Behavior Modifications ch11.docx

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4 Apr 2012
Behavior Modifications
Chapter 11 Chaining
- A complex behavior requires multiple component behaviors that occur in a sequence called a
behavioral chain
- Ex. You want a piece of chewing gum
o Reach into your pocket
o Pull out a piece of gum
o Pull a single stick out of the pack
o Unwrap the piece of gum
o Put the gum into your mouth
- Each behavior in the chain can only occur after the previous behavior in the chain has been
- Each behavior depends on the occurrence of the previous behavior
Analyzing Stimulus- Response Chains
- A behavioral chain is often called a stimulus-response chain
- Each behavior or response in the chain produces a stimulus change that acts as an SD for the
next response
- The whole chain is under stimulus control so that the first response in the chain occurs when a
particular SD is presented
- Ex. A bin full of towels near Bobby is an SD for Bobbys first response
- A behavioral chain occurs only is the last response in the chain results in a reinforcing
o Chewing the gum is reinforcer for the behavioral action of putting the gum in your
o The folded towel in the box is a reinforce for the behavioural chain of folding towels
o The folded towels are a conditioned reinforcer for getting paid or being praised by a
- Can make the outcome of a chain more reinforcing by means of an establishing operation
o Making the gum more reinforcing at the time like having a bad taste of onions in your
Task Analysis
- The process of analyzing a behavioral chain by breaking it down into its individual stimulus-
response components
o The first step is to identify all the behaviours that are necessary to perform the task and
then write them down in order
o Identify the SD associated with each behavior in the task
o Detail task analysis that gives you an understanding of each stimulus response
- One way to do this is to observe the person in the task and record each stimulus component
- Another method is to ask the person who is performing the task to explain all compenents in the
- Or you could do the task yourself and determine each compenent
- You can get the most information from doing it on your own
- You can break behaviors down into compenent behaviors or combine two or more behaviors
this depends how well the training is going
o If a learner is having difficulty with a task break it down
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