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14 Apr 2012
Always important to program for generalization of the behavior changes produced by a behavior modification
Increases the likelihood that the behavior change will occur in all relevant situations or circumstances in the
person’s life
Examples of Generalization Programming
Mrs. Williams, nursing home resident who rarely engaged in positive conversation
Used differential reinforcement of alternative behavior to increase the frequency of positive conversation
Successful generalization of Mrs.Willaim’s behavior change is defined as an increase in positive
conversation and a decrease in complaining with all the people she talks to, in all situations
accomplished this by use differential reinforcement consistently with all staffs
Successful generalization of the behavior change occurred with Mrs.Willaims because all relevant people
carried out the differential reinforcement procedure as planned
Defining Generalization
During discrimination training, the occurrence of a behavior is reinforced only in the presence of a certain
Stimulus control develops through this process, and the behavior is more likely to occur in the future when the SD
is present
Generalization defined as the occurrence of the behavior in the presence of stimuli that are similar in some
way to the SD that was present during training
Generalization is defied as the occurrence of the behavior in the presence of all relevant stimuli outside the
training situation
You want the behavior to occur beyond the training circumstances, in all the relevant stimulus situations
Strategies for Promoting Generalization of Behavior Change
I. Reinforcing instances of generalization
II. Training skills that contact natural contingencies of reinforcement
III. Modifying contingencies of reinforcement and punishment in the natural environment
IV. Incorporating a wide range of relevant stimulus situations in training
V. Incorporating common stimuli
VI. Teaching a range of functionally equivalent responses
VII. Incorporating self-generated mediators of generalization
A) Reinforcing Occurrences of Generalization:
Reinforce the behavior when it occurs outside the training situation in the presence of relevant stimuli
E.g. generalization strategy when they taught parenting skills to parents with intellectual disabilities
To promote generalization of the parenting skills to the home environment, researcher conducted
training session in the homes and provided reinforcer when the clients exhibited the parenting skills in
this setting
Reiforcing instances of generlization is perhaps the most straightforward approach to promoting
One drawback to this strategy not always possible to provide reinforcement for the behavior
outside the training situation
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