Chapter 11.docx

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Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 3150
Professor
Michelle Preyde
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 11 A behavioral chain, also called a stimulus-response chain, is a consistent sequence of stimuli and responses that occur closely to each other in time and in which the last response is typically followed by reinforcement. In a behavioral chain, each response produces a stimulus that serves as an S D for the next response (and, as will be discussed later, a conditioned reinforcer for the previous response). 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 the S D preceding it, the next S D will not be produced and the rest of the chain will not occur. The reinforcer at the end of a chain maintains the stimuli in the chain as effective SDs for the responses that follow them (and as will be described later, as effective conditioned reinforcers for the responses that precede them). not all behavioral sequences are behavioral chains. It is not made up of a consistent series of stimuli and responses that occur closely in time and for which each stimulus (except the last) is an S D for the next response. METHODS FOR TEACHING A BEHAVIORAL CHAIN The three major methods of teaching a behavioral chain are the total-task presentation method, the backward-chaining method, and the forward-chaining method. total-task presentation method, an individual attempts all of the steps from the beginning to the end of the chain on each trial and continues with total task trials until that person learns the chain Prompting is provided at each step as needed, and a reinforcer follows the correct completion of the last step. Backward chaining gradually constructs the chain in a reverse order from that in which the chain is performed. Backward chaining has been used in numerous programs, including teaching various dressing, grooming, work, and verbal behaviors to individuals with developmental disabilities Thus, 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. Thus, 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. 1 theoretical advantage of always having a built-in conditioned reinforcer to strengthen each new response that is added to the sequence. The forward chaining method teaches the initial step of the sequence first, then teaches and links together the first and second steps, then the first three steps, and so on until the entire chain is acquired At least partly because backward chaining resembles a reversal of the natural order of things, forward chaining and total-task presentation are used more often in everyday situations by individuals not trained in behavior modification. total-task presentation has several practical ad- vantages over the other chaining formats for teaching persons with developmental disabilities. 1. Total-task presentation requires the instructor to spend less time in partial assembly or disassembly to prepare the task for training; 2. it appears to focus on teaching response topography and response sequence simultaneously and, therefore, should produce results more quickly 3. it appears to maximize the learner's independence early in training, especially if some steps are already familiar individuals who do not have developmental disabilities- For relatively simple tasks with a small number of steps, such as the preputt routine for Steve, total-task presentation is probably the method of choice. For more complex tasks, however, either backward or forward chaining is likely to be more effective. using backward chaining to teach certain tasks may be more practical- driving instructions, CHAINING COMPARED WITH FADING AND SHAPING Behavioral chaining, fading, and shaping are sometimes called gradual change procedures be- cause each involves progressing gradually through a series of steps to produce a new behavior, new stimulus
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