CHAPTER 11 – GETTING A NEW SEQUENCE OF BEHAVIORS TO OCCUR WITH
• Steve was a professional golfer who hadn't won a professional tournament due to
• He considered that inconsistent preputt routine contributed to inconsistent
• To test his theory he practiced and followed all the steps that other professional
golfers follow. Three weeks later he won his first championship.
• Behavior chain / stimulus-response chain is a consistent sequence of stimuli
and responses that occur closely to each other in time and in which the last
response is typically followed by reinforcing. In a behavioral chain, each
response produces stimulus that serves as an S^D for the next response.
• What Steve had acquired in learning to follow a consistent preputt routine was
S^D1 -> R1 -> S^Dx -> Rx
• Stimulus-response connections are the "links" that hold the chain together and if
the previous link is weak all of them will be weak.
• Not all behavioral sequences are behavioral chains
• Many behavioral sequences that you perform in everyday life are behavioral
chains; brushing teeth, making a sandwich. But not all sequences are behavioral
chains; writing an exam causes reading, writing and memorizing with many
breaks. It is not made up of consistent series of stimuli and responses that occur
closely in time and for which stimulus.
METHODS FOR TEACHING A BEHAVIORAL CHAIN
• Three major methods of teaching a behavioral chain are the total-presentation
method, backward-chaining method and forward-chaining method.
• Total-task presentation method: an individual attempts all of the steps from
beginning to the end of the chain on each trial and continues with total task trials
until that person learns the chain. Prompting provided at each step as needed
and reinforcer follows the correct completion of the last step.
• Backward chaining method: the last step is taught first then the next-to-last
step is taught and linked to the last step then the third last step is taught and
linked to the last 2 steps and so on. People find backward chaining strange but it
is very helpful.
• Forward chaining: method that teaches the initial step of the sequence first then
teaches and links together the first and second steps, then the first three steps,
and so on until the entire chain is acquired. This method used in toilet training
where learning and mastering first step is the most important.
• Total-task presentation method has many practical advantages over the other
methods for teaching people with mental disabilities • TTP spends less time in partial assembly and more on response topography and
response sequence simultaneously; therefore produces results more quickly,
maximizes learner’s independence early in training, especially if some steps are
already familiar to them.
• For people who do not have developmental disabilities and for simple tasks total-
task presentation is the best, for more complex tasks then either backward or
forward chaining is more effective than TTP
• Backward chaining more effective in teaching certain things; for ex. When
teaching to drive brakes must be learned to use before accelerator CHAINING COMPARED WITH FADING AND SHAPING
• Behavioral chaining, fading, and shaping are called gradual change procedures
because each involves progressing gradually through a series of steps to
produce new behavior or stimulus
• Understanding the differences between the 3 procedures is very important
• Shaping: consists of reinforcing closer and closer approximation to the final