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Conditioning Respiration With Positive Self-Reinforcement: Transferring Slow, Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing to Everyday Living
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by Brian P. Walker and Iver H. Iversen - University of North Florida
Categories: Learning | Physiological
The experimenter trained 5 healthy participants in slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing (SDDB). Participants practiced SDDB in their everyday lives during 4-hr sessions, once a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. During practice, participants carried a device that signaled them approximately every 20 min to evaluate and record whether they were breathing correctly and were aware of their breathing. After the baseline week, participants reinforced themselves if they were aware of correctly performing SDDB when signaled. The percentage of signals during which participants were aware of correctly performing SDDB was a measurement of their success during practice. The success of participants' practice after 3 weeks of reinforcement had increased 14.7 to 28.8 percentage points above baseline. Statistically significant improvements for 4 of 5 participants supported the hypothesis that self-reinforcement transferred participants' ability to perform SDDB from training to many activities in their everyday lives.