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Disclosing Illness Information to Family


DisclosingIllness Information to Family

DisclosingIllness Information to Family

Dueto my understanding of reinforcers and punishers, I realized aninteresting phenomenon when I am sick. Whenever I created awarenessabout my sickness to my family members it brought them a lot of painand suffering. Since then I have learnt how to respond and behave toavoid telling them about this sickness which was not pleasing tothem. So, I decided that I will always keep the information about mysicknesses away from my family. There are various ways through whichI have achieved this learning which involved observing how theybehaved when I discussed my illness with them, operant conditioningwhich showed the consequences my behavior had on other members. Thissituation taught me that an operant behavior that pleases otherpeople can be repeated often and that which has no desirable effectsshould be extinguished.

Myobservation on my behavior towards my family revealed differentconsequences which included reinforcement and punishment. In thiscase by telling my family about my sickness it brought about apunishing consequence. Crying and the feeling of sadness was not areinforcing consequence to my family members, this brought apunishing response to my behavior of talking about my sickness. I hadto stop talking about it. I realized that my deeds and actionstowards other people should bring out reinforcement.

Accordingto the operant conditioning terminologies, the way a person behavescan have various consequences which include reinforcement, punishmentor extinction. We have both positive and negative reinforcement aswell as positive and negative punishment. If a consequence will makea certain behavior occur repeatedly then this consequence isreinforcing. On the other hand, if a consequence will reduce theoccurrence of a behavior then this has a punishing consequence. Inthe case of extinction a certain behavior brings no consequencesafter the effect of a consequence is reduced due to persistentpunishment instead of reinforcement.

Usingoperant conditioning as a tool of learning, I changed my way ofbehaving towards my family. This was possible because I learnt tokeep the information about my sickness as a secret .I had to set atarget behavior that I wanted to adopt and this was concealing theinformation about my sickness. The end to crying and feeling ofsadness on my relatives faces brought reinforcing results to mybehavior of keeping my sickness a secret. Every time I found themhappy it encouraged me to remain silent about my illness. Onrealizing that my target behavior was yielding a desirable outcome ofkeeping others happy I was encouraged to practice it more.

Myfamily members felt the disease had healed although this was not thecase. I noted that it was a great deal to monitor my behavior andcontinue behaving in such a manner to bring desirable and pleasingoutcomes to other people. It was good to uphold those things thatcreate a reinforcing consequence and eliminate or extinguish thosethings that made me behave in an undesirable manner like discussingmy bad illness with other relatives. If a behavior has a directnegative effect to others then there was reason to continue behavingin that manner. In conclusion operant conditioning as a way oflearning how to behave as a result of the consequence my behavior hadon other people helped me know how to act towards my family.

Indeciding to keep information about my sicknesses to myself, and awayfrom my family members I was motivated by the need to avoid worriesto them. In addition, I wanted them to keep feeling comfortable thatI am ok, even when I am not. Consequently, it was vital to learnthat each operant behavior had a certain outcome to other people.Crying, feeling sad or getting hurt is not reinforcing elements butpunishers. A behavior or an action that will not create reinforcementshould be discouraged. By keeping the information about my illness asecret this brought joy and happiness to my relatives. Joy andhappiness are reinforcers since they encouraged me to continuebehaving in that manner.