Stop Hair Twirling : a Behavior Modification Approach

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Introduction

Over the years, I have developed a bad habit of playing with my hair. Unlike most cases, I am not pulling it or causing harm to myself, but I constantly twirl it and run my fingers through it. Even though this is not a major stressor in my life and does not cause immediate harm, it does affect me in certain areas. My manager is the only person who reprimands me for it by saying I look “highly unprofessional” when I’m at work twirling my hair. I believe that I developed this habit in high school and it’s about time for me to end this immature habit.

Description of Behavior

My behavior consists of separating a small section of my hair and running both hands through it. I sometimes also take this small section of hair and twirl my hair around my finger. This is considered a covert behavior because it is observable to the public. My habit of hair twirling is an excess because this is a behavior that happens too often and needs decreased. When I begin playing with my hair, the duration is fairly short and lasts for about thirty seconds. The frequency of my behavior is about fifteen times per day. The intensity is very low; if it was not, I would be hurting myself! The topography, or specific movements associated with this behavior, are raising my hands to my hair, separating a section or grabbing a curl and running my fingers through it. The problems associated with behavior relate directly to how others interpret me. My hair twirling discredits my intelligence and makes me look immature, naive, and clueless. Although people that know me personally realize that this bad habit doesn’t define me, clients and customers at work do not know this and assume I am “ditzy”. First impressions are long lasting, and this habit can make others perceive me in a negative light. My anticipated goal is to have my hair playing stop, so I can appear professional while in class and at work.

Analysis of causes of behavior

I have noticed that the...
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