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Cyan comments on Applying Behavioral Psychology on Myself - Less Wrong

53 Post author: John_Maxwell_IV 20 June 2010 06:25AM

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Comment author: Cyan 16 August 2010 03:54:13AM *  4 points [-]

Applied intermittent reinforcement results (1 month trial):

Household chores: The only time in the past month that I failed to tidy the kitchen before going to bed was two days ago, when I had a fever of 102 deg F. All other chores have 100% success rate.

Get to bed earlier: 0% success rate, alas.

Comment author: Cyan 17 September 2010 02:35:33AM 3 points [-]

Success rate in the past month is a little less: 19/25 (I'm not counting the five days I was sick). The end of August was particularly bumpy and then I was sick at the start of September, but I'm back on track now.

Comment author: wedrifid 16 August 2010 04:02:46AM *  1 point [-]

Thanks for the report, that sounds like a remarkable achievement!

How much of your success do you attribute to placebo related influences?

Comment author: Cyan 16 August 2010 04:39:07AM *  4 points [-]

It's hard to say, since in this case any kind of blind experimentation would require memory erasure and a conspiracy to prevent me from finding out that variable reinforcement schedules produce the strongest effects. But that same info I'd need to be prevented from knowing makes my prior probability for a placebo effect rather low.

I'll also add to my results that the technique doesn't work where I have pre-established Ugh Fields. (In those cases, I couldn't even get started, so I have no information about what the success rate would be over time.) It's too late at night for me to try to work through whether this has implications for the plausibility of placebo effects.

Comment author: Caspian 18 July 2013 01:08:11PM 0 points [-]

I'm interested in what you rewarded for going to bed earlier (or given the 0% success rate, what you planned to reward if it ever happened) and how/when you rewarded it. Maybe rewarding subtasks would have helped.

Comment author: Cyan 18 August 2013 05:40:48PM 2 points [-]

Each item on my daily to-do list earned me a 50% chance of a small chocolate square. Getting to bed early was one item on the list. Awarding myself the award was the last thing I did each day.