Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W23
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Stimulus Control and its Relationship to Teaching, Prompting, Error Correction, and Errorless Learning
Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom B
Area: PCH/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants), ANTHONY CASTROGIOVANNI (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Description: Behavior analysis can be succinctly described as the study of behavior under what conditions. That is, while the emphasis on behavior per se is novel to many people, the most unique characteristic of behavior analysis is the emphasis on how environmental conditions systematically influence behavior. In the study of operant behavior, not only did Skinner place emphasis on the role of consequences but his work also emphasized how the three-term contingency brings about stimulus control. Furthermore, an in-depth understanding of stimulus control may reduce the likelihood of engaging in ineffective, ritualistic teaching strategies. The first section will introduce critical nuances in the establishment of stimulus control, using examples from discrimination training. We will note that the definition of prompt is just as dependent upon behavior as is the term reinforcer. Next, we will focus in detail on the critical distinction between prompts and cues. The content will then focus on a major current aspect of most lessons, the removal of the prompts. Finally, we will focus on stimulus control and error-correction as well as various errorless teaching formats. We will use a variety of didactic strategies to review common teaching errors and practice identifying stimulus control issues within various lessons.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) describe stimulus control as defined within the laboratory and applied situations; (2) describe how stimulus control related to applied definitions of prompt and cue; (3) describe a variety of teaching strategies in terms of changes in stimulus control; (4) describe simple rules associated with prompt inclusion and removal; (5) describe how stimulus control relates to both error-correction strategies and errorless learning strategies within their own lessons.
Activities: Review standard definitions of stimulus control including the dependency between discriminative stimuli and behavior, review operational distinctions between the terms prompt and cue, review a variety of lesson formats and identify critical stimulus control issues within each lesson type (e.g., least-to-most prompt hierarchy, time delay, etc.), review video and case descriptions of a variety of teaching errors in terms of poor stimulus control, review various strategies commonly grouped as errorless-learning strategies, and review the difference between error fixing and error correction.
Audience: Anyone arranging lessons for a variety of learners in which prompts or shaping play a prominent role. This may include behavior analysts, speech/language pathologists, teachers or others involved with communication training with children and adults with disabilities including ASD.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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