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Essay Paper on Basic Principles of Behavior

This paper is going to be devoted to considering basic behavior principles and choosing one of them for correcting driving behavior of the observed person. Careless driving while talking on the cell-phone will be corrected during one week with the help of such a behavioral principle as respondent conditioning. The implementation of this principle will be described in detail. The conclusion will be made as for the necessity of controlling and correcting driving behavior and the effectiveness of the chosen principle in the given situation.

Before we start considering the topic which interests us, namely the discussion of certain driving behavior and the possibility to avoid it, it is necessary to define behavior as such. Generally, behavior is what we do. We accomplish actions which are publicly observable such as body movements, speaking, and so on.

When we view the behavior of the person I have chosen to observe it is as follows. The chosen person is my cousin Christopher who works for a growing FMCG company under large pressure of his management. He has got used to work long hours and cannot imagine his life without the cell phone and its usage every minute everywhere. What is the reason for concern is his driving behavior while talking on the cell-phone. Christopher becomes inattentive; he fails to notice important road signs and even pedestrians. As far as it is impossible for him not to talk on the phone while driving (he works outside the office and thus is to be available and easy of access at all times) there is supposed to be some way to make him more attentive and careful.

There are some possibilities of making Christopher be more careful on the way while talking on his cell-phone. First of all, it is possible to engage his close relatives (and even friends) into the process and ask them to constantly remind Christopher to be careful. as soon as he begins to be more attentive and drives more safely their constant reminders will stop. This is supposed to be such a principle as negative reinforcement. But Christopher’s behavior (if changed) will be difficult to control. So this variant of influence can be used as additional and a kind of a safety net.
What is more likely to have its positive effect on Christopher’s driving behavior is such principle as respondent conditioning. This principle is supposed to be used in order to establish certain response based on methods developed and described by Ivan Pavlov and his disciples. In this type of conditioning some kind of an initially neutral stimulus is supposed to eventually cause a conditioned response.

I believe this principle to be the most appropriate and effective in this situation as it is supposed to cause a long-term reaction which will protect Christopher from meeting with an accident on the road while driving and talking on the cell-phone.

In order to implement my plan I will have to pretend observing Christopher’s behavior for some more time. Thus I will have to be in his car with him while he drives solving his business issues, executing the management’s orders, and doing his job.

Before we go driving one day I tell him some recent and horrible episode connected with a car accident which was caused by lack of the driver’s attention while talking on the phone and driving at the same time. The accident is supposed to be the driver’s fault and there can even be victims. I am going to find the pictures from the scene of this accident and show Christopher. This will be done between this and then in order to seem an accidental match with Christopher’s behavior on the way. He will certainly parallel the described accident with his careless driving behavior and instinctively will notice the coincidence. My story is supposed to make Christopher understand that his phone conversations and relevant driving behavior can result in something similar. Thus I have to make him change his driving behaviors. His cell-phone ringing will be a neutral stimulus (NS) first. As soon as the phone rings I will show him the photo of the accident I have spoken about. And the photo of the accident will serve as an unconditioned stimulus (US). As a result unconditioned response to this stimulus will be Christopher’s fear to meet with a car accident, to come to harm himself, and to hurt innocent people. Fear will appear to be an unconditioned response (UR) to my stimulus.

After the lapse of some days the phone ringing (the neutral stimulus) will become a conditioned stimulus. It will happen in the following way. Each time the phone rings (conditional stimulus) I will show Christopher the picture (unconditioned stimulus) and he will start fearing of an accident. As a result in some time Christopher will demonstrate conditioned response – fear of an accident – as soon as the phone rings. And as he is afraid he will refer to and pay attention to the road signs and the external scenery on the road and thus be more careful driving. The best behavior of him which I will advise can be decelerating or even stopping the car if there is such a possibility…

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