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Chapter 11

PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Stimulus Control, Forward Chaining, Task Analysis

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Zachariah Campbell

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CHAPTER 11 Chaining
Behavioural Chain: a complex behaviour consisting of many component behaviours that
occur together in a sequence
Analyzing Stimulus-Response Chains
Stimulus-response chain: another name for a behavioural chain, due to the fact that
each behavioural chain consists of a number of individual stimulus-response
components that occur together in a sequence.
Each behaviour or response in the chain produces a stimulus change that acts
as an SD for the next response in the chain.
Task Analysis
Task Analysis: process of analyzing a behavioural chain by breaking it down into its
individual stimulus-response components
1. Identify all the behaviours necessary to perform the task and write them down
2. Identify the SD associated with the behaviour in each task
Ways to identify the right sequence of behaviours:
Watch someone do the task and record each of the stimulus-response
Ask an expert to explain all of the components of the task
Performing the task yourself and record each of the component responses
o You will probably get the most information from this method
A task analysis can be revised: if a learner is having difficulty with a certain behaviour in
the chain, it can be useful to break down that behaviour into two or more behaviours. If
the learner can master larger units of behaviour, two or more components can be
combined into one.
It doesn’t matter how many steps there are – it depends on the learner.
Chaining procedures: strategies for teaching complex tasks (behavioural chains)
Involve the systematic application of prompting and fading strategies to each
stimulus-response component of the chain.
Backward Chaining
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Def.: Using prompting and fading to teach the last behaviour in the chain first. By
starting with the last behaviour in the chain, the learner completes the chain on every
learning level.
Once the last behaviour is learnt, the next-to-last behaviour is taught. ETC. ETC.
Typically used with those who have learning disabilities
1. SD1 Staff member says, “Jerry, let’s play darts” R1 Jerry walks over to
the dartboard
2. SD2 Standing near a line on the floor 8 feet from the dartboard R2
Jerry walks up to the line and stands facing the dartboard with his toes
touching the line
3. SD3 Standing at the line with a dart on an adjacent table R3 Jerry
grasps dart between thumb and first finger, with the point facing the board
4. SD4 Standing at the line and holding the dart between thumb and first finger
R4 Jerry bends his elbow so that the forearm is at a 90-degree angle
5. SD5 standing at the line with dart in hand and elbow bent R5 Jerry
thrusts forearm and hand toward the board and releases dart when arm is
extended reinforcer dart hits board
Forward Chaining
Def.: Teaching the first component then the second component etc.
Similarities between Backward and Forward Chaining
Both are used to teach a chain of behaviour
To use both procedures, you first have to conduct a task analysis that breaks
down the chain into stimulus-response components
Both teach behaviour (one component of the chain) at a time and chain the
behaviours together
Both procedures use prompting and fading to teach each component
Differences between Backward and Forward Chaining
Forward chaining teaches the first component first, while backward chaining
teaches the last component first
With backward chaining, the learner completes the chain in every trial and
receives the natural reinforcer in every trial. With forward chaining, artificial
reinforcers (praise) are used until the last component of the chain is taught.
Natural reinforcer occurs after last behaviour of chain.
Order of learning
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