September 5, 2011
Analyzing a Bad Habit
This paper will be analyzing the development of habits using the behavioral and social/cognitive approaches. I will be discussing one of my bad habits and how I developed it. It will explain what role models, if any, that may have also had this habit. I will also discuss the people who influenced the adoption of this habit. The paper will also state whether or not I still continue doing this habit and has there been a time when I have attempted to break this habit. The paper will finish by using the behavioral personality theory to explain why I have this habit. I will describe components of social/cognitive theory that explain why the habit formed. I will develop a plan that applies operant conditioning to change this habit and finally state, which theory between behavioral and social/cognitive best explains my personality. Bad Habit
One of my bad habits that seem to be prevalent to not only me, but others is my awful “back seat driver” behaviors. I have a hard time with others driving when I’m a passenger. I feel like I have no control of the situation and whoever is driving isn’t being as cautious as I would be. I have an awful fear of dying in a car accident, which became worse twelve years ago, when I had a dream about dying in a car accident. I dreamt that I had been in a bad car accident and I saw myself lying outside the vehicle. Ever since this dream and the learned behavior of my parents, I have been extremely anxious and fearful when others drive. I have a sense of calmness when I drive, because I think am being more cautious of others around me. When others are driving I feel that they aren’t paying close attention to everyone around them, as I would. Although I feel this way, in the moment, I do know that this is not true. My thought process is completely irrational, but I let my fear control the situation. Role Models and Influences
Before my dream I had, about dying in a car accident, my parents had a lot to do with my fear and the influences of my behavior of being a “back seat diver”, from the beginning. My father was a very careless impatient driver that probably influenced my behavior of not trusting others when they drive. He had never been in a car wreck, that I’m aware of, but he seemed to think he was a race car driver when we drove around. We traveled a lot growing up and going through big cities, like Chicago, he would ride bumper to bumper and weave in and out of vehicles. My mom would yell and be fearful of the way he drove as we grew up. He would be the only one who drove anywhere, so it was a constant behavior and learning experience I was subjected to. My mom’s anxieties and fear of others driving came from my father which, in turn, passed the anxiety and fear onto me. She, to this day, won’t even drive by herself or in high traffic areas. I am fine driving myself but, to give someone else the control of driving gives me anxiety. Do I still have this habit?
I have acknowledged my habit over the years and have realized how irrational it is, but I do still struggle with anxiety when in a vehicle with other people. I mostly show my anxiety or fear when I’m in the vehicle with my husband. Although I know he is a good careful driver I have a fear that someone else will hit the car when he is driving. When we are on the express way it becomes worse. He knows when I will have an anxiety attack and will tell me to close my eyes. Closing my eyes helps me keep my mind off of the idea crashing because I’m not staring at every car around me. As long as I am keeping myself preoccupied I am able to keep my anxiety from surfacing. Behavioral Personality Theory
My habit was formed by learning the behavior from my mom and seeing the negative effect it had on her when my dad was driving carelessly. I learned her behavior by modeling her reactions and fears when in a vehicle. Although I...