Chapter 11 Book Notes

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Published on 16 Dec 2010
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB45H3
CH 11: Chaining
Behavioral chaining
Behavioral chain is a sequence of discriminative stimuli (S Ds) & responses (Rs) in which
each response except the last produces the S D for the next response & the last response is
followed by a reinforcer.
Each S D (after the 1st) in a behavioral chain is a conditioned reinforcer for the pervious
response
A stimulus response chain writing out as follows:
Pg138
The stimulus-response connections are the links that hold the chain together
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” Similarly 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 & the rest of the
chain will not occur
Chain will be broken at the point of its weakest link
The only way in which to repair the chain is to strengthen the weak stimulus-response
connection by means of effective training procedure
The symbol S+ at the far right of the diagram symbolizes the positive reinforcer that follow
the last response in the chain
The reinforcer at the end of the chain maintains the stimuli in the chain as effective SDs for
the response that follow them & effective conditioned reinforcers for the responses that
precede them
Many behavioral sequences that you perform in everyday life are behavioral chains
Playing a particular song on musical instrument, brushing ur teeth, lacing &
trying ur shoes, & making a sandwich are all behavioral chains.
Not all behavioral sequences are behavioral chains
Methods for teaching a behavioral chain
3 major methods of teaching a behavioral chain
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1 methods is called total-task presentation- the learner attempts all the steps
from the beginning to the end of the chain on each trail & continues with total
task trails until all steps are mastered
Prompting is provided at each step as needed & reinforcer follows correct
completion of the last step
2nd major methods of teaching a behavioral chain is called backward chaining-
this method gradually constructs the chain in a reverse order from that in which
the chain is performed
Last step is established 1st then the next-to-last step is taught & linked to the
last step then the 3rd-from-last step is taught & linked to the last 2 steps and so
on progressing backward toward the beginning of the chain
The power of the positive reinforcer that is presented at the end of the chain is
transferred up the line to each SD as it is added to the chain
Backward chaining has a theoretical advantage of always having a built-in
conditioned reinforcer to strengthen each response that is added to the
sequence
3rd major method of teaching a behavioral chain is called forward chaining- the
initial steps are taught & linked together then the 1st 3 steps & so on until the
entire chain is acquired
Ex: used to toilet train both normal & developmentally disabled
children
Backward chaining resembles a reversal of the natural order of things forward
chaining & total-task presentation are used more often in everyday situation
outside the behavior modification setting.
Total-task presentation has several practical advantages over the other chaininh
formats for teaching persons with development disabilities
It was found that backward chaining to be more effective than total-task
presentation.
Backward chaining & forward chaining were both effective than total-task
presentation& forward chaining was more effective than backward chaining on
most measures
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