PS 360 Applied Behavior Analysis
Oct 7th, 2014
Professor Harla Frank
Unit 6 Assignment
Application of Behavior Analysis
Brenda is 17 years old and plays competitive tennis. In fact she hopes to get a scholarship to play in college. Brenda’s coach asked her to go see a sports psychologist who specializes in ABA because she is having difficulty with her serve. She does not have enough speed and accuracy to win matches. Her coach has tried every strategy he knows with no success. Based on her interview with Brenda and her review of videotapes of his serve, the behaviorist decides to use chaining to help. The behaviorist will break down Brenda’s serve into individual units of behavior such as the starting position; ball toss; swing of the racket back; acceleration of the racket; contact with the ball; and follow –through. “Whereas behavior chain connotes a particular sequence of responses ending in reinforcement, the term chaining refers to various methods for linking specific sequences of stimuli and responses to form new performances,” (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). In other words, chaining refers to the process of linking behaviors together to achieve a final result. A task analysis must first be conducted before starting this technique. It helps to determine the different components in the sequence. This means breaking the behavior down into small parts. The behaviorist can watch the behavior, do it themselves, or just write a list of components. In relation to Brenda’s case, forward chaining would contribute greatly to her success in serving. In forward chaining, behaviors are linked together beginning with the first behavior in the sequence. Brenda will do the first step, such as the starting position, independently. The behaviorist will help her in the following steps. Once this step is mastered, she will proceed to doing the second step on her own. This will continue until the entire chain is mastered. Primary and secondary...
References: Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Howard, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
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