Chapter Eleven – Chaining
Many situations call for complex behaviours that have multiple component responses.
Behavioral Chain- a complex behaviour consisting of many component behaviours that occur together in a sequence
Examples of Behavioral Chains
When you want a piece of gun:
1) Reach in your pocket
2) Pull out the pack of gum.....
Getting apiece of gum involves atleast 5 behaviours which must occur together in correct sequence
You can engage in a particular behaviour in the sequence only if the previous behaviour in the sequence has been
Analyzing Stimulus-response Chains
Each behavioural chain consists of a number of individual stimulus-response components that occur together in a sequence. Hence,
a behavioural chain is called a Dtimulus-response chain.
The first response produces an S for the second response in the sequence and so on until all the responses in the chain occur in
The stimulus-response is under stimulus control. Hence, the first response in the chain occurs when a particular S is presented.
A behavioural chain continues only if the last response in the chain results in reinforcing consequence.
Each response in the chain depends on the occurrence of the previous response.
Each response creates the stimulus situation that is the S of the next response. Hence, the next response in the chain depends on
the occurrence of the previous response.
Each subsequent response in the chain occurs because the previous response created S that has stimulus control over that
The outcome of the chain become more reinforcing by means of an establishing operation.
The establishing operation increases the likelihood that you will start the behavioural chain.
** Better to look for stimuli or events that may function as establishing operations rather than simply “I want gum”
Task analysis: The process of analyzing a behavioural chain by breaking it down into its individual stimulus-response components.
If goal to teach a complex task involving two or more component responses 1 step: identify all behaviours that are necessary to
pndform the task and write them down in order.
2 step: identify the S associated with each behaviour in the task.
Because teaching the task to the person involves discrimination training with each stimulus-response component o