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Lecture Note For Chapter 11, come and see

by OC2

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Christian Campbell

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Chapter 11: Getting a New sequence of behaviors to occur with behavioral chaining
Behavioral Chaining
# A behavioral chain is a sequence of discriminative stimuli (S^Ds) and responses (Rs) in which each
response except the last produces the S^D for the next response and the last response is typically
followed by a reinforcer.
# Each S^D (after the first) in a behavioral chain is a conditioned reinforcer for the previous response
# Each response produces the cue for the next response until the entire chain was completed, and reinforcer
is experienced
# A chain looks like: S^D1! R1! S^D2! R2 ….--> S+
# The stimulus-response connections are the “links that hold the chain together
# If any response is so weak that it fails to be evoked by S^D preceding it, the next S^D will not be
produced and the rest of the chain will not occur; chain will be broken at the point of its weakest link;
only way in which to repair the chain is to strengthen the weak stimulus-response connection by means of
an effective training procedure
# S+ symbolized the positive reinforcer that follows the last response in the chain
# Reinforcer at the end of the chain maintains the stimuli in the chain as effective S^Ds for the response
that follow them and effective conditioned reinforcers for the response must precede them
# Examples of everyday behavioral chains: playing particular song on an instrument; making a sandwich
# Examples of everyday things that aren’t behavioral chains: studying for an exam, writing an exam and
attending the next class to get your grade: this is not made up of consistent series of stimuli and response
in which each stimuli (except the last) is a conditioned reinforcer for the previous response and an S^D
for the next response
Methods for Teaching a Behavioral Chain
# 3 major methods of teaching behavioral chain:
1) total-task presentation: learner attempts all the steps from beginning to the end of the chain on each
trial and continues with total task trials until all steps are mastered
# prompting is provided at each step as needed and a reinforcer follows correct completion of the last step
# can be used to teach kids with developmental disabilities how to brush their teeth
# advantages over other two: less time spent in partial assembly and disassembly to prepare the task for
training; it appears to focus on teaching response topography and response sequence simultaneously and
therefore should produce more results quickly; and it appears to maximize the learner’s independence
early in training, especially if some steps are already familiar to him or her- this task is better for teaching
persons with developmental disabilities
# it is the method of choice for people with no disabilities if there are simple tasks with small number of
2) backward chaining: gradually constructs the chain in a reverse order from that in which chain is
performed; last step is established first, then the next-to last step is taught and linked to the last step,
then the third-from-last step is taught and linked to the last two steps and so on, progressing backwards
toward the beginning of the chain
# used in many programs such as teaching various dressing, grooming, work and verbal behavior to those
with developmental disabilities
# when one uses backward chaining, the reinforcement of the last step in the presence of the appropriate
stimulus, over trials, establishes that stimulus as a discriminative stimulus for the last step and as a
conditioned reinforcer for the next-to-last step
# when the step before the last is added, the s^D in that step also becomes a conditioned reinforcer and so
# The power of the positive reinforcer that is presented at the end of the chain is transferred up the line to
each s^D as it is added to the chain
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