Behavior Chain: Tooth Brushing

Page Contents

    I. Behavior Chain: What is it?

    II. Movie Instructions

    III. Assignment Instructions

    IV. Submitting your Assignment

I. Behavior Chain: What is it?

    A behavior chain is a specific sequence of responses, each associated with a particular stimulus condition. The stimulus conditions (the discriminative stimuli and the conditioned reinforcers) operate so that each response produces a conditioned reinforcer that simultaneously serves as a discriminative stimulus for the next response.

It is important to note three things about a behavior chain:

  1. A behavior chain involves the performance of a specific series of discrete responses.
  1. The performance of each behavior in the sequence changes the environment in such a way as to produce conditioned reinforcement for the preceding response as well as to serve as an SD for the next response.
  1. The behaviors must be performed in the correct order, preferably in close temporal   succession to one another.

 

II. Movie Instructions 

  1. Watch the Chaining movie (link in Study Aid column on course menu) to get an overview of the tooth brushing behavior chain.
  1. Print out the Toothbrushing Chain Table and use it while watching the movie again (as many times as needed) to fill in the SD/conditioned reinforcer stimulus conditions that you are able to identify in the movie.
  1. Write the SDs and conditioned reinforcers on the Table by hand, so you can fill them in on the table to submit the assignment after you finish. You should be able to identify 20 or more SDs and conditioned reinforcers  (including those already listed on the table to get you started).
  1. While watching the movie you can pause, back it up, drag the movie control to play it slowly, frame by frame, or speed it up.

 

III. Assignment Instructions 

Your written assignment will be composed of three parts: 

  1. The chaining table based on the movie. Use the Chain Table Word file provided (after saving it to your computer) OR create a new file with your word processor. Submit your table or list with SDs, responses, and conditioned reinforcers, for Question #1.
    1. Conditioned reinforcers and SDs should not include actions/responses/behaviors; they should only be a description of the environment. 
    1. Action verbs such as "moves, fills, turns, spits, etc." should not be included under the conditioned reinforcer or SD headings.  Many students make this error each semester and are asked to make a revision in order to receive points.
  1. Do a Task Analysis of your own toothbrushing chain. 
    1. According to Cooper, Heron, and Heward, "absolute rules for determining step order, number, or sequence do not exist." Your task analysis will most likely differ from the one in the movie. 
    1. Describe any differences between your toothbrushing chain and the one in the video.
  1. Describe how you would teach a child to brush his teeth using a backward chaining procedure.
    1. Refer to pg. 443 in Cooper, Heron, and Heward (2nd ed.) and read carefully on backward chaining.
    1. Provide a list the first 3 conditioned reinforcers and the first 3 behaviors you will teach.
    1. When describing your procedures for each of the 3 behaviors, provide specific details, including:

                                                               i.      Describe how the initial steps are completed

                                                             ii.      Describe what the mastery criterion is for moving on to the next step.

                                                            iii.      Describe when the reinforcer (e.g., praise) will be delivered during each step.

                                                           iv.      Describe what the trainer will be doing during the procedure.  

    1. Many students leave part of the description out are required to make a revision to receive point. Please provide a detailed account of your backward chaining procedure.

 

IV. Submitting your Assignment 

  1. All three sections of your assignment should be typed and included in one file.
  1. Include your name, EUID, and the date at the top of the file.
  1. Submit your assignment to the Turn It In website. Instructions on how to do this can be found in your course Instructions.