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Thread: Meeting Academic Goals?

  1. #1

    Default Meeting Academic Goals?

    I have been attending some workshops at my university before the real classes begin. One class was talking about memory and focusing. The presenter suggested that when you discipline yourself and fulfill that goal you should reward yourself, such as eat a piece of chocolate, go see a movie with your friends, or hang out with them for 10 minutes, stuff like that.

    an example of this would be like you set the goal of studying for 30 minutes, if you do that with out wondering off from that goal you reward yourself to condition yourself that every time you do well, you will be rewarded.

    My question is this...we talked about what to do to reward yourself, but what should be done if you fail to meet that goal of studying for 30 minutes? What should be done to punish yourself? It only makes sense that if you are rewarded for good behavior that there must be another end of the spectrum.

    Example: You set a goal to study for 30 minutes, but you study for 10 and draw shapes in your notebook for another 45 minutes.

    Something has to be done to condition you to never do that again. So, what should be used/done as punishment?

    I have put a bit of thought into it, only a little, but still some. I have hypothesized that you would need very strict punishments guidelines for failing to meet a goal, such as burning your arms, belting yourself, beating yourself, etc for failing to meet a goal.

    An example of this working was in the Belgian Congo in the early 20th century. If a slave failed to meet the rubber quota for the week or month(depending on the region) an overseer would cut off their hand. This was a VERY extreme method of punishment, but it at least struck the fear into the amputee and the others who saw to meet rubber quotas or face the consequences.

    So my point is this... the method to punishment yourself for failing to study, etc should be very severe and painful to condition yourself to never fail to meet that goal again.

    I want to hear your input as well, what other methods could be used to punish yourself for failing to meet an academic gaol?

  2. #2

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    Electrical shock... or having to listen to Miley Cyrus's voice for a whole 30 seconds....

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    I have put a bit of thought into it, only a little, but still some. I have hypothesized that you would need very strict punishments guidelines for failing to meet a goal, such as burning your arms, belting yourself, beating yourself, etc for failing to meet a goal.

    An example of this working was in the Belgian Congo in the early 20th century. If a slave failed to meet the rubber quota for the week or month(depending on the region) an overseer would cut off their hand. This was a VERY extreme method of punishment, but it at least struck the fear into the amputee and the others who saw to meet rubber quotas or face the consequences.

    So my point is this... the method to punishment yourself for failing to study, etc should be very severe and painful to condition yourself to never fail to meet that goal again.
    NO.

    Self-mutilation as a "punishment" is extreme, unhealthy, and unnecessary. The fact that you write about such in a seemingly nonchalant manner is disconcerting.

    If you lack the discipline to get work done without clear external incentives, then stick to positive reinforcement.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Electrical shock... or having to listen to Miley Cyrus's voice for a whole 30 seconds....
    Couldn't I just tazer myself in the testicles instead?

    As for punishment, I think that kind of masochistic behavior would ultimately be counter-productive. The knowledge that you missed out on a reward should be punishment enough.

  5. #5

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    Well, if you've been that naughty, you're just going to have to wear a diaper young man...haha. Okay, I honestly think this whole idea is silly. When you go to college you're an adult, or almost. It's all about discipline. You're paying a huge amount of money to better yourself. You're preparing yourself for a career, and the opportunity to make a reasonably descent living. There should be plenty of incentives for studying. Rewarding oneself takes time away from study, and punishing oneself is self destructive. We have enough cutters and burners in the world. I know. I was one when I was young, and it was the result of being very unhappy.

    It's okay to reward yourself with something after you've studied for maybe four hours. Me and my friends used to go out for a pizza, or something like that. But remember, in college, learning and studying is your job. After that job is completed, the rewards will come. My wife and I go out to dinner every Friday night. I work my butt off all week and that's my reward, but I don't stop every half hour at work to reward myself. I might take a coffee break at ten if my work schedule allows it. Otherwise, I just keep working. Anyway that's my two cents for what it's worth. You will figure this out. Just work hard and see what the other students are doing. Do a little more than most of them and you will be in good shape.

  6. #6
    orio

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    What ever you do, DO NOT HURT YOUR SELF PHYSICALY! Trust me, its not worth it. As some one who's delt with in the past, I know that self-punshment won't get you anywere. Insted, try running 5 laps around your house (the outside), 50 push ups, ect. Thats safer,, and it gets you in shape.

  7. #7

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    I do agree that learning and studying is your job at college, yes. But, it makes sense that when you don't do your job there are consequences. For example...let's say you are an accountant and you have to finish a ledger by friday, if you don't complete it there will be a consequence, be it either a tongue lashing from your boss, client, or a dock in pay. So, if I fail to keep my mind focused it is logical to punish myself for it, this will thus motivate me to do better and fear is one of the best motivators out there. If it is fear for being physically harmed then the motivation will increase so you will not have to suffer getting harmed again.

  8. #8

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    There are consequences when you don't do your job at college. You fail out. My first semester I was on academic probation. I discovered the joys of partying, drugs and New York City. I had been overly disciplined and controlled at home, so when I went off to college I didn't have the self discipline to buckle down and work hard. I paid the price. I think the pressure of wanting to do well will be enough for you for self motivation. Orio has given you an excellent suggestion however, if you do feel you need to have some immediate consequence. Push ups and especially sit ups are punishment enough. I think you will do well, however, because you are already concerned about achieving.

  9. #9

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    That seems a little...pathetic? I'm not sure what word I'm looking for so I'll come back to you on that. Like you've made it this far , you're in college. Don't you think the reward/punishment system is a little...outdated, for adults that is. I mean sure if you make an A on a test or something and want to reward yourself, go for it. But punishing yourself over a grade?!

    I dunno it seems crazy to me. I work and work and work, 80% for free. I work with passion and to see the finished product. That is my motivation and my reward at the end of a long day. Knowing I took part of something bigger than myself blows my mind, everytime. Different crews and actors and director, stage managers all coming together to make one product. Punishment for me is knowing I let someone down or knowing because of me someone had to pick up my slack. I don't have punish MYSELF on purpose though.

  10. #10

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    Why do you suppose the presenter didn't talk about the benefits of negative reinforcement? Could be that positive is more effective and also doesn't involve destructive behaviors. There's nothing good about this idea. For more detail, describe your thinking to your therapist and he or she will make this clearer.

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