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Chapter 11

Study Guide For Chapter 11

by OC2

Course Code
Christian Campbell

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Chapter 11: Getting a New Sequence of Behaviour to Occur with
Behavioural Chaining
Behaviour Chaining
- A sequence of discriminative stimuli (SDs) and response (Rs) in which each response
except the last produces the SD for the next response, and the last response is typically
followed by a reinforcer
- Followed by the first SD, which is the cue for the response, each SD in a behaviour chain
is 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 SD preceding it, the next SD
will not be produced and rest of the chain will not occur
- The chain will be broken at the point of its weakest link
- The only way to repair the chain is by strengthening the weak stimulus-response
connection by means of an effective training procedure
- Symbol of S+ at the far right of the diagram symbolizes the positive reinforcer that
follows the last response in the chain
- Many behaviour sequences that you perform in everyday life are behavioural chains
o Playing a particular song on an instrument, brushing your teeth, lacing, tying your
shoes and making a sandwich are all behavioural chains
Methods of Teaching a Behavioural Chain
- Three methods of teaching a behavioural Chain
o Total-task presentation
! The learner attempts all the steps from the beginning to the end of the
chain on each trail continue with total task trials until all steps are
! Prompting is provided at each step as needed and a reinforcer follows a
correct competition of the last step
! An example would be teaching a developmental disabled to brush to brush
their teeth
o Backward chaining
! Gradually construc the chain in a reverse order from that in which the
chain is performed
! Last step is established first, then the next to the last and o on until the
final starting point is learned last
! Has been used in numerous programs, including teaching various dressing,
grooming, work, and verbal behaviours to individual with developmental
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! When the step before the last is added, the SD in that step also becomes a
conditioned reinforcer and so on. Thus, the power of the positive
reinforcer that is presented at the end of the chain is transferred up the line
to each SDs as it is added to the chain
! Backward chaining has a theoretical advantage of always having a built-in
conditioned reinforcer to strengthen each new response that is added to the
o Forward Chaining
! The initial step of the sequence is taught first, then the first and second
steps are taught together, then the first three steps, and so on until the
entire chain is required
! Backward chaining resembles a reversal of the natural order of things,
forward chaining and total-task presentation are more often used in
everyday outside the behaviour modification settings
o A child being taught the world “milk”. First teach “mm, then “mi, then “mil,
and finally “milk”
Total Task Presentation
" # # Reinforcer
Backward Chaining
o #Reinforcer
# # Reinforcer
# # Reinforcer
# # # Reinforcer
Forward Chaining
# Reinforcer
S1 # R1
S2 # R2
S3 # R3
S1 # R1
S1 # R1
S2 # R2
S1 # R1
S2 # R2
S1 # R1
S2 # R2
S3 # R3
S1 # R1
S1 # R1
S1 # R1
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