B45: Behaviour Modification
Chapter 19: Promoting Generalization
Programming for generalization increases the likelihood that the behaviour change will occur in all relevant
situations or circumstances in the person’s life.
Generalization- a process in which the behaviour occurs in the presence of antecedent stimuli that are similar
in some way to the discriminative stimulus present when the behaviour was reinforced.
Generalization is also defined as the occurrence of a target behaviour in a nontraining situation
STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING GENERALIZATION OF BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
i.Reinforcing instances of generalization.
ii.Training skills that contact natural contingencies of reinforcement.
iii.Modifying natural contingencies of reinforcement and punishment.
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 generalizations.
Reinforcing Occurrences of Generalization.
•Reinforce the behaviour when it occurs outside the training session in the presence of
•One draw back is that it is not always possible to provide reinforcement outside of the
Training Skills that Contact Natural Contingencies of Reinforcement.
•If you cannot provide reinforcement for the behaviour in relevant situations outside the
training situation, it is important for natural reinforcers to be present.
•Natural contingencies of reinforcement- the reinforcement contingency for the behaviour
of a particular person in the normal course of the person’s life.
•Ex. A student may be trained to as a teacher such as “how am I doing” and this statement
results in teacher attention as a reinforcer for the academic performance. Teaching students
to recruit reinforcement for their work may contribute to the generalization and maintanence
of their academic performance.
Modifying Natural Contingencies of Reinforcement and Punishment.
•Ex. Sarah is in a juvenile detention center in which odler girls would gang up on her and
cause her to be aggressive. She was taught things such as “stay calm, walk away from
trouble etc” and was told to repeat it in her mind. On top of that, the psychologist taught the
nurses that whenever they saw Sarah handling the situation well, by walking away, for the
nurses to reinforce the behaviour by giving her a token to signify she is doing well and to
keep at it.
Incorporating a Variety of Relevant Stimulus Situations in Training.