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Chapter 11

PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Task Analysis, Apple Sauce

Course Code
Zachariah Campbell

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CH.11 Chaining
- A complex behavior consisting of many component behaviors that occur together in a
sequence is called a behavioral chain Ex: Eating gum, folding towels. Each component
behavior in the chair dpends on the occurrence of the previous behavior
Analyzing Stimulus-Response Chains
- Each behavioral chain consists of a number of individual stimulus-response components
that occur together in a sequence. A behavioral chain is often called a stimulus-response
- Each behavior or response in the chain produces a stimulus change that acts as an sD for
the next response in the chain. The first responses in the chain occur in order.
Task Analysis
- Task analysis: the process of analyzing a behavioral chain by breaking it down into its
individual stimulus response components
- A task analysis to identify the right sequence of behaviors in a chain may be conducted in
various ways. One way is to observe a person engage in the task and record each of the
stimulus-response components. Ex- Horner and Kleilitz conducted study in which they
taught adolescents with intellectual disabilities to brush their teeth. Another method is to
ask a person who performs the task well (expert) to explain all the components in the task
and you can dvlpd a task analysis by performing the task yourself and recording the
sequence of responses in the task
- Once the task analysis of a complex skill has been developed, the next step is to choose a
strategy for teaching the skill. Strategies for teaching complex tasks (behavioral chains) are
called chaining procedures, it involves the systematic application of prompting and fading
strategies to each stimulus-response component in the chain. 3 diff chaining procedures
are: backward conditioning, forward chaining, and total task presentation
Backward Chaining
- Intensive training procedure typically used with learners with limited abilities
- With backward chaining, you use prompting and fading to teach the last behavior in the
chain first
- You present the last sD, prompt the correct response, and provide a reinforcer: sD5 +
prompt R5 reinforcer
- You teach the right behavior by showing little by little but backwards to get the whole
thing right. Using reinforcers at each step in the backward chaining process is important
because it makes the outcome of each step a conditioned reinforcer, as well as an sD for
the next response
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Forward Chaining
- Similar to backward chaining in that you teach one component of the chain at a time and
then chain the components together, and you use prompting and fading to teach the
behavior associated with the sD at each step in the chain
- Difference is the point at which you begin training. With backward chaining, you teach the
last component first then you teach the next to last component and so on; in forward
chaining you teach the first component, then the second component and so on.
- You present the first sD, prompt the correct response, and provide a reinforcer after the
response. You then fade your prompts until the person is engaging in the first response
without any prompts when the first sD is presented. To train the second component, you
present the first sD and the learner makes the first response. Because the first response
creates the second sD, you then prompt the second response and provide a reinforcer after
it occurs. Then you do the same with the third response until it occurs without any
prompts. Ex: eating with a spoon- first sD: put bowl of food and spoon on the table in front
of the learner. Prompting the first response by taking learner’s hand, pick up the spoon, put
it in the applesauce and provide a reinforcer (praise and occasionally a small bite of food).
Then you start fading the prompt so the learner could do it on their own.
- Step 2, present first sD and after they engage in the first response and the spoon is in the
bowl, physically prompt the second response. Fade the prompt until the learner can scoop
food on the spoon without any assistance
- Now add step three, start by presenting the first sD. As soon as the learner makes the first
2 responses and food is scooped onto the spoon (the 3rd sD), prompt the learner to raise the
spoon and put the food into their mouth (third response). The taste of food will be a natural
reinforcer for the third response. Fade your prompts.
- Providing a reinforcer after each response in the chain during training, the outcome of
each response becomes a conditioned reinforcer. This is imprtnt with forward chaining b.c
you don’t get to the natural reinforcer at the end of the chain until you train the last
- The continuous reinforcement schedule now switched to intermittent reinforcement to
maintain the behavior. The ultimate goal is to have the behavior maintained by natural
- Similarities between FC and BC: both used to teach a chain of behaviors, to use it you have
to conduct a task analysis tht breaks down the chain into stimulus-response components,
both teach one behavior (one component of the chain) at a time and chain the behaviors
together, and both procedures use prompting and fading to teach each component
- Differences: FC teachers first component first but BC teaches last component first, the
learner completes the chain in every learning trial and receives the natural reinforcer in
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