Everybody has their own habits. Some habits are worse than others. Several examples are biting nails, smoking and even drinking. Even if someone has the worst habit in the world it is possible for them to quit that habit with a few psychological methods of behavior modification.
Depending on the habit, it can be fairly simple to stop a habit. For example: biting your nails. In operant conditioning there is either a consequence or a reward due to a response. If you were to get a very bad taste in your mouth every time you would try to bite your nails, most likely you wouldn’t bite your nails as much. Given the punishment for biting your nails it will eventually cause the habit to become extinct. (Wade and Tavris 309)
Another way to break a habit is through classical conditioning. In classical conditioning a previously neutral stimulus acquires a response through association with a stimulus that already occurs (Wade and Tavris 301), such as when adults drink alcohol. Say an adult drinks a particular brand of alcohol and they become sick after drinking it. They will associate the alcohol with getting sick. This will make them not want to drink it again because they relate the response with the stimulus.
The founder of behaviorism, B. F. Skinner, also has theories that are based on how things can be learned. Learning is based off of: “changes in behavior are the result of an individual’s response to events” (Skinner and Markle). Behavior holds true to that very quote and can be reflected upon by how we react to situations every day. If we learn that if we do well in school we will get approval by adults and want to still do well in school to keep their approval.
Behaviorism plays a major role in breaking a habit. Punishment and reinforcement are the bases for this theory and how it works. Reinforcement works like the example from the last paragraph about approval from adults by doing well in school. Although, there are two types of...