target behaviors, 3) keep a record, 4) graph the baseline, 5) determine contingencies (reinforcers), 6) determine antecedents, and 7) implement and adjust the contingencies as needed.
The first step, set a goal, is already done for us. The goal is to emit the behavior of using less power to reduce your electric bill. The second step is to define the goal as a set of smaller target behaviors. Some target behaviors for this goal could be to change all of your light bulbs to LED bulbs, keeping your lights off as much as you can, keeping windows clean and free of obstruction to use natural light, only wash clothes when they need washed and keep using the dryer to a minimum, use the heat and AC as little as humanly possible, get rid of gadgets or limit use of them/unplug them, and get a new fridge to use less energy. All of these smaller target behaviors make up the bigger goal of using less power and reducing electric bills. To fulfill step number three, you could record how much power you use per day by using the measurement options discussed in the blog and also keep track of your bill costs. Graphing the baseline would mean graphing how much power you use for a week before using reinforcement to try and reduce it. Determining the contingencies, or reinforcers, is the next step. A reinforcer could actually be the lower bill at the end of the month or whenever you get billed. Another one could just be rewarding yourself with a favorite food or something. Step six is determining the antecedents, or what happens before the target behavior. Finally, step seven says to start using your reinforcers and changing them if your initial ones do not work.
You can also think about all of this according to the ABC’s of behavior modification. The ABC’s stand for the antecedent, the behavior, and the consequence of that behavior. In this case, the antecedent would be using too much electricity. The behavior would be using less power and being conscious of how you use things that take electricity. The consequence would be a lower electricity bill. This consequence is reinforcement, because it increases the likelihood of the using less power behavior happening again in the future. It could be considered negative reinforcement, because it is taking away something aversive: the costs of a high electricity bill, which increases the frequency of the power saving behavior.

Terms: behavior modification, desirable, self-directed behavior, target behaviors, baseline, contingencies, reinforcers, antecedents, reinforcement, emit, behavior, consequence, negative reinforcement

I found an article titled "A Millionaire is Made Ten Bucks at a Time." I thought this article was very interesting and put emitting the behavior of saving money for an early retirement in an interesting perspective. The author of this article is basically saying that we spend too much money of luxuries and putting too little of a value on small bills. An antecedent could be if we were to put more value into ten dollar bills, just like we did when we were kids. Our behavior would be to then save more of the ten dollar bills because of their value. The consequence of this behavior would then be being able to retire early. It would be important that emitting this target behavior would not become extinct because then we would be negatively reinforced when we are no longer able to retire early. It is also important that reinforcement does not involve spending money because then it kinda takes away from the idea of saving money for an early retirement.
TERMS: emitting, behaivor, antecedent, behavior, consequence, negative reinforcement, target behavior, extinct, reinforcement
The article I chose to read was "The True Cost of Commuting", which the author made sure to give a basic overview of how much people are willing to spend a year on commuting to and from work everyday and the time spent in their cars. The author stated that if a couple were to change to commuting 15 miles/40 minutes into the city just to move to more of a neighborhood like area than the city. This would end up making the couple basically adding another day of work to their schedule due to the amount of driving time spent a week and the cost of gas and wear and tear would end up costing them $125k after 10 years.
I believe that people should put commuting to work as an important thing to focus on when thinking about money. If people would consider how much they were going to spend long term they probably wouldn't be commuting as much and would be finding another form of transportation. People could change their bad behaviors and begin emitting good ones. For intense, if people would find the local bus that was heading to the city they would be able to save more money and probably more time which they could reinforce with something more aversive for them. Bus systems are allowed to drive alone the shoulders on many freeways when there is traffic. People would then be able to save more time in the morning for sleep, which many older people have complained about not getting enough of.

Term: emitting, behavior, reinforcement, aversive

This is your online assignment this week to make up for attendance.
The assignment is due by Monday.

Please go to the following site, poke around and find something interesting to you and write about it from a behavioral perspective. The same grading rubric will be applied as we use on the other 10 point assignments (word count and terms).

The article that I chose to read from Mr. Money Mustache is called, “The Incomparable Advantage of Having to Work for What You Get”. Many parents want to help their children out as much as possible throughout their life, especially when it comes to paying expenses or even leaving behind a nice inheritance after their own passing. However, in this article, Mr. Money Mustache discusses how helping your children out could actually be more harmful to the kids than good. The way that this writer was brought up by his parents elicited Mr. Money Mustache to emit the behavior of writing this article. The main idea behind this article is that children who are raised in an antecedent/environment where they have to work for their wants and needs will grow up to be well-rounded and financially stable adults.
When kids are given handouts, not just when it comes to money, but also in every aspect of life. While given handouts, these children will develop poor work ethics while growing up. These kids will have poor work ethics because they never learned what punishment and reinforcement are. Punishment can be either negative or positive. Negative punishment is the removal of something desired. While positive punishment is the addition of something aversive. Positive reinforcement is the addition of something desired; while negative reinforcement is the removal of something aversive. Since many of these kids become accustomed to experiencing positive reinforcement for not doing anything they don’t develop a meaningful schedule of reinforcement. They become accustomed to a continuous reinforcement schedule by not working for what they have. For this reason it is important that parents provide reinforcement and punishment when deemed appropriate throughout their child’s life.
By receiving handouts, kids become programmed to expect them. Due to this occurring, kids often displace their own effort, healthy learning, and growth that can come about when kids purchase their own goods, whether it be a necessity or a want in their own life. While children are growing up, it may be wise for the parents to establish an allowance for their kid(s) if they work for that money. A great way to earn an allowance is by creating a chore list and letting the child know that they can receive x amount of money for taking out the trash, etc.
It is not uncommon for parents who are billionaires to cut off their wealth to their young adult children for the sole reason that their child’s behavior has become erratic and out of control. The problem with this is the children don’t know how to use behavior modification to change their lavish lifestyle behavior. Being cut off from steady money or an expected inheritance can cause quite the turmoil for that child. This turmoil occurs because the young adult may lack the knowledge needed to work for what they need/want in order to become successful in their life.
As Mr. Money Mustache stated, it can be harmful to provide everything for your child throughout their life without having them work for what the need/want during their different life phases that may occur. However, as a parent, they need to be able to understand that it is okay if they help their child meet their needs when they fall short of affording to pay for their expenses. It can be irrational to believe that a young adult can pay for college while attending school full-time as well as having a minimum waged job.


Terms- elicited, emit, antecedent, punishment, reinforcement, negative punishment, positive punishment, aversive, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, schedule of reinforcement, continuous reinforcement, behavior modification, behavior

When I first went to this website, I really had no idea what to think of it. Honestly to me, it looked like a pretty stupid website, but once I got into and looked around I found some of the articles to be fairly interesting. The article I chose is called "Why you should Get your Shit together Before you Make it Big." I chose this article because by looking at the title I figured it could be an interesting read.
This article discusses how every day there is another pile of 250,000 earners who collapse from stress or go insane because they have slipped into an awful life of debt and time scarcity. Big incomes come naturally to everyone you know, and this leads to a pleasant ongoing party of life. After buying all these cool toys, the problem is that everyone has partied themselves straight off the cliff and into the pit without realizing it. By locking in an incredibly expensive lifestyle, people who fall into this trap have become dependent on their high incomes just to stay afloat.
Some manage to avoid the Pit, by earning so much that they manage to handle all of the bills and still have plenty left over. But they end up lodged into a company with others to answer to who are not so lucky. People in the Void usually end up worn, stressed, physically unfit and unfulfilled. Despite leading such “successful” lives, they wonder why life does not feel like a complete success. So they keep seeking more profit in hopes of filling the void.Neither option sounds great. But either chasm presents ample opportunities for recovery. The key is to figure out if you’ve fallen into one of them, or if you are just starting out, to get your shit together before you make it big. Well according to Mr. Money Mustache there are three steps.
The first step is to figure if you've made it big already and under step one the news flash is that if your under 40 and making over 75,000 you have already made it big. So we continue on to the second step and that is "pit dwellers need to learn to say no." In step two, it says that the problem with the modern high-income lifestyle is the dizzying surplus of options you have available to you.The Power of No means saying “No” to even fun-sounding activities, when you realize your life is already full enough of good things. Finally step 3 is "rising above the profit makes you the richest one of all.Fortunately, it is not necessary to become the richest person in the world to learn from this example. You just need to get your financial affairs in order so that your livelihood no longer depends on the demands of irrational people. Mr. Money Mustache says, "So if you’re just starting out, heed the comical troubles of your elders and do not repeat them. You can avoid both pitfalls and walk straight through to the public park on other side." Some of what he talks seems like nonsense, but then again it does make sense especially the three steps.
The behavior in this is how someone chooses to spend their money and the consequence can either be a punishment or reinforcement. On one hand, if a person spends all this money on these toys can cause them financial hardship especially if they don't have the means. On the other hand, people who choose to spend their money wisely or rising above profit would make them rich. I'd say it totally depends on the person, but I think what Mr. Money Mustache is saying that we don't have to spend all this money to be rich. Being rich isn't about the money, its about friends & family around you and how you spend time with them. Whether someone is rich or not, solely depends on how a person emits the behavior.
Terms: emit, behavior, consequence, reinforcement, punishment

Thursday Online Assignment: “Haters Gonna Hate (But Not Mate)”

From what I have gathered, Mr. Money Mustache is a website where a man posts and uploads different blogs about how to best save money. The article that I read was one about how he has a gathering a “haters” who do not agree with his ideas and the things that he posts online. Mr. Money Mustache got one of his articles posted in a big time newspaper, so it lead to him getting a lot of bad feedback (there was good too, but for this article he only discussed the bad). All of the negative feedback and comments brought him to write an article about those to hate on others and why they feel the need to do so.
Mr. Money Mustache (MMM) says that the people who give unnecessary negative feedback are around today because of evolutionary reasons. He thinks that back when humans were first starting to communicate and settle down in small populations, there was a lot of competition for resources (food, water, women, etc.). Obviously in an ancient and primitive civilization, there is going to be a type of hierarchy. This is the case today as well, just not as prevalent as it was back then. Back then, their way of life was solely based on who was at the top because if you found yourself at the top, or closer to the top, you would get the most/best resources.
MMM thinks that the haters came about because they were not able to get to the top. There are certain people who can’t get to the top, so they start to try to drag the people down who are up there. Instead of staying humble and working hard to get there themselves, they work to discourage those who are at the top and try to bring them down. MMM talks about how there are complainers and non-complainers. The complainers are the ones who wish they were at the top, but they just aren’t. Complainers continue to be complainers because they feel that it works for them. Over time, complainers will always remain because complaining has seemed to work for them.
We can look at this in behavioral terms because these people must have been reinforced for being complainers. If someone is a chronic complainer, they must have some reason that they continue to complain and hate on innocent things and people. For example, some complainers could start out as young children. Let’s say there was an instance in someone’s childhood when they were on vacation with their family. This young child didn’t like the choice their parents made as to where they would be having supper that night and what type of food they would be eating – so this child complained. The target behavior in this scenario would be the child complaining. If the child complains and the parents give in and they go somewhere else to eat, then that will be negatively reinforcing the child.
Negative reinforcement is hard to spot, but in the instance of complainers, I feel that it will be the main type of behavior modification. When the person (complainer) comes across an unpleasant and aversive stimulus, they will start to complain about it (target behavior). If the complaining gets the person what they want, they will be more likely to complain again and again. This makes the process reinforcement. And since the aversive stimulus is being taken away, this makes it negative reinforcement.
Over several years of being reinforced, as a child, for complaining, the person will learn that complaining (usually) gets them the consequence that they want. They will probably complain into adulthood and for the rest of their lives if they don’t go through some sort of extinction process or behavior intervention to change the complaining behavior. As evolution would have it, and as MMM believes – complaining is a personality trait that can be passed down and it is one that started long ago and is still prominent today.
I also think that some complainers will only complain in certain contexts. I have met people who complain no matter what – like it’s just a part of who they are. But there are others I have met who complain only when they feel necessary. Everyone complains to some extent. You would be a liar if you said you never complained about anything. What matters is that we are able to control the severity and the frequency of our complaining.

TERMS: Reinforced, Target Behavior, Negative Reinforcement, Behavior Modification, Aversive, Consequence, Extinction, Behavioral Intervention, Context.

The Mr. Money Mustache blog site had a lot of interesting articles to read. My favorite article was titled, A Millionaire is Made Ten Bucks at a Time. I enjoyed this article because it had a lot of good tips on how to save money. I learned how to emit more money to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. The article stated to start acting excited again about gaining $10 bucks. Ten bucks can go far if you buy the correct items. The behavior modification it suggested was to modify what you spend money on. Stop paying for the most luxurious items, and start spending money on the simple things in life. The article stats that if you save 40, 10 bills a week for ten years you could be able to have around $600,000 sitting in a bank account waiting for you to retire. Most people blow $200 a week on stuff that they could have done for free; Buy books instead of going to the library, pay someone to take care of the yard, when you could take care of it yourself. The article opened my eyes and helps me see why i should start saving 10 dollar bills and reinforcing my behavior by seeing how much I could save in the long run. The article can help me see what I can take our of my spending and make that an extinction to save money. I could use the ABC's to help make the process easier. The Antecedent would be to save money, the behavior would be save 200 dollars a week, and the consequence would be more money. This article help shape my views on my spending and learned a lot from this article on how I could change my spending to save money.
Terms: Emit, Behavior Modification, Modify, Reinforce, Extinction, Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence

After reading through the Mr. Money Mustache website and through all the articles and what not I found one article that stuck out to be and that was, “The Incomparable Advantage of Having to Work for what you get”. Basically what the article is saying that people who grow up that have to work for the money and what they get will have better chances of being financially stable and better off than those who didn’t have too. Mr. Money Mustache is very blunt of what he got in his life growing up and he states that he couldn’t be happier and how much he appreciates his family’s 30,000 per year lifestyle. He is really against the large parental handouts. He said he a housemate that was very bratty billionaire parents that supposable the money had such a great upbringing for the kids. The thing I liked that he said the most about giving money to children that aren’t working for what they get was, though it is certainly possible for the rich and highly generous parents to raise such a wonderful offspring, it is never the money that emits the great character. Basically what he is saying is that the children expect the “handouts” from here parents which is money, and is known as reinforcement. This reinforcement relays to the kids that they will always be reinforced with the money without working for it and does not actually teach them life lessons. Which would be a great example of positive reinforcement and continuous schedule of reinforcement; therefore the value of money will just keep decreasing. Most rich parents just give the kids money most of the time just to get them out of their hair so they can do their own thing. You don’t see many parents just cut off the children of money (extinction) to let them learn.

I also found the whole addendum on education section very interesting because I am actually going through my parents helping me pay for certain things while I am down at college because I am working towards working for my money. I do emit the behavior of working still but not enough to support my whole life this is the reasoning behind school. I use my money wisely and use reinforcement when I save my money. I also liked the fact that he talked about not having to go to a university to earn the “big bucks” and get a high end job; there are many ways to do so. And of course his last sentence, “if you teach your kids the true nature of society and life, there is no box.” Which I would really like to know the depth meaning of this sentence.
I really liked this author and would love to read more of his articles. He did a great job describing the behaviors of receiving money without having to work for it and how money can also be a reward.

Terms: Emit, Reinforced, Extinction, Positive Reinforcement, Continuous Schedule of Reinforcement, Reinforcement, Reward, Behaviors.

The article I read about discussed the idea of having luxury items, whatever they may be, and how important it is to appreciate these items and not grow accustomed to having them. Furthermore, it discusses the importance of not getting carried away, in that you do not want to find yourself incredibly upset when you no longer have that luxury.

The reason many people become accustomed to things like luxury items is largely because of behavior modification, where the item acts as the antecedent. Thenceforward, we begin to behave as if it is no longer a big deal having the luxury, and the consequence is becoming upset when it comes time to pay for it or when it is no longer yours. The example given in the article is how 90% of Americans take out a loan to buy a car.

The article also calls luxury "a drug." It becomes addictive as the things we desire become things we find a way to "need". When we need these things, we behave in a manner that makes us attain these luxuries, and every luxury we get, if it gets out of hand, becomes a reinforcer in the form of positive reinforcement. In this sense, luxuries illicit behaviors and we as people emit them.
Terms: emit, reinforcer, positive reinforcement, illicit, behavior, consequence, antecedent.

The article I read was about identifying and quantifying risk. I found it interesting because it spoke to me- some risks are worth taking in order to avoid much worse risks (such as the ones talked about below). In it, the author talks about how the general population think only of the risks of doing an activity, and ignore the risk of not doing that same activity. The example that was given was biking. The risk of biking is that you could get hurt. However, the risk of not biking is losing out on all the health benefits, and the safest form of transportation available. The author states that it is much more risky to not do this activity than to do it because you only might get hurt biking, but by not biking you will definitely lose the benefits of biking. Behaviorally, this means that people need to modify their behavior so that the discriminatory stimuli that warn them away from these behaviors instead begin to elicit these behaviors. The author thinks that by performing an operant behavior that we deem as being risky only because of what we have heard and not because of actual consequences could lead to more desirable, possibly reinforcing consequences instead of the punishing consequences we are afraid the behavior might cause.

The author lays out what he thinks are the only two risks worth taking seriously in modern life. They are 1). the risk of not living life to the fullest, and 2). the risk of ruining one’s own health and thereby impairing one’s ability to accomplish number 1. Let’s examine another situation behaviorally with this added information. In this case, Mr. Money Moustache is saying that it is more risky to not take a smaller risk if it means you are risking either of the above in order to not take that risk. So, behaviorally Mr. Money Mustache thinks that people need to think more about the punishing consequences that will arise from not living life to the fullest or ruining one’s own health instead of the possible punishing consequences of other behaviors. Let's examine sky-diving. If you emit the behavior of sky-diving, there is a small chance that you could get injured. However, if you worry too much about the slim possibility of these punishing consequences happening instead of worrying about the fact that punishing consequences will occur if you do not emit this behavior (the punishment being not living life to the fullest) you will end up being punished (not living life to the fullest) over and over again instead of possibly being punished for performing the "risky" behavior.

TERMS: behavior, discriminatory stimuli, elicit, operant behavior, consequences, reinforcing, punishing, emit

The part of the Mister Money Mustache, fantastic name by the way, website that I choose to understand and analyze from a behavioral perspective was the article, “Cut Your Cash-leaking Umbilical Cord.” This post was really focused on talking about and encouraging the removal of television from our lives. This was not encouraged from the perspective of the common idea that it is rotting our brains but rather the amount of money we spend on it every year, around $9000. I don’t even make that much money in a year so that is really surprising. I am also a person that pays for cable because of my roommates, we split the bill. However, I spend most of my viewing time on Netflix, Hulu, or HBO go instead of actually cable television primarily because my schedule is so crazy I can’t plan a specific time to sit in front of the T.V. to watch my favorite show. Even if I do watch cable it is background noise. However for many, watching T.V. is a needed mindless activity and they use it as a behavior following an antecedent like stress, getting home from work, or boredom. Associations with television and relaxation become reinforcing so the idea of taking T.V. away for another reinforcer seems like a weird type of punishment. However, you are trading a specific target behavior that is reinforcing because of its consequence of reducing stress for a generalized reinforcer – money. By understanding the various reasons why you have cable in the first place, because of expectation, relaxation, enjoyment, you can begin to change the behavior by replacing what it fulfills with something else reinforcing. This is differential reinforcement of other, because rather than seeing it as taking away a positive thing which would be punishment we only see an addition of an incompatible reinforcing behavior in comparison with the T.V.
By accepting a search for happiness rather than convenience, the benefits of not have television begin to shed the T.V. in a light that is aversive slightly in comparison to the other activities you now have time for. And adapting to the new lifestyle may sound difficult but to me seems extremely worth it in the end, especially since I don’t like watching commercials and sitting in one place for long periods of time. This may be a change I consider.
Terms and terminology: behavior, antecedent, reinforcing, punishment, reinforcer, generalized reinforcer, target behavior, consequence, differential reinforcement of other, reinforcement.

I chose an article about the true cost of commuting after looking through different pieces on the blog. It talked about how couples normally overlook commuting and consider distance that would last approximately 40 minutes as not that long of a commute. Actually this article went into further detail and revealed that longer commutes such as that is the reason that many Americans are losing a significant amount of their income.
I began to look at the article from a behavioral perspective of purchasing a new home. The new home the couple was looking at had many beneficial qualities that made it seem very appealing but if they would take more time they would see that the consequences greatly outweigh the rewards for the location of the house. The couple did not consider the ABCs of behavior and how that would affect them in the long run. They were more focused on the instant gratification of having a house in a more appealing neighborhood. With the addition of the positive neighborhood, the couple saw it as a positive reward. The article view it more as a positive punishment with the addition of the commuting making the behavior of wanting to live in the neighborhood become less likely for the future.
The couple also ignored one of the most essential aspects when it comes to people’s behaviors, the antecedents. By purchasing the home 40 minutes away from their jobs, they are allowing for numerous antecedents that would result in the emission of many aversive behaviors. There is the obvious consequence of losing money due to commuting cost, but there are other things such as getting into car accidents or being more likely to be late for work that the couple overlooked.

Terminology Used: ABCs of behavior, emission, aversive, punishment, reward, positive punishment, positive reward, consequence, antecedent

The title of the article I read was "What is Stoicism and How Can it Turn your Life to Solid Gold". This article is about Stoicism. Stoicism is a series of mental techniques and ways of life that allow you to decrease and virtually eliminate all negative emotions such anger, fear, anxiety, and dissatisfaction, while simultaneously building up a tide of pure job inside you that eventually starts to make you jump around and boogie at unexpected moments. The author states that a successful person emits the behavior of writing down a list of desires, and then emits the behavior of satisfying those desires. However, after doing this for a lifetime, that person may experience the punishing consequence of wasting their lives because they are no more satisfied than at the beginning. The Stoics solution to this problem is to use Negative Visualization to operantly condition a person to want the things they already have instead of wanting things that they do not already have. An example of this technique would be to imagine yourself living life blind. By doing this, you would appreciate your working eyes more. This is an example of an establishing operation because it makes the reinforcer (having a working pair of eyes) more reinforcing by showing the person what not having a working pair of eyes is like.

In addition, Stoics also enjoy experimenting with Voluntary Discomfort. An example of this would be leaving the air conditioning off on a summer day. This is an establishing operation because it makes the reinforcer of comfortable temperatures more reinforcing. It also makes the punisher of uncomfortable temperatures less punishing because you are broadening your comfort zone. The author also thinks that insults should elicit reason rather than anger. He says the best revenge is to live a better life than the other person.

Mr.Money Mustache states that the core of all these tricks and techniques is to let reason triumph over your reflexive emotions. This can mean using reason to disallow certain behavioral processes to control us. We must use our brains to change our behavior for the better instead of letting our brains change us or control our every reaction instinctively.

TERMS: Behavior, emits, punishing, consequence, operantly condition, establishing operation, reinforcer, reinforcing, punisher, elicit.

I chose to read "Luxury is Just Another Weakness" off of the Mr. Money Mustache website. I mean, who doesn't like luxury items? My dad raised me on the idea that the pricier and more luxurious looking a product is, the better it is -- I'd call this observational learning. While that may not be true, it has always stuck with me. I like designer bags and have a few even though I'm on a limited budget. When I buy makeup it's almost always from Sephora. When I got a tablet for Christmas I got an iPad -- not because they're superior, but because it's an Apple product. Now all of this makes me seem like a snob and like I have everything handed to me. Not so much, but I've experienced luxury and honestly it's addicting.
This articles goes on about how luxury is a weakness, and I suppose it is. It weakens me -- makes me think other things aren't as great (like buying makeup from Target is a punishment or aversive) and makes my very nice wallet empty. However, his point about luxury being a drug rings closer to home for me. Buying luxury things seems to be a familiar reinforcement for me -- if I go through the behavior modification schedule properly I reward myself with something nice. Nice things are nice, right? Yeah. Luxury items have a positive valence, and it's pretty universal.
What also struck me was his idea that you shouldn't have to completely rid yourself of nice things, only indulge every once in a while. This sounds a lot like when you can't break an extremely difficult habit (like smoking) so you try to lower times you emit the behavior of smoking. So rather than splurging all the time, I only do it once a month. He even says that luxury is better appreciated when contrasted to the normalcy that is your regular life. This makes sense for a lot of behaviors. Let's take into account the one I'm trying to change now. If I skipped class less would skipping class once every week then be better than doing so all the time? I think so. If you experience luxury too much, does it lose it's luxury-ness? I don't know, you'd have to ask someone like Kim Kardashian.
Come to think of it, what makes luxury things so luxurious? Is it the packaging of a product or how well it performs? Don't BMWs transport you the way a Ford will? It's about the feel. How it looks. How it makes you feel. This sounds like an addiction to me. Luxurious items have such a high extrinsic value -- they're coveted pretty universally, otherwise they wouldn't be that popular or sought after. But really, what is so great about spending $40 on a blush at Sephora or $200 on a Michael Kors cross-body that doesn't hold everything you want it to? You're paying for the name, for the brand rather than the product. So why is it so exhilarating?

Terms: emit, behavior, reinforcement, behavior modification schedule, punishment, observational learning, aversive, valence,

For this assignment, I chose an article discussing on how to save money by changing your mindset on how you are currently spending or not saving your money. Mr. Mustache explains that in order for these people to become rich, they need to drop their fancy cellphones, drop their cable service, disregard our want for more expensive cars (or taking out loans), and don’t waste money on extra groceries. Looking at these items from a behavioral standpoint, I feel that most of these things are linked into our society nowadays. Most people can’t imagine living without a cell phone due to the constant obsession with checking social media sites to see how many “likes” they got. Previous generations had many less items to pay for on a monthly or even yearly basis, and thus the act of saving money was much easier. However, say we (our generation) were able to emit behaviors such as this, cutting back on luxuries, not wasting money on excess groceries, and many others things; going to college would be almost a waste of 4 years of our life (including a rather large amount of money wasted).
College has become a necessary part of life in order to find a successful career for the remained of your life. If we cut down our living expenses by 50-75% and are in fact able to retire within 7-10 years then what’s the point of finding a life long career that you enjoy? The true reason we go to college and get higher education is so that we can find something we enjoy doing and continue doing it until we are too old to continue. Spending 4 years in school for only 7 years of actual working is precious time wasted and according to this mans “system”, would also be considered to be unnecessary money spending.
Although it would be nice to only have to work for a short amount of your lifetime, it wouldn’t be truly worth it if you cant spend your money on things you enjoy doing or enjoy having. A positive reinforcement of working is receiving a paycheck and then being bale to use it for things that you want to purchase. If your forcing yourself to save all of your money and not buy things you can enjoy with it, then I don’t see the point in having money at all. Yes, maybe you can stop working at a young age, but then once you are retired and not working, you have nothing to occupy your time or things to enjoy because you didn’t purchase any luxuries.
The fact of the matter is, many people enjoy having a career that they worked hard to get and find, and they enjoy having the luxuries that they can afford that come along with the paychecks. Yes, most people do want to become rich, however they don’t want to greedily horde their money away while they live a life that doesn’t contain any exciting new purchases. Changing our generations spending behaviors this dramatically in their head will not be easy or maybe even impossible. I believe this article has good intentions, however I believe that it is a far stretch for most people to change their way of life this drastically. Spending less money on useless items is change most people can make, but not enjoying things such as simple cable service, better cell phones, or even a new car are human things that we have all become accustomed to.

The article in question talked about “wealth advice that should be obvious”. Many of these things can easily be implicated to the real world. The first tip that it gives is to never gamble your way to wealth. They explain that if you are considered low-income and in need of money, it is not recommended that you try to gamble your way to wealth. Many people statistically try to catch that lucky break, but statistics say that it is extremely small that it’ll happen. The second tip that the article gives is “windfalls are for buying freedom, not jet-skis”. What this tip says is that if you happen to catch a lucky break and get a pay raise, promotion, large tax refund, etc., then it is important to not spend all that money on something expensive. It is more beneficial to put the money in saving’s account and or to invest. The third tip is “you don’t buy shit you can’t afford”. This one is self-explanatory. If you don’t have enough money, are in debt, or barely have enough, don’t purchase something that’s expensive. This is seen all too much at my work, people talk about how they’re in so much debt, yet they’re buying brand new clothes, cellphones, and other expensive items. The fourth tip in this article is “you don’t buy shit you don’t need”. This is another self-explanatory one. Many people emit the behaviors of shopping for items that they don’t need. Whether it’s for a new television even though yours works perfectly fine or for a gift shop item, there’s no point in buying something if you don’t need it. The fifth tip is “you don’t pay to have shit stored”. This tip dumbfounded me, I understand people use storage units, but I could never see myself using one. I believe that if you need a storage unit, you have too much stuff. The sixth tip is “you don’t think restaurants as a source of food”. This one makes sense to me as I am not much a restaurant person. Restaurants are designed to take your money for your lack of desire to make food. I prefer to personally cook for myself. The seventh tip is “you put good shit on automatic”. This means to put bills and other important payments to be paid automatically to reduce any late fees that may occur if you miss a payment. The eight tip is “stock up when things are on sale”. This is another a no-brainer. If you use a large amount of something and find it on sale, purchase it in bulk or in large quantities. This makes it so you can have that item cheaper than you normally would.

When putting this into a behavioral perspective, I see this as ways to modify behaviors. These tips are behaviors that we can emit through our own daily lives and benefit from them. Even though, they all end up saving you money, a reinforcement in its own, you can use other rewards to help reinforce yourself to emit them. For example, if you are one who likes to gamble, then you emit the behavior of reducing amount of money spent on lottery tickets or in casinos. For your reinforcement, you can reward yourself with a purchase of a lottery ticket for every time your goal has been met. You may also use punishments as well, but as we learned in the class, reinforcement is statistically more efficient. Even though the topography of the situations are different, it all leads to you saving more money, which as stated before is a reinforcement in its own. These behaviors can help condition yourself to be frugal and not spend your money as much as you wanted. My personal goal for this class was to spend less money, so I am definitely taking these tips and applying them to my own life.

In order to get a start, just do a direct assessment. This is an easy way to calculate, on average how much money you spend per week. This assessment can be used as a baseline where you can estimate how much you should lower the amount you spend. Try not to completely extinguish behaviors as that can lead to an extinction burst, which can cost you dearly.

Terms: behavior, emit, reinforce, reinforcement, reward, punishment, topography, condition, direct assessment, extinguish, baseline, extinction burst.

I found the “Getting Rich in One Blog Post” a very interesting read. I found this interesting for many differing reasons. Reason number one is that when I was younger and living at home I had a good amount of money saved up. I was feeling good about myself and the fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement that I had at work. I was getting paid every week and was saving nearly my entire paycheck. This went on until I had about $2500 dollars saved and a positive attitude about what I was doing. I felt a sense of freedom and joy knowing that I could spend $500 dollars in one night and still be ok, and make most of it back the following week. The problem came when I started getting burned out at my job. Working day after day in a restaurant atmosphere standing for 6 or more hours wears and tears on you. The internal goal that I had made for myself was not worth it anymore because I had no balance. In the article it says that if you save even half of each check that you will be able to live a good balanced life. At the time I believed that if I did spend more than $20 or $40 dollars a week on fun activities that I would not have the discipline to stop myself. Of course after I quit my job I soon found out that I was out of balance yet again but in the complete other direction. Now instead of expecting too much out of my work life I was required to do nothing at all. I had no bills to pay, no groceries, and no responsibilities. With all this new free time I started hanging around the kids who also had nothing but free time (unemployed). It is now that I took the opportunity to spend the money I worked hard for on my friends and me to have a good time. Of course when you’re not getting a check every week and spending money goes really fast. This went on until I was completely broke and it is almost as if that snapped me back to reality and what I had just done. I deeply regret spending my money on useless things because I could be enjoying it right now 4 years later if I would have had the discipline to make an internal goal of putting away at least a portion of each paycheck. Something else I took from this experience is to be able to pace yourself. Now this applies for work, school, and life. Time management is the key to success in all things in life. For example, if I would work a lot during one week I could reinforce myself by spending a little extra money on my day off. Or I could have called somebody to cover my shift when I really felt like I was losing my mind. Working now at Little Caesars pizza I keep in mind that working hard does not always mean working fast. Going at the right pace and remembering that reinforcement is coming and negative punishment (days off) are not far either. I will use my new found strategies in my behavior modification class to set specific goals and reinforcements that will keep me from burning out at work.

Negative punishment, reinforcement, positive reinforcement, internal goals, fixed ratio

For this assignment we were asked to find an article on, which I quickly found was a blog/website maintained by a Canadian man who lives a frugal lifestyle shares his stories, tips and lifestyle with similar minded people. With the article we were asked to relate an article to behavior modification, the article I found titled “Frugality: the New fanciness” detailed the life mr.munnymustache (MMM) had while growing up. He explains that growing up his environment was frugal and non-flashy so he had no idea of what flaunting wealth actually meant. MMM continues to explain that currently people as a collective have a spending problem attempting to display wealth, and how the people who are smarter than that live a frugal life. In MMM’s mind the people who spend less and are able to retire early are the new wealthy, meaning that soon people will strive to live cheap and non-flashy lifestyles.
Overall this blogpost was a differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO), I felt that the content was meant for individuals who were spending too much and needed encouragement to spend less. The positive behavior the reader would like to emit is the behavior of spending less money, the conflicting and current behavior is living above your means to show wealth. MMM makes the behavior that is positive seem more appealing and easily attainable while making the current behavior seem wrong and foolish. The reading explained that DRO are an effective way reduce behavior and this post explains how it was used on
Another area from the blog post that can be explained using behavior modification is the scenario described by mmm when he was at the beach when he was younger. I’ll use the ABC’s to explain the scene, the antecedent (a) was a summer trip to sherkston beach which elicited the behavior (b) of standing the individual playing loud music from his cleaned car flaunting his wealth. The intended consequence (c) of this behavior is to attract attention from women.
The blog post was a very interesting read and to most readers would not notice that it was a series of attempts at behavior modification. The way mmm explains why and how frugality is better than spending above your means will result in individuals changing their spending habits and extinguishing the negative behavior.

Terms: Differential reinforcement of other behaviors, behavior, positive, goal, emit, antecedent, consequence, extinguish.

For this assignment, I chose to emit the behavior of reading an article entitled "What if Everyone Became Frugal?". I chose to read this article because I consider myself a frugal person so I thought it would be interesting. The article began by expressing two arguments about why people should not use behavior modification in their lives to live a more frugal lifestyle. The first argument stated that if saving money elicited some people to live frugally, that would be great. However, if everyone responded this way to saving money the economy would collapse because it relies heavily on consumerism. The other argument was from a business owner and it basically said that it needed people to mindlessly purchase the products from the company so they can continue to profit. The author of this article stated that they understood these arguments about consumer behavior but they thought that the larger picture was different that the ideas.

The author stated that the behavior of people who emit the behaviors of investing and saving are the ones who actually are the "engines of economic growth" rather than the behavior of the consumers. People are reinforced to save and invest their money by new technology, factories, human capital, and increased productivity from companies that they are able to invest in because of their frugal ways. This is positive reinforcement because it involves the addition of something positive, in this case new developments. The behavior of investing also helps the country as a whole because it creates productivity which is what drives our standard of living. If more people do not start to emit the behavior of investing the nation as a whole will suffer from a shortage which would lead to having to use international trade. This is an example of positive punishment because it involves the addition of something negative. The result of a national shortage of investment is a current account deficit, a trade deficit, and eventually a huge depreciation of value in the country's currency. All in all, emitting a frugal lifestyle would be beneficial to society.

Emit, behavior, behavior modification, elicited, reinforced, positive reinforcement, positive punishment

The article that I read is about putting $10 into perspective can help to increase the likelihood of being able to retire early. In order for this to take place and individual must change their perspective of what $10 is really worth. People will spend $10 or more on things that are not necessary. Individuals will emit a buying behavior on items that have a positive valence. The author in the beginning of the article mentions that by making decisions about small savings, those small savings turn into big savings. In fact, he mentions that if the organism begins saving at the age of 20 it is possible that they can retire by the age of 30. In addition, if they emit the saving behavior when they are 20 and continue until they reach the age of 30 it is possible to retire with around $600,000.

The author gives the example of a household that has two individuals that are bringing in a source of income. He proceeds saying that if the individuals make “40 successful $10 decisions” which is equivalent to one $10 decision every 2.8 waking hours they will be saving $400 a week. Saving the $400 a day turns into $2,800 per week, that becomes $11,200 per month, and in a year that adds up to $582,400. Should the individual continue to save that amount from the time that they are 20 till they reach the age of 30 they would have saved $5,824,000.

Making the decision to save the small amounts is the target behavior. The individual must identify the antecedents of their spending behavior in order to control their spending. Oftentimes people are unaware of what they are spending money on. Recognizing the antecedents will give the individual an edge on stopping the elicited behavior. Being able to stop the elicited behavior will allow them to begin the process of extinction. More often than not, people are making unnecessary purchases, for example: wine, movie tickets, books, music, luxury cars that have poor gas mileage, etc. I have been in that position. I have spent money on items that were unnecessary. It was not until I had to save up for something big that I began to truly save.

The thing that I like is that the blog is relatable. While reading through I noticed a few things that stuck out with my own behavior. In addition to blog being relatable, the author provides numerical data and hypothetical examples that could potentially occur. I will definitely be applying the techniques that have been mentioned in the blog and apply them to my own life. Along with the methods of behavior modification in an effort to increase the likelihood of my saving behavior occurring more frequently in the future.

Terms: emit, behavior, positive valen, organism, target behavior, antecedents, elicited, extinction, behavior modification, increase the likelihood,

After poking around on this site for a while, I found an article entitled "A Millionaire is made ten bucks at a Time" Before I even read a single word of the posting it immediately made me think of some of the things that we have discussed in class.

One thing that immediately came to mind was when we had discussed self directed behavior. I was immediately reminded of the section that discussed New Years Resolutions.

This article touched on many of the same things that we did in class. The reason that many people fail at their resolution's is that they are far too broad. They want too much too fast. The same can be said of people wanting to become millionaires. There is a reason that "Get Rich Quick" schemes and the lottery are so popular. Everyone want's the end result, but they want it right away. What people don't understand is that changing your behavior is a process. Just like a millionaire is ten bucks at a time, a true change in behavior is made one step at a time.

Another thing that caught my eye was when the author spoke about his time as a child. As a kid, he used to emit a mowing behavior. He was positively reinforced for this behavior by being rewarded with 5 dollars. Apparently this reward was very reinforcing because he found himself itching to mow again the next week in order to receive more reinforcement.

This reinforcer was made more reinforcing due to the fact that as a kid, there was only so many things he could do to earn money. He likely had very few options and as a result was deprived of funds. This deprivation acted as an establishing operation so that the reward of the money at the end of mowing was even more reinforcing.

I thought that this was interesting because these events during the authors childhood probably contributed a lot to his appreciation for money in the future. He was being conditioned to value money and he didn't even know it!

One thing that I have noticed since starting this class, is that I have started to notice things like this everywhere. I never realized how much our behavior is influenced by other people, things, experiences and desires. We are constantly being punished and reinforced and our behavior is always being modified. After all, if you can make connections between a financial blog and psychology, I think it's safe to say you can make connections just about anywhere.

TERMS: Self Directed behavior, reinforced, positive, emit, behavior, establishing operation, deprivation, conditioned, punished, modified

In his blog post titled, If I Ran the School Things Would be Different, Mr. Money Mustache describes different aspects of public education that he does not agree with and how he would change them for the benefit of children and in particular his son. He describes how he has volunteered at the school and he gets excited to see children in conversation and learning through the conversation but then teachers get mad at them for being too loud.
The aspect that Mr. Money Mustache does not agree with most is the way that recess is used. He believes that this time outside playing with friends and exploring nature is a great break for the brains of the little ones. This break is necessary in order for the kids to learn effectively. When a child is misbehaving, he/she may be punished by having them skip recess. This form of negative punishment revolves around the idea that taking away recess is going to decrease the disruptive, unwanted behavior. This is an example where the situation is aversive because of the removal of something desirable. MMM does not agree with this because he believes that the kids are being disruptive and emitting unwanted behavior because they have too much energy and are bored in their classrooms. He believes that just as much learning can happen on the playground, such as exploring their imaginations and influencing their creativity. It also contributes to their social skills and is one of the only times where they are able to socialize with their friends.
The schools should focus on reinforcing the children instead of punishing them. All people would rather be praised then punished. Children, especially, love getting praised and it helps their self-esteem. Punishment is aversive and it changes school into a negative thing for the children. In the article, MMM says that his child started getting anxiety from school and I think that this happens to children all of the time. All people are different so of course we are not all going to learn at the same rate and behave all the same and interested in all the same things. I agree with MMM that constantly worrying about the children conforming decreases their creativity.
In the end, the education system needs to change and that is not a new thought. Instead of having many aversive factors and make children hate school there should be more reinforcement within the school systems for good behavior. This will increase the likelihood of the behavior happening. Also, recess should not be taken away as punishment because children need breaks and they need the fresh air. Being cooped up in a classroom all day will not help the kids get rid of their energy.

Terms: punishment, reinforcement, emitted, aversive, positive and negative.

This article is about how to save money. The article offers advice on wealth and that if we think about everyone should know about it. The first advice is in gambling. Usually people that struggle to pay bills or have big loans will buy lottery tickets because they may have a chance to win the big price. People will go Las Vegas, to the casinos to play in the machines and earn some money but there is not a 100% sure that you are going to win therefore it will be better that you save that money rather than losing it. This is an example of a superstitious behavior, people may wake up with thinking today is a great day, they have good luck and spend their money on lottery tickets rather than saving it.

Another advice is to not buy that is out of your price range, limit because you may deserve the item but that doesn't mean you may afford it. However, this “deserve” item may work as a reinforce to work harder and therefore actually earn but that is not always the case so keep in mind what your budget is and there may be other ways to reinforce yourself for your hard work. A long with this is that you should not buy things that you don’t need, that money can be put in saving and at the end all you’re saving may be used to buy something you actually need. Rather than paying for something you may actually never use. This might be seen as a punishment because is a payment you are making without getting a benefit from it.

Another advice is to not pay for storage. In first place if you are saving things somewhere you may actually not need them therefore, you can emit the behavior of getting those things and selling them, and with that money getting something you actually need. As a consequence you may rewards yourself with that money, with something that you will enjoy and be happy with. The last advice is to stock up on things you actually need that are on sale. Therefore, whenever you are planning going to buy them you already got them for cheaper. However, this doesn't mean that you will buy thousands of it. The target behavior overall is to save money on the best possible way and at the end use those saving for something beneficial to your life. Emitting that behavior of saving money will become a habit with practice and at the end when you see the results you would have achieve your target behavior.

Target behavior, emit, elicit, reinforcement, punishment, antecedent, behavior, consequence, positive reinforcement.

What i chose to write about was wealth advice that should be obvious. This article was about what is a good idea and what a bad idea is to do with your money. I thought it would be interesting to turn this article into some kind of reward system, Of course we would reward the good behaviors but would it be best to punish unnecessary purchases? As we have learned in class it is always best to reward a separate behavior instead of punishing a bad behavior. Instead of focusing on the consequence of behaviors I thought we could focus on the antecedents then worry about the consequences.

When it comes to saving money, everyone has a different philosophy. "I only reward myself every once and a while" "I never spend money because i don't like having things i don't 'Need'". A good antecedent for saving money would be to calculate how much you can survive on per month, take your earnings and putting it right into your savings would be the best course of action, but like i said some people are not good at saving money. In my opinion calculating how much you need to survive is not the best strategy to save your money. The problem with setting up an antecedent would be that when people struggle to save money their purchases tend to be spontaneous. Therefore, in my opinion a reward system would be easiest to follow. What kind of reward could be sufficient since most people see a reward as tangible. In section 5.5 of the book it discuses rewards through events. Perhaps it would be best to reward good money saving behaviors with the opportunity to do something with friends at the end of the week. This is called Premack Principle, emitting behaviors for the opportunity to do something.

I certainly am no expert on money saving, i never have been so this was an interesting topic to write about. I think the best way for me to save money would be to reward my habits with events.

Behavior, consequence, antecedent, emit, Premack Principle, reinforcement, punishment, positive reinforcement.

The article I choose to write about is “Killing your $1000 Grocery Bill.” This article talks about how you can make choices on what you eat, how much you eat and where you get your grocery’s to cut extra spending and save a lot of money and get healthy all at the same time. There are some simple behavioral steps that you can take to cut spending and get healthy.

The first step is to set a spending goal per month. Setting a goal requires a plan, how to carry out that plan and what to do when that plan gets knocked off track a little bit. In order to take your monthly grocery bill down to $375 a month, you have to spend wisely. One of the things to make this goal would be to tell yourself to shop at farmers markets or community businesses and Costco only. This is changing the antecedents so that you are not tempted to spend too much on food that you do not need.

Another part of the behavioral intervention would be to change what you put into your body. The author mentions that each meal you eat should be worth $1 or less and should equal 667 calories. He mentions that people think that eating healthy means that you eat a lot of protein and people think that protein only comes from meat. This is a huge misconception and you can get protein form a lot of less expensive sources. Changing your eating habits to a high fat and low carb diet will make you eat less and save a lot of money because you eat less. This also comes with a high negative reward of losing weight if that is part of your goal.

By changing what you eat and where you get your groceries, you can save a lot of money. Saving your money would come with a positive reward of having more money to spend elsewhere. Eating less and healthier could come with a negative reward for a consequence. I think the antecedent of where you buy your groceries has the biggest effect on how much money you spend a month. I really enjoyed this article and suggest it to everyone looking to save money.

Terms: Antecedent, consequence, goal, plan, behavioral intervention, negative reward, positive reward.

Cure Yourself of Tiny Details Exaggeration Syndrom is the article I found that was made in 2012. The main focus of the article was over TDES, tiny details exaggeration syndrome, which is the tendency of humans to zoom in on increasingly irrelevant details as their material wealth increases. I chose this article because I found it to be very interesting to me, and thought it related very much to my generation of college kids and also to the upcoming generations. The article is correct when they talk of people focusing too much on the irrelevant material details associated with wealth. This article can be related to what we are learning in class in the way of how reinforcement is used. When people take the extra step on spending a little more on an item, it usually goes recognized and positively reinforced. When people take the cheaper route on a specific item, their purchase would most likely go without any sort of reinforcement towards taking the cheaper route and avoiding to pay the extra dollars on something more flashy and costly.

If you could look past the little details within each purchase, not caring for how people would perceive you and your item, a large amount of money could be saved. Modifying how much you care how others perceive you could lead you to a much more successful and wealthier lifestyle. Setting a target behavior of focusing less on others perception of you is something that a lot of people could work on, including myself.
Terms: reinforcement, positively reinforced, target behavior, emitting

1a&b) I really enjoyed the discussion behavior control in children in this section. Changing the environment by removing the antecedent can really manipulate a behavior of a child into a more positive one, specifically in the “toy time outs”. This behavior is seen in all small children, they’re fighting over a toy or using it as a weapon. By putting the toy in “time out”, it removes the antecedent of the fight or disrupts the operant behavior of fighting and arguing. Another way to improve young children’s behavior is by removing “no”. Creating a space safe, where children are allowed to do as they please, without being told “no”. This helps them to mimic this action, instead of just learning to say “no” to get what they want. Working in a daycare for a year, I’ve seen many children enact these behaviors, but I never knew what could be leading to them until now. I’m a big fan of practice makes perfect and using repetition as a strategy for learning, but there seemed to be a lot more bubbles than text. It could also be impart to graduation being three weeks away. As I have said before, it would be helpful in the later chapters to have this relate to our topics, even though the ones in the section are relatable.
2) There wasn’t really anything from this section that I didn’t like. I thought it was very to the point and it provided some really good examples that I can apply to my own life and how I can apply more behavior modification concepts to my own life. Some ideas that came to mind were controlling the antecedent more in my daily life. For example, one thing that bothers me in my apartment is the level of volume that my boyfriend listens to TV at night. It is always too loud, and I ask him every night to turn it down. He turns it down, but doesn’t learn from it because it is back at the same exact level the next night. So after reading this, I have decided that altering the antecedent could be the best way to control the volume to a reasonable level on a nightly basis. For example, I could provide him with a pair of headphones that he could use or split the cost of a pair of headphones so I am not disturbed.
3 a,b&c) 1. Environments can be shifted to change a behavior, specifically the antecedent of the situation. If the antecedent is removed or changed, it can completely alter the behavior and this is done in a variety of ways. Examples of this could be joining a new club, picking up a new hobby or actually a change of environment. 2. Using differential reinforcement of other behaviors we are able to control the environment so that it contains the proper antecedents to elicit the appropriate behaviors. This is an effective way to modify a behavior in a desirable way. This changes the environment to produce a positive change. The example in the text made a lot of sense. Trying to eat healthier by changing the food in the environment. Putting out fruits and vegetables, not having candy around, having smaller portions, etc.
3. Another way to change a behavior is by adapting the physical environment. We can remove objects that will elicit undesirable behaviors. This will help to increase the frequency of a desirable behavior. By incorporating differential reinforcement of other behaviors, we can change out physical things that elicit bad behaviors for ones that would elicit good behaviors.
Week #2 (behavioral intervention)
Day 1 = steps 15,590, active min 56
Day 2 = steps 13,772, active min 0
Day 3 = steps 18,735, active min 90
Day 4 = steps 7,582, active min 20
Day 5 = steps 16,893, active min 84
Day 6 = steps 11,584, active min 22
Day 7 = steps 5,552 , active min 0
Average = steps 12,815 , active min 38
4b) I would say that it’s going ok. I have realized that I take more steps then I thought I did. I also feel like my flex might not be as accurate when it comes to measuring my active minutes.
5) Terms: environment, antecedent, manipulate, toy time outs, disrupts the operant behavior, removed, differential reinforcement of other behaviors, elicit, desirable, adapting the, physical environment, undesirable

While searching around on the Mr. Money Mustache website I came across many articles but one that I cam across was “Is Mr. Money Ruining Your Marriage?” I found this one interesting because I was honestly wondering about how couples can both agree to live the strange lifestyles.
From what I understand Mr. Money Mustache is a blog that teaches you about how to save for retirement by living frugally. I can definitely see where this is a huge problem for some people. We don’t always want to change our ways and there are many other opportunities out there to save for retirement than living in these odd terms now. Mr. Money Mustache wants his followers to emit a lot of money saving behaviors which there a probably a lot of people who can do this. Although people don’t always like change nor do they like doing it all at once, this can cause a lot of problems for people in committed relationships. This can be seen as negative reinforcement for some who have done nothing wrong.
In order for this to be a successful behavior change one must record a baseline. From here we can see how much the family unit is spending as a whole. After that you are able to set a reasonable goal of how much you want to be saving, the target behavior. This goal shouldn’t be out of the question but it should be enough. Then you can start month-by-month or week-by-week and increase the amount that is saved or decrease your spending amount. This allows people to ease into things without feeling overwhelmed.
There needs to be set reinforcers in place that will encourage the behavior to keep happening. Since the behavior is saving money a reinforcer could be setting aside money that you are allowed to spend “unwisely” as MMM would say. This is a way for you to still feel somewhat in control of your funds. Feeling aversive punishment from your spouse can cause many problems. Going form 0 to 100 on the whole saving thing can really affect one’s happiness. It’s very important to follow the correct steps on how to successfully change a behavior so people don’t feel so overwhelmed if it’s not something they’ve entirely signed up for.

Terms: Emit, reinforcement, negative reinforcement, reinforcer, behavior, desirable, target behavior, baseline, punishment, goals


Ok, so I found the title of an article that I thought would be pretty interesting. It was called The True Cost of Commuting. There were a couple reasons that I thought it would be important. One was that my boyfriend commutes to work every day having to drive about an hour and fifteen minutes one way five days a week. Next, my dad drives to Kansas City to work Monday-Friday.. that’s about 4 hours and a half hours. I thought that maybe I could read the article and be able to give some friendly advice to the men in my life and help them save some money.
This all gets brought up because he meet this couple that are willing to emit the behavior of driving 40 minutes each way to their jobs. Mr. Money Mustache The consequence of this couple commuting to work is the spending of money. He give examples of how they could cut back on their gas, their commute, and considerations on moving which he is intending leaved them with a positive reinforcement of having extra money when they are 10 years down the road. This article basically tells everyone how commuting just a waste of money. They even mention how you could consider finding a new job in a community that you want to be in. It makes you feel that even having a car in general will just waste your money. Or how getting the newer fancier car is also a waste of money. Mr. Money Mustache is pretty blunt about his feelings. An antecedent would be choosing to live in a location close to work, this would elicit the behavior of being in a proximity to bike to work, the behavior emitted would be biking to work, and the consequence would be saving a lot of money in gas and car payment. While choosing to live closer to their jobs they could also give up a car all together which would save them money. He is trying to get people to look about what they find as a necessity in their lives and what they can give up.
To me he just seems super frugal. It’s not always possible to find a place or community close to your job. Also by getting a newer car they are making them to be more gas efficient anyway. He made the comment about schooling and how you should just take into consideration that instead of sending them to the “higher rated school” because it’s farther away you could send them to one closer and save the money to send them to college. Well, your child could have better opportunities at the higher ranked schools and may be able to get into better colleges to be able to earn more money or they could get a scholarship. Mr. Money Mustache also never mentioned car pooling.
Terms: emit, behavior, consequence, reinforcement, elicit,

For this week's assignment I chose to emit the behavior of reviewing the article titled, "The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement". This article attempts to make you elicit the targeted behavior of creating a baseline and recording the amount of money you are saving for your retirement. recording this frequency of behavior will help you stay on track and meet your goal. Within the article it poses the general situation, where the antecedent is being at a bank, with your behavior being that of depositing money into your investment account and the consequence of emitting this behavior would be that you would earn 5% on your investment. This consequence acts as a reinforcer to continue and increase the frequency of the target behavior. This form of behavioral intervention is supposed to make it so you will have more than enough money to be able to have a comfortable retirement and changes your past behavior of unwise spending. Devising this economic plan will prove to provide you with a positive reinforcer, which will condition you to have a predisposition for this self-directed behavior; plus it definitely beats the punishment that would become a consequence if you chose not to implement this plan. Having a solid retirement is a very desirable position to be when compared to the aversive position of not having a satisfyingly full retirement plan. Listen to Mr. Money Mustache, follow the plan, retire happily.

Terms: Goal, Target behavior, baseline, emit, elicit, frequency of behavior, behavior intervention, consequence, antecedent, positive reinforcer, punishment, aversive, desirable, conditioned, self-directed behavior.

After scrambling around on Mr Money Mustache, I found the topic “Getting Rich: from Zero to Hero in One Blog Post” very interesting. Mr Moustache discussed the way he saved money to become rich and gave advices on saving money. Mr Mustache retired with his wife at the age of 30. How is that even possible? He did not win lottery, but, he managed to save enough money just from his and his wife’s salary in a rather smart way. His million dollar advice to get rich is to spend much less than you earn. He stated that if one can save 50% of their take- home pay starting at age 20, they will be wealthy enough to retire by age 37. Mr Mustache saved 66% of his pay and in under ten years he realized that he doesn't have to work for a living any more.

He proposed a few methods to save money. One of the methods is to focus on happiness than convenience and luxury that lead to financially illiterate her. Besides, he stated that one should live close to work and don’t borrow money to buy cars. He also said that TV service should be cancelled and not spend on overpriced cell phones. He said that those are fancy stuffs that burns a hole in your pocket. However, the question is, what do we do with all the money that we save then? One of the things that Mr Mustache recommended is investing the money in stock index funds, paying off your house, as well as, in other sources that you can make money work for you.

From a behavioral perspective, I learned that Mr Mustache used operant conditioning in saving money and retiring fairly early in life. The antecedents in this case are happiness and necessary items that he needs in life. The operant behavior is saving money. The consequences of saving money is he became richer and retired more quickly than most people. This is a negative reinforcement because Mr Mustache is removing something aversive, such as things that cost him a lot of money like TV service and expensive cell phone. The removal of aversive stimulus then increases his behavior of saving money. When he has a lot of money at the age of 37, he feels reinforced and this increases the likelihood of him emitting the money saving behavior in the future.
Terms: Emitting, operant conditioning, negative reinforcement, aversive, stimulus, behavior, antecedent, consequences.

Firstly I would like to start by saying THANK YOU! Thanks for showing me this blog! It is filled with so much cool information on changing your world to be more sustainable and ecofriendly. I will definitely be passing this blog along to friends and family!
One article that interests me on Mr. Mustache’s page is his February 16th, 2015 blog. This post is all about modern schooling and the surprising benefits of homeschooling. He talks about how schools are current schools are run in a way that inhibits the creativity and curiosity that is innate in children. He has a great line in the blog that says “humans are naturally curious creatures, and if you set us free in the right environment, we will get to work learning, producing, and have a great time at it.” He talks about how the modern school system takes away valuable creative outlets to punish wrong doings. For example, to get a student to stop disturbing class, a teacher will take away their recess. This is an effective strategy for changing a behavior. I think using differential reinforcement could be just as, if not more, effective. We discussed in class that reinforcing of a different behavior, differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior, is an effective way to change an emitted behavior. We looked at an article in class that discussed differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior. It encourages ignoring undesired behaviors and reinforcing a target behavior that inhibits the old undesired behavior. I think this could be effective in Mr. Mustache’s ideal school, because he seems to be against punishment at all.
While I do agree that there tends to be too much focus on forcing straight lines and quiet hallways,that does have its place in modern society. Without structure and obedience our world would be in a state of confusion. We may be able to adapt to a non-rigorous society, but it would take a while! Mr.Mustache talks in his blogs about his ideal world, filled with sustainable homes, and people using electrical cars and bikes, keeping the world carefree and frugal. An interesting and hopeful outlook on our future.

Terms: Punishment, reinforce, differential reinforcement, emitted, undesired behavior, target behavior
Links to related illustrations:

There was an early retiree. Before bedtime she would have these self-directed activities to gain knowledge, improve herself, and possibly help others.
Humans are naturally energetic and curious. If they are in the right environment they will be able to learn, produce, and even have an enjoyable time.
This woman had a son who got bored at school easily. He loved having the freedom to be creative and to work. Eventually he had gotten an anxiety disorder. This affected his sleep, he worried about school, and caused health issues. His teachers were unable to adapt. In 3rd grade there was a lot of discipline and punishment. His mother noticed that other parents did not put enough effort into their children's learning.
While she helped at the school she would question why students had to line up and why they were not allowed to have conversations. Teachers would take away their recesses as punishment even though that is a valuable time to get fresh air and relax and exercise. If she had a school there would be more recesses and she would want dance parties in the hallway. Play would not be something that is suppressed. The children should be reinforced with more fun and interesting things in order to learn. It would be useful to change the environment or antecedent.
She found that she loved homeschooling and that it came with many advantages. It had been much more rewarding than public school had.
Terms: Reward, antecedent, reinforcement, discipline, punishment, self-directed.

I read a blog called New Year's Resolution: Getting Your Brain Back. At first I was confused on exactly what we were supposed to do for this assignment. After looking around the website a little though, I realized that this was a blog and this man creates fabulous writings very frequently. I read this particular blog because it was the first one that caught my eye. I have always been into resolutions but have never been able to make them work 100% of the time. I thought by reading this blog it would explain a little more to me of why people have such a hard time with these and what a solution would be to help that.

I didn't expect this article to give me much information about behaviorism and to relate to what we have learned so far but I was definitely wrong. This blog related to quite a few things that we have learned about so far and I was happy to have recognized them. The first thing that I will talk about is actually the topic that the section of the reading that we covered today. The reading talked about how changing the environment can change a behavior. By retiring early and changing his environment from being at work with emails and phone calls and much more to being at home without those distractions, he was able to achieve much more throughout his day. He was able to concentrate more on what was important and get things done in a more efficient manner. After this though, a few years later the iPhone comes out. With him having an iPhone, this sets up a whole new environment. He now has easy access to the internet, twitter, emails, texts, and much more. By having this much at his fingertips, he feels like he isn't able to concentrate as well or accomplish what he wants to accomplish. He wants to do something about it and he does this by making micro level changes. This is another thing that we have talked about in class. It is important to take small steps to achieve a big goal. If you want to go all in for a huge goal, you will probably fail. He talks about what he changes in order to achieve his target behavior of not being as distracted anymore and to be able to concentrate better on things and think more for himself. To do this he slowly changes the antecedents around him that are causing him to use his phone so much. He deletes twitter, puts his phone in his office at night, and puts weights next to different things in his house so that it is easy access for him to work out and to constantly remind him to. He also uses a reward system to keep himself motivated. His reward is usually personal in the fact that he is getting more accomplished than he used to in shorter amounts of time, giving him more free time.

Overall, he uses multiple steps in order to change his behavior. He uses a lot of behavioral techniques and I have definitely learned something from just reading this article. I was happy that I was able to easily relate it to behavior modification and I hope that this will be something that I will do in my future.

Terms: behaviorism, environment, behavior, micro level changes, target behavior, antecedents, reward system, reward

The article I found was called "luxury is just another weakness". I was at first intrigued by the title because I, like many others have occasionally fallen into the trap that is luxury. Sacrificing certain things so that I can have that item of status. This is something I have been trying to modify about myself and this article was perfect.

The main idea of this article is to practice moderation, much like with anything in life. You can have a few fancy things but it shouldn't become who you are, and you shouldn't base self worth off of the things that you have. The whole reason that people buy these things are because of the rush that it gives them, they feel rewarded. MMM isn't saying that no one should ever buy nice things. But it all depends on how you view it. Like with anything that is potentially bad for you you have to practice moderation, if you cant completely cut it out.

terms: modification, moderation, reward, sacrifice. luxury

The article that I found on this website was "An Enjoyable Experiment: Wasting $1000." This article was interesting to read about. Basically, the man decided that he wanted to do a challenging experiment where he started with a baseline of $700 in his wallet and instead of watching how he spends money, he decided to splurge and spend the money on excessive things that he normally would not spend it on. The modification of his behavior was that he was going to spend the money on extra things like dessert after his meal, more expensive beer, and more.

So what did he find out after spending all of his money on excessive things? The consequence of his behavior he was emitting was that he did not really feel any different. He said for the most part, he gained a few pounds, and the behavior had an aversive effect. This could be an example of negative reinforcement because he lost money by splurging on things he did not really need. He realized that he was happy with everything that he had, and he did not need to have an excessive amount of these things to be happier.

terms: baseline, modification, behavior, consequence, aversive, negative reinforcement, emitting

A Millionaire is Made Ten Bucks at a Time

This article explains to us how simply seeing 10 dollars as a lot of money (like we use to as kids) can add up to having enough money to retire by 30 with…in theory. It is simply broke down that by cutting small things out of our lives like giving up going to the movies or spending 10$ a day in food for lunch, along with paying off one luxury before investing in another, we could easily save up 600K in 10 years.

If I would have read this article 2 years ago I wouldn’t have believed it for a second. I would have thought this person would have to live as simply as possible and work more hours than they could keep count of. Luckily, in the passed year I have discovered how easily it is to save. For example, someone that smokes a pack a day could easily save roughly $2,600. Doing that for 10 years gets you 4% there. By investing in fuel-efficient vehicles, being conscious about the amount of electricity and water you use, and used coupons whenever you can…it will eventually add up.

In the passed year myself, I have only bought things I “wanted” if it were used, on sale, or I had a coupon. Often I still only buy luxuries if it is on sale AND I have a coupon. I haven’t done the exact math, but I believe to have been saving roughly 40% more than what I was a year ago. This has been the most effective this semester in class as well, because I chose shopping as my behavior to change (Even though I am saving 20-60% per purchase, I often buy things I don’t need because of it). By asking myself if I really need it, if I will still be using it a year from now, and how much would it be if I used it daily (i.e. Coach purse=150$...used everyday for a year is equivalent to spending .41 a day on it)

I think this article was really interesting and could help a lot of people out. The only thing I wish they would have covered is credit cards. I know of a lot of people that get credit cards without knowing the consequences, and just like saving…those small charges can add up to a LOT. I really liked how this article said that people could still live comfortably and could still splurge sometimes as well. I have seen TV shows of people that go to extremes (making the whole family share bath water, dumpster diving for food, only wearing 1 outfit a week…) but this was not like that.

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