Treatment phase report assignment

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Instructions Attached and example 

PSYC 320

Behavior Modification Project: Treatment Phase Report Assignment Instructions


Treat your target behavior, using the treatment method(s) that you have researched in this course. Use the time available to you to treat it, whether it is one week or two. Then prepare and submit your Behavioral Modification Project: Treatment Phase Report Assignment, which will consist of the following 6 parts. Use Level One headings to differentiate the parts.


1. Target Behavior: The target behavioral definition is clear and measurable. Examples are cited if clarification is needed. [Description]

2. Treatment Method: The treatment method is described clearly and concisely.


3. Treatment Period: Dates and/or time stated in the description and labeled on the x axis of the graph. For the treatment graph, both the baseline and the treatment phases should be shown with phase lines between the two. [Description and Graph]

4. Experiment Narrative: Described the logistics and process of the experimental treatment phase (the research design – AB or ABAB, schedules of treatment, confounding variables that may have impacted the experiment). [Description and Graph]

5. Dimension(s): The logical dimension(s) (Frequency – Intensity – Duration – Latency) that were observed and recorded during the treatment phase are clearly and consistently stated and shown, labeled on the y axis of the graph. [Description and graph]

6. Summary of Treatment: Clearly and completely, but concisely, verbally summarize the treatment of the target behavior and show the results of the experiment. [Description and Graph]

Note: This assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.


APA Formatted Title Page Comment by Conner, Kevin Wayne (Psychology): Format the title page according to APA standards.

Social Media Use as a Behavior Modification: Treatment Phase Report

Target Behavior

The target behavior chosen for this experiment was the participant’s excess usage of social media. For the sake of this study, social media use was defined as logging on to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Excess usage is defined as “using the social media more than 1 hour a day or checking it multiple times in an hour” (Bates et al., 2020).

Treatment Method

Positive punishment was used as the treatment method. If the participant opened a social media site between the hours outlined in the study, she immediately performed fifty jumping jacks regardless of her location. Jumping jacks served as the positive punisher throughout this study, and needed to be completed immediately following the target behavior in order for the treatment to be successful.

Experiment Narrative

The participant kept a small tablet of paper in her pocket or purse and marked each time she opened or logged onto a social media site between the hours of eight o’clock in the morning and nine o’clock in the evening. There was a separate sheet of paper for each day of the study for the participant to track the number of times she opened or logged into social media sites on each day. The schedule of treatment was consistent among the treatment phases. The treatment was divided into two separate time frames separated by a period of baseline observation. The treatment period began immediately following the baseline phase. The first treatment was on February 9, 2016 and ended on February 15, 2016. The first treatment phase lasted seven days, and was followed by a second baseline phase. The second baseline phase started on February16, 2016 and ended on February 20, 2016. The second treatment phase started on February 21, 2016 and ended on February 25, 2016. Due to time constraints the second baseline and treatment phases lasted only five days each.


Only the dimension of frequency of social media usage was observed and recorded throughout the experiment. [Example: This was accomplished ____ many times during the period.]

Summary of Treatment

When the participant logged onto a social media site, she would immediately stop and complete fifty jumping jacks consecutively. After the jumping jacks, the participant would make a mark on the paper she kept with her in order to track the frequency of her social media use. The marks were then totaled each evening to provide a daily total.

During the first treatment period, the excess behavior of social media usage declined significantly, and by the end of the period there were no occurrences of the target behavior. During the second period of treatment, the decline of the target behavior happened more quickly than in the first treatment period.

On the first day of the first treatment period, the participant logged into a social media site four times, and performed fifty jumping jacks immediately after logging in each time. On the second day, she opened a social media site three times, and on the third day she only logged into a social media website once. From day four to day seven, the participant did not log onto any social media sites. Compared to the first baseline phase, the participant’s target behavior decreased significantly and eventually had no occurrences (as shown in Figure 1).

When treatment stopped during the second baseline phase, the behavior increased slightly but did not return to the level of frequency shown in the first baseline phase (as shown in Figure 1). During the second treatment phase, the participant had two occurrences of social media use on the first day, but did not have occurrences of the target behavior for the remainder of the treatment phase (shown in Figure 1). Considering that the frequency of social media use declined significantly during both treatment phases, the treatment was successful.

The most profound observation during the treatment phase was that the behavior was a habit. The participant logged on to social media sites without thinking or consciously wanting to. Day one through day three of the first phase of treatment had the most occurrences of the behavior. The majority of those occurrences had been done out of habit, not a conscious desire to engage in social media use.

The other observation was that social media use was more likely to occur if the participant was bored, waiting for someone or something, or stressed. The participant would benefit from keeping a book or a list of things that can be done during these small intervals of time. This would help her overcome boredom, escape stress, and fulfill the same purpose that social media has had in the past. This would help the participant be more productive with her time, which was ultimately the purpose of decreasing social media use in her daily life.

Results supported the treatment being a good fit for this participant because she does not appreciate the attention that resulted in completing the punishment. During the time that she completed fifty jumping jacks, all tasks would stop around her. The participant is a wife and mother who homeschools her children; therefore, all schoolwork and home activities would stop while she completed the punishment, which was not desirable for her. She did not engage in social media usage outside of her home during the treatment phase because she did not want to have to complete the punishment in a public place. Her children and husband were holding her accountable during this treatment, and would have insisted she do the punishment in a public place if she had logged onto a social media website. She does not enjoy being the focal point of attention, which made this treatment plan especially effective.

The treatment of punishment for social media use was successful in this study. Although it may be true that the participant will still engage in social media use during the hours of eight o’clock in the morning and nine o’clock in the evening, the target behavior decreased even without punishment being implemented in the second baseline phase. Since the goal of the study was to decrease the excess behavior of social media use, the goal was met, and treatment was successful. Comment by Conner, Kevin Wayne (Psychology): Include an APA formatted reference page.

Figure 1: A line graph illustrating the frequency of the participant’s social media use during the baseline and treatment phases of this study.


Behavior Modification of Social Media Use

Baseline of Behavior of Social Media Usage 20 18 11 22 19 21 17 Treatment Phase 1 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 Baseline 2 2 6 3 5 8 Treatment Phase 2 2 0 0 0 0


(February 2, 2021 – February 25, 2021)

Frequency of Social Media Use



Use of Social Media as a Behavior Modification

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

Course Name

Instructor’s Name


Use of Social Media as a Behavior Modification

In our current world, people have the need to belong and relate with each other, for which communication is a fundamental aspect. With the development of technology, specifically internet-based social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, ways of communication have changed drastically. The online social media channels as well as the convenience of the net, according to Elaheebocus et al. (2018), have created the potential for an individual to become hooked to social media activity. The excessive and illogical usage of social media affects daily life aspects. Social media addiction being a prevalent issue leading to psychological health and social lifestyle deration, this study will decrease the behavioral log ins to social media platforms through positive and negative punishment behavioral modification.

The study aims to explore the behavioral correlation within social media addiction and productivity ratio for a young adult especially towards studies and interpersonal relationships. A female freshman aged 17 to 21 years old will be the participant for this research study. The study will not include race or ethnicity as a demographic element. The member will have access to the internet and smartphone on a regular basis. In the baseline phase of the investigation, the participant will demonstrate a behavioral internet addiction. The major goal of this research is to see if using a treatment can reduce youth’s social media addiction.

Demographics are aimed at young adults since, this is a group that adopts technology naturally and easily without fear. Among the youth, most experience conflicts and pressure based on influences and demands of family circles. These discrepancies generate tensions which lead to most youth to retire to internet usage where there are less restrictions. According to Hou et al. (2019), 90% of 15 to 20-year-olds use social with 60% spending “almost all the time” online. Therefore, implementing cognitive reconstruction punishment behavioral modification will be beneficial in increasing productivity, time management and self-awareness.

When social media screen time is reduced through the system setting, the participant is expected to engage on productive activities like offline book reading and check in with friends and family offline. In addition, social media will also be used as a “treat” to curb the addition. Only if the participant has achieved any productivity offline will they get to interact with any social media platforms. This cognitive refactoring will change the participants view of social media and only lead to focus of the positive aspects of social media. Social media can be positive reinforcement for eliminating laziness by rewarding creativity.

Research on the Target Behavior

Various studies on internet addiction have been undertaken to investigate how digital behavior might change for the better and the link connecting social media usage and academic achievement and psychological wellbeing. Experiments have also been conducted to determine the causes of behavioral addiction to the youth and what the key elements contributing to the addiction entail. Some modification behavioral techniques implemented within the studies include token economy, punishment, reinforcement, and cognitive behavioral modification. The review of the studies paves a way to understand the connection and best behavioral modification techniques for social media addiction.

Agbaria (2022), conducted a study to examine the cognitive-behavioral intervention program effectiveness for reducing internet addiction and improving self-control. The research focused on Arab youths in Israel. A total of 160 pupils from different colleges in northern Israel were included in the study. The study surveys revealed an increase in internet addiction symptoms. The research included eight sessions of structured intervention with two groups: experimental and control. Cognitive-behavioral therapy was given to the experimental group. The experimental group, in contrast to the control group, had high levels of self-regulation. The findings revealed that cognitive-behavioral interventions are a promising way to improve self-control and reduce internet addiction in students.

Yap (2020) also conducted research on social media addiction and young people. The goal of his research was to examine and assess the aspects that contribute to social media addiction in young people. A critical appraisal design based on evidence-based meta-analysis was used in this investigation. Articles published between 2010 and 2020 were sought from Science Direct and SCOPUS and used for the quality evaluation. Eleven studies within the articles were used to extract, analyze in narrative synthesis. From the study social media addiction within the young people is attributed to the need of relationship satisfaction. The study concluded that behavioral modification and monitoring of social media usage for the youth should be a priority to eliminate addiction.

The research of Hou et al. (2019) looked into the relationship between social media use and students’ mental development and educational outcomes, as well as the role of identity as a mediator and the efficacy of a treatment to address addiction problem and its potential negative consequences. The study used survey method and intervention methods only. The study findings contribute to the empirical database that show intervention as an effective method in reducing student’s social media addiction.

Research on Treatment Method

This study’s treatment will include negative punishments. Miltenberger (2015) defined punishment as an operant conditioning-based behavioral modification strategy. Miltenberger further defined negative punishment as the removal of a reinforcing stimulus to weaken behavior which is a penalty contingency. Logging on to the social media platforms more than the set system will lead to deactivation of one social media application. Every time you log in to social media more than the set screen time out leads to loss of one social media account.

The participant, together with a friend, will keep note of the system notification alerts anytime the participant signs into a social media app during the timeframes specified inside a day for this study. If the participant exceeds the allowed timespan the app is deactivated. The participant will also be required to indulge in more productive social activities while not using social media which will aid build abilities that will allow her to be more proactive in her spare time.

According to Agbaria (2022) negative punishment decreases the likelihood of a behavior occurring again by removing the pleasant or essential stimulus. The study shows that taking away a teenager’s phone to stop mouthing or throwing tantrums is an effective behavioral modification. The study emphasizes on the aspect of contingency, contiguity or the immediacy of the behavior and the consistency as major factors contributing to the effectiveness of the negative punishment.


The participant’s social media addiction habit was chosen for improvement because it could have significant physiological and intellectual benefits. The participant is exposed highly to peer pressure and need for recognition that has promoted the need to use social media as a form of self-satisfaction. If the social media addiction continues, they may result in mental issues and problems regarding self-esteem and isolation due to comparison. Decreasing the screen time in social media apps will promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Proactive decisions taken because of the experiment could lead to long-term success and beneficial activities. Negative punishment is the suggested behavioral modification strategy because it will increase discipline and time management while weakening unregulated social media interaction. The experiment will determine if the behavior modification helps the subject, impede the participant, or result with no change at all.


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Agbaria, Q. (2022). Cognitive behavioral intervention in dealing with internet addiction among Arab teenagers in Israel. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Elaheebocus, S., Weal, M., Morrison, L., & Yardley, L. (2018). Peer-Based Social Media Features in Behavior Change Interventions: Systematic Review. Journal of medical Internet research20(2), e20.

Hou, Y., Xiong, D., Jiang, T., Song, L., & Wang, Q. (2019). Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace13(1).

Miltenberger, R. G. (2015). Behavior modification: Principles and procedures. Cengage Learning.

Yap Jing. (2020). Social media addiction and young people: A systematic review of literature. Journal of critical reviews7(13). doi:10.31838/jcr.07.13.97

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