SD5 -> R5 -> reinforcer
•We can make the outcome of the chain more reinforcing by means of an establishing operation.
•In our first example, the establishing operation makes the gum more reinforcing at a certain time,
and this increases the likelihood that you will start the behavioral chain.
•The establishing operation might be having a bad taste in your mouth, having just smoked a
•The process of analyzing a behavioral chain by breaking it down into its individual stimulus-
response components is called a task analysis.
•If your goal is to teach a complex task involving two or more component responses (a behavioral
chain) to a person, the first step is to identify all the behaviors that are necessary to perform the
task and write them in order.
•Next, you identify the SD associated with each behavior in the task.
•Because teaching the task to the person involves discrimination training with each stimulus-
response component of the behavioral chain, you must have a detailed task analysis that gives you
an accurate understanding of each stimulus stimulus-response component.
•A task analysis to identify the right sequence of behaviors in a chain may be conducted in various
o1. Observe a person engage in the task and record each of the stimulus-response components.
o2. Ask an expert (a person who performs the task well) to explain all the components in the task.
o3. Perform the task yourself and record each of the component responses. This provides the best
information about each response involved in the task and the stimulus associated with each
•Once you have developed your initial task analysis, you might have to revise it after you start
training. You might find that you can break some behaviors down into component behaviors, or
that you can combine two or more behaviors into a single behavior.
•For some learners, the five-step task analysis might be more appropriate; for others, the three-step
task analysis might be more appropriate.