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Behavioral Contract to Eradicate Tendency to Request Extra Salt for Dishes

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Colemn Jin C. Labrador                PSY 101                        Prof. Sofia Lina


I. Goals and Alternate Behaviors

        Calum, the subject of this behavioral contract, gradually acquired more control over what he eats when he graduated from high school and moved to Manila for college. He could eat whatever he desires (so long as it is within budget) and oftentimes even gets a say on how they taste like. One example is his tendency to try to strengthen the salty taste on some meals by dashing extra salt on them. He does this especially on hotdogs, canned sardines, eggs, and French fries. Now, one does not need to be a physician to know this conduct cannot continue. Extreme consumption of salt may lead to the impairment of kidneys, a state the subject is prone to especially as a part of a lineage that has had cases of kidney disorders in the past. Curbing this behavior is therefore necessary.

        The subject plans to make this possible through behavioral contracting. The process which will be undergone will involve weekly alternate behaviors and reinforcers. The idea is, each week, Calum has to accomplish an abstinence from adding extra salt on particular dishes he typically does it to. First week will be spent acquiring an alternate behavior of extra salt abstinence on hotdogs, the second week for the aforementioned fish and canned sardines, the third week for the aforementioned dishes and French Fries, and the final week for the aforementioned dishes and sunny side up eggs. To serve as motivation to commit to these alternate behaviors, reinforcers will be rewarded at the end of every week. This will come in the form of the subject’s fond candy bar (Mars Bar) for the first week, two of those candy bars for the second week, his favorite ice cream (Dairy Queen Blizzard Large) for the third, and his favorite dinner meal (Two-piece Chicken Joy) for the final week. Consequences will also be enforced should the subject fail to do the required alternate behavior any time within a week. Cutting off the internet at 10 pm for the evening will be the day’s consequence if within a day the subject breaks the contract.

II. Target Behaviors

        The ultimate object of this contract is for the subject to learn a dining behavior that refrains from requesting for additional salt to be sprinkled on meals, regardless of how bland the subject deems the dishes to be. The contract also aims to enable the consciousness of the subject of the negative health effects of too much salt intake. Furthermore, it attempts to adjust the tasting preferences of the subject, preferences that do not lean on intensely salty dishes.

III. Activating Conditions or Warning Signs

        There is are several activating conditions to the behavior of concern. One is when the subject is urged to or asks for extra salt when dining in places outside his dorm room. When these activating conditions arise, the subject must be reminded of this contract and must resist pushing through the request. When he also reaches for his jar of salt kept on his shelf while eating canned sardines in his dorm room is another activating condition and must be avoided. The subject’s roommate, Joseph Wilson Jayme, will serve as his monitor for his abidance to this contract.



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