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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3150
Michelle Preyde

Chapter 9 Changing the Control of a Behavior with Fading 4/18/2013 2:50:00 PM Fading: the gradual change over successive trials of an antecedent stimulus that controls a response to that the response occurs to a partially changed or completely new stimulus  Involved in everyday situations where one person teaches a behavior to another  Any situation where a stimulus exerts strong control over a response, fading can be a useful procedure for transferring the control of that response to some other stimulus  Fading procedures are used in many learning situations in programs with persons with developmental disabilities including autism and very young children Errorless Discrimination training (Errorless Learning): Use of a fading procedure to establish a stimulus discrimination so that no errors occur Advantages over procedures involving trail and error  1. Errors consume valuable time  2. If an error occurs once, it tends to occur many times, even if it is being extinguished  3. The nonreinforement that occurs when errors are being extinguished often produces emotional side effects Example of fading technique -Can be used to teach tracing, copying and drawing shapes, numerals, and letters of the alphabet  To draw a circle, teacher begins with large number of sheets with a heavily dotted circle on each of them  Teacher places pencil in child’s hand and says, “Trace the circle”, then guides child’s hand so that the pencil traces the circle by connecting the dots  Immediately after this, the child receives reinforcer  After several trails, teacher fades out the pressure of her hand, and at the end the teacher simply gives instructions, “Draw the circle”. Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Fading 1. The Final Desired Stimulus  Important so that the occurrence of the response to a particular stimulus is maintained in the natural environment 2. The Starting Stimulus: A Prompt Prompt: supplemental antecedent stimulus provided to increase the likelihood that a described behavior will occur, but that is not the final desired stimulus to control the behavior Instructor Behaviors as Prompts Physical Prompts: guiding the learning through touch  Eg. holding child’s hand while teaching them to walk Gestural Prompts: certain motions that a teacher makes without touching the student  Eg. Teacher extending hand in a palm-downward motion for children
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