Shaping is a technique used to develop a target behavior that a
person does not currently exhibit. Shaping is defines as the
differential reinforcement of successive approximations of a target
behavior until the person exhibits the target behavior.
a. Differential reinforcement requires that one behavior is
b. Successive approximations or shaping steps as specific defined
behaviors that establish the guidelines for differential
c. Movement through the shaping steps occurs when the most advanced behavior in she shaping steps is reinforced, but all previous behaviors in the shaping steps are not reinforced.
d. The effectiveness of shaping is greatly influences by the skill
one demonstrates in defining the shaping steps. If the steps are
too small then the process of shaping will be very lengthy and
tedious, but if the shaping steps are too large the subject may
never exhibit the next successive behavior and shaping becomes
i. Define the target behavior
ii. Determine if shaping is the most appropriate procedure
iii. Identify the starting behavior
iv. Choose the shaping steps
v. Choose the reinforcer to use in the shaping procedure
vi. Differentially reinforce each successive approximation
vii. Move through the shaping steps at a proper pace (master
a. Problem behaviors may be developed through shaping. In this
case successive approximation of a behavior that is not
beneficial to the person are reinforced. (we discussed this
previously when talking about problems with extinction in
connection to extinction\u2019s capacity to produce novel behaviors)
Prompting: Prompts are used to increase the likelihood that a
person will engage in the correct behavior at the correct time. They
are used during discrimination training to help the person engage
in the correct behavior in the presence of the discriminative
Fading is one way to transfer stimulus control from the prompts to
the SD. This occurs by gradually removing the prompts until the
behavior occurs in the presence of the SD without any
b. Gestural Prompts: A physical movement or gesture of another person that leads to the correct behavior in the presence of an SD.
c. Modeling Prompts: Any demonstration of the correct behavior
by another person that makes it more likely that the correct
behavior will occur in the presence of an SD.
d. Physical Prompts: When another person physically helps the person to engage in the correct behavior in the presence of an SD. (This is also called physical guidance)
IV. Stimulus Prompts: involves some change in stimulus, or the
addition or removal of stimulus, to make a correct response more
likely. A stimulus prompt might involve a change in the SD or a
change in the S-delta S\ue000.
a. Within-stimulus prompt: when you change the salience of an SD
b. Prompt Delay: another method to transfer stimulus control from
a response prompt to the natural SD is to wait a certain number
of seconds and then if the correct response is not made, you
provide the prompt.
VI. Stimulus Fading: this procedure is connected to changing a
dimension of an SD to help a correct response to occur. Eventually
the stimulus prompt must be removed to transfer stimulus control
to the naturally occurring SD.
VII. How to Use Prompting and Transfer of Stimulus Control
a. Choose the most appropriate prompt strategy
b. Get the learners attention
c. Present the SD.
d. Prompt the correct response
e. Reinforce the correct behavior
f. Transfer stimulus control
g. Continue to reinforce unprompted responses.
Reductionism in Behavioral Modification Therapy and the
selection of the most effective level for an intervention.
A. Behavior modification principles are based on a principle of
B. People live their lives based on strategies, and thus if one
becomes too on the mechanics the intervention may appear
tedious or irrelevant.
people become stuck in the application of the strategy.
1. How do things work?
2. Why is the general strategy not being successful?
3. Reasonable analysis (behavior or otherwise) of the
4. Key component here is to discover which factor all of the
potential factors impinging on a problem carries the
greatest weight (co-variance) to the problem.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?