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10 Essential Rules for Teaching Concepts to Children With Autism Sharon A. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA Kenneth F. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA

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Title: 10 Essential Rules for Teaching Concepts to Children With Autism Sharon A. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA Kenneth F. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA


1
10 Essential Rules for Teaching Concepts to
Children With Autism Sharon A. Reeve, Ph.D.,
BCBAKenneth F. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA
January 16, 2009 Presented at the Conference
Evidence-Based Interventions for Teaching
Individuals with Autism Sponsored by the AJ
Foundation For Children With Autism The
Comprehensive Learning Center
2
The 10 Rules (Presentation Objectives)
  • Overview of Concepts
  • Rule 1 Know the Importance of Concepts
  • Importance to learners with and without autism
  • Rule 2 Remember the Basics
  • Generalization, discrimination, etc.
  • Rule 3 Know How to Use Concept Teaching
    Procedures
  • Simultaneous, successive, and conditional
    discrimination training procedures
  • Rule 4 Know How to Test for Concept Formation
  • Behavior necessary to infer concept formation
  • Rule 5 Teach All Types of Concepts
  • Perceptual classes, relational classes,
    equivalence classes

3
The 10 Rules (Presentation Objectives)
  • Rule 6 Use Multiple Exemplar Training
  • Analysis of relevant features of exemplars
  • Rule 7 Use Multiple Distractors
  • Reducing correct chance responding
  • Rule 8 Teach in Appropriate Context for
    Specific Concepts
  • Identify higher order antecedent stimuli
  • Rule 9 Concurrently Teach Multiple Concepts
  • Avoid teaching single concepts in isolation
  • Rule 10 Use Error Analysis
  • Determine what is controlling behavior when
    concepts fail

3
4
What is a Concept?
  • Traditional cognitive psychologists talk about
    internal mental rules that define why certain
    things go together
  • Cognitive psychologists assert that these
    internal mental rules ARE concepts
  • Major problem is that these internal processes
    are not observable or measureable!

5
What is a Concept?
  • Behavior analysts, however, refer to concepts
  • As sets of stimuli that occasion a common
    response and
  • Within a set of stimuli, some stimuli occasion
    the behavior without the benefit of explicit
    teaching
  • (other names for concepts are stimulus classes
    or categories)
  • What defines the boundaries of a concept (how
    large or small the set is) is often determined by
    society, culture, schooling, etc.
  • E.g., color categories across different cultures

6
What is a Concept?
  • Behavior analysts identify the characteristics of
    the stimuli in the concept that evoke the
    behavior, rather than rely on inferred and
    unobservable mental structures to explain
    conceptual behavior
  • E.g., what characteristics define tree
  • Behavior analysts also examine how certain kinds
    of teaching procedures (discrimination training,
    programming for generalization) affect the
    likelihood of concept formation
  • E.g., How expansive will a childs concept of
    dog be if we only use 3 exemplars to teach it?

7
  • Rule 1 Know the Importance of Concepts (In
    General)
  • Get something for nothing
  • New behavior occurs without training
  • Reduced teaching time
  • Less need to explicitly teach everything
    (economical instructional time)
  • Psychic power!
  • Person can make assertions about the
    characteristics of something youve never
    encountered before if you know what concept it
    comes from

8
  • Rule 1 Know the Importance of Concepts
    (Relevance to Autism)
  • Children with autism have difficulties forming
    concepts (Burke Cerniglia, 1990 Bowler, 2006
    Johnson Rakison, 2006 Lovaas, Koegel,
    Schreibman, 1979)
  • May be due to failure to respond to multiple
    stimulus components (called control by restricted
    features)
  • For example, if a child only attends to 4
    legs, they will be unable to learn concept of
    DOG (since many other features are also relevant
    to be called a dog and many other animals are
    4-legged)

9
  • Rule 1 Know the Importance of Concepts
    (Relevance to Autism)
  • Problems may also be due to responding to only a
    limited range of stimuli (control by restricted
    concepts)
  • For example, maybe only 2 of the following 4
    stimuli are labeled as a DOG by a learner with
    autism

10
  • Rule 1 Know the Importance of Concepts
    (Relevance to Autism)
  • Control by restricted features and/or restricted
    concepts is referred to as stimulus
    overselectivity (Lovaas, Koegel, Schreibman,
    1979)
  • This leads to
  • communicative delays in speech and language
  • problems in academic skills
  • social delays (Hoffner-Barthold Egel, 2001)
  • Therefore, behavior analysts need to have a
    better working knowledge of stimulus control
    issues to remediate these difficulties in concept
    formation for individuals with autism

11
Rule 2 Remember the Basics
  • Stimulus Control - study of how antecedent events
    affect likelihood of a behaviors occurrence
  • Discriminative stimulus (SD or S) is an
    antecedent stimulus that sets the occasion for
    reinforcement of a specific behavior
  • Are many within a concept
  • S-delta (S? or S-) or extinction stimulus is an
    antecedent stimulus that sets the occasion for
    NON-reinforcement of a specific behavior
  • Often called distractor stimuli (non-concept
    members)

12
Differential Reinforcement SD or S?
  • When a person responds in one situation but not
    in another (or responds differently), we say that
    the person discriminates between the situations.
  • E.g., Child throws a ball in the yard but not in
    the living room
  • Simplest way to teach discrimination is to
    reinforce a specific behavior in one situation
    (SD) and withhold reinforcement in the other (S?)
  • E.g., Child asks for the ball in the yard and is
    allowed to enjoy playing with the ball. No ball
    is provided in the living room.
  • Stimulus control also refers to a change in
    behavior that occurs when either an SD or S? is
    presented.
  • SD presented probability of target response
    increases
  • S? presented probability of same response
    decreases
  • E.g., Child learns to ask for ball in the yard
    but not when in the living room

13
Generalization vs. Discrimination
  • Discrimination target behavior occurs in one
    situation but not in others
  • We discriminate among or between settings,
    people, stimuli
  • E.g., Regarding ball playing, the child can
    discriminate between the yard and the living room
  • Generalization target behavior occurs across
    multiple situations
  • We generalize across settings, people, stimuli
  • E.g., Child will ask for a ball in the neighbors
    yard, Grandmas yard, and the school playground

14
Stimulus Generalization
  • Why does generalization occur across new stimuli
    following teaching?
  • Occurs when new stimuli share common properties
    or features with the original discriminative
    stimulus (or stimuli) used in teaching
  • Will appropriate generalization occur
    automatically? (that is, will concepts form?)
  • Maybe yes, maybe no

15
Stimulus Discrimination
  • Why does discrimination occur between stimuli?
  • Occurs when other stimuli do NOT share common
    features with the original discriminative
    stimulus (or stimuli) used in teaching. Or, does
    not share sufficient numbers of common features.
  • Will appropriate discrimination occur
    automatically? (will learner discriminate one
    concept from another?)
  • Maybe yes, maybe no

16
Role of Generalization and Discrimination in
Concept Formation
  • Target behavior generalizes WITHIN the concept
    (i.e., within a set of stimuli, each concept
    member occasions a common response)
  • E.g., Child says Thats a cat in the presence
    of many different cats
  • Target behavior does NOT generalize to OTHER
    concepts (i.e., learner discriminates among
    different concepts)
  • Nothing is said, or some other expressive label
    (That ones a dog!) is given for members of
    other concepts

17
Rule 3 Know How to Use Concept Teaching
Procedures
  • One method is to arrange the presentation of SDs
    from different concepts (called exemplars) so
    that one follows an other (called successive
    discrimination training).
  • Teach behavior that is appropriate for each SD
    (or teach learner NOT to respond to an S?)
  • See simple successive discrimination training
    example on next slide

18
If you see money, take it
Learner receives reinforcement for taking the
money
19
  • If you see money, take it

Learner receives NO reinforcement for taking the
ball
20
Rule 3 Know How to Use Concept Teaching
Procedures
  • In alternative procedure, simultaneous
    discrimination, the SD for one concept is
    presented with multiple S?s (members of other
    concepts) at the same time
  • Learner is taught to respond to the SD.
  • See simple simultaneous discrimination training
    example on next slide

21
  • If you see money, take it

Learner receives NO reinforcement for taking the
clock or ball
Learner receives reinforcement for taking the
money
22
Rule 3 Know How to Use Concept Teaching
Procedures
  • In another procedure, conditional discrimination
    training, the presence of a sample stimulus
    (such as a visual stimulus or different
    instructions given to a learner) dictates which
    of two or more comparison stimuli or
    distractors the learner should select.
  • The sample stimulus changes from one trial to
    another
  • See example on next slide

23
One sample trial
Another trial
  • Pick the money
  • Pick the ball

Learner receives reinforcement for taking the ball
Learner receives reinforcement for taking the
money
24
Conditional Discrimination
  • The behavioral function of each comparison
    changes depending on the presence of the sample.
  • That is, sometimes a comparison stimulus is an SD
    for selecting it and in other situations the S?
  • The correct response is conditional on
    (dependent on) the specific sample stimulus
  • Conditional discrimination is an IF-THEN rule

25
Conditional Discrimination Matching To Sample
  • Because the conditional stimulus is referred to
    as a sample and the choices we respond to are
    called comparisons, this procedure is also called
    matching to sample (MTS)
  • More examplesnext slide

26
Conditional Discrimination Matching To Sample
  • Identity matching (match one thing to itself)

27
Conditional Discrimination Matching To Sample
  • Perceptual similarity-based matching (e.g., match
    one dog picture to a similar dog picture)

28
Conditional Discrimination Matching To Sample
  • Arbitrary matching (e.g., match one dog picture
    to dissimilar stimulus such as a word)
  • DOG HOP CAT

29
Rule 4 Know How to Test for Concept Formation
  • Specific behavioral properties must be
    demonstrated in the presence of the stimulus
    members to infer that they are functioning as a
    concept
  • Each stimulus in the set occasions a particular
    response
  • This generalization emerges after training has
    occurred with only a subset of all the possible
    stimuli in the potential class (Lea, 1984
    Herrnstein, 1990).
  • Stimuli in other sets do not occasion that same
    response (Adams et al., 1993 Fields, Adams,
    Buffington, Yang, Verhave, 1996 Wasserman
    DeVolder, 1993).

30
Rule 4 Know How to Test Concept Formation
  • Example If teaching the concept of dog, how
    does an instructor infer that the child has
    learned the concept?
  • Child says That is a dog to many different dog
    pictures (this happens even though child was
    directly taught to respond to only some of the
    pictures)
  • Child does NOT say That is a dog to pictures of
    lions or tigers or bears, etc.

30
31
Rule 5 Teach All Types of Concepts
  • 1. Perceptual class stimuli in the set share
    some physical characteristics
  • Examples dogs, flowers, children, chairs, cars,
    etc.
  • 2. Relational class stimuli in the set
    characterize some abstract relationship
  • Example bigger than, same/different
  • 3. Equivalence class stimuli do NOT share any
    physical characteristics (Stimuli go together
    just because society says so)
  • Example numeral 1 written one spoken WUN

32
1. Perceptual Classes
  • In these concepts, there is a perceived
    similarity across the stimuli within the concept
  • It is difficult, however,
  • (a) to define all stimulus properties (features)
    of concept members, and
  • (b) to identify the range or boundaries of the
    concepts (these characteristics are ill-defined
    or fuzzy)
  • stimuli in perceptual classes contain different
    combinations of multiple possible features
  • For example, what features define DOGS?
    Rachmaninoff music? TREES?
  • (Adams, Fields, Verhave, 1993 Blough, 1990
    Cerella, 1979 Cook et al., 1990 Herrnstein,
    1990 Lea, 1984 Rosch Mervis, 1975)

33
Perceptual Classes Control of Responding
  • Presumably, category members contain some
    combination of multiple possible features (I.e.,
    a tree contains a certain number of tree
    features leaves, bark, tall, etc.)
  • If a stimulus does not contain enough of these
    features, then it will probably be excluded from
    class membership
  • (Herrnstein, 1990 Jitsumori, 1993, 1996 Lea
    Ryan, 1984 Medin Smith, 1984 Rosch Mervis,
    1975 Smith Medin, 1981 Wasserman, Kiedinger,
    Bhatt, 1988)

34
Teaching Testing Procedures
  • During teaching, learners are exposed to multiple
    different stimuli from each potential perceptual
    class
  • called multiple exemplar training (MET) (Becker,
    1971 Cook et al., 1990 Haring, Breen,
    Laitenen, 1989 Homa Little, 1985)
  • Stimuli can be presented either one at a time
    (successive discrimination), or concurrently
    (simultaneous discrimination), or in conditional
    discrimination.

35
Successive discrimination trial with one car
exemplar
  • What is this?

Learner receives reinforcement for saying car
36
Successive discrimination trial with another car
exemplar
  • What is this?

Learner receives reinforcement for saying car
37
Successive discrimination trial with a non-car
distractor
  • What is this?

Learner receives NO reinforcement for saying
car (but does receive reinforcement, of course,
for saying truck if that concept is also being
taught)
38
Simultaneous discrimination trial with one car
exemplar and two distractors
  • Point to the car

Learner receives reinforcement for pointing to car
Learner receives NO reinforcement for pointing to
the motorcycle or truck
39
Simultaneous discrimination trial with another
car exemplar and another two distractors
  • Point to the car

Learner receives NO reinforcement for pointing to
the motorcycle or truck
Learner receives reinforcement for pointing to car
40
Testing for the Concept
  • Additional NOVEL stimuli from the same concept
    must occasion the same target behavior even
    though they had never been presented before (this
    is generalization to new concept members)
  • Likewise, the learner should NOT emit the target
    behavior in the presence of novel NON-members
    (discrimination between categories)
  • To assess this

41
Generalization test trial (successive
discrimination trial) with a novel car not used
in teaching
  • What is this?

Child says Car but no programmed consequences
42
Generalization test trial (simultaneous
discrimination trial) with another novel car not
used in teaching
  • Point to the car

No programmed consequences
43
Training Testing Procedures Conditional
Discrimination
  • establishment of perceptual classes can also
    involve conditional discrimination procedures,
    such as matching to sample

44
Training Testing Procedures Conditional
Discrimination
sample
  • Following presentation of the sample, some
    observing response, such as touching the sample,
    must be emitted.

45
Training Testing Procedures Conditional
Discrimination
  • Next, at least two additional stimuli, called
    comparisons, are presented.
  • One is drawn from the same potential perceptual
    class as the sample and is called the positive
    comparison
  • Other comparison comes from a different class and
    is called the negative comparison

46
Training Testing Procedures Conditional
Discrimination
Sample 1
- comparison
comparison
47
Sample 1
comparison
- comparison
48
Training Testing Procedures Conditional
Discrimination
Sample 2
- comparison
comparison
49
Sample 2
comparison
- comparison
50
Testing Procedures Conditional Discrimination
  • New NOVEL stimuli must occasion selection of
    other concept members even though they had never
    been paired together before in a match-to-sample
    trial (generalization to new concept members)
  • Likewise, novel stimuli must NOT occasion
    selection of stimuli from a different concept
    (discrimination between concepts)
  • To assess this

51
Sample 1
NOVEL comparison
- comparison
52
Sample 2
NOVEL comparison
- comparison
53
2. Relational Classes Definition
  • These concepts are more abstract because no
    specific stimulus features define concept
    membership, nor is any specific stimulus by
    itself a member
  • Rather, the concept is defined by a specific
    relationship among or between stimuli
  • For example

54
Relational Classes Definition
  • Consider the unlimited number of pairs of stimuli
    that define the concept of larger than
  • Which one is larger?

55
  • Which one is larger?

56
  • Note that any pair of objects can exemplify the
    concept larger as long as one occupies more
    physical space than the other
  • Which one is larger?

57
Relational Classes Definition
  • Another example is the abstract relational
    concept of same
  • Again, no particular stimuli define the concept.
  • Any two (or more) stimuli that are identical in
    all respects can serve as exemplars of the concept

58
  • Are these the same?

59
  • Are these the same?

60
  • Are these the same?

61
  • Are these the same?

62
3. Equivalence Classes Definition
  • A finite group of physically disparate stimuli
    (no perceptual similarity)
  • Stimuli become related solely as a function of
    teaching (Fields, Adams, Buffington, Yang,
    Verhave, 1996 Fields, Reeve, Adams, Brown,
    Verhave, 1991 Sidman Tailby, 1982 Sidman,
    1994)
  • An equivalence class must contain at least three
    stimuli (but often has many more)
  • Typically taught using conditional discrimination
    procedures

63
Example Stimuli in a 3-Member Equivalence Class
  • Written word
  • Spoken word
  • A picture

DOG
DOG
64
Another Example
CAT
  • Written word
  • Spoken word
  • A picture

CAT
65
Rule 6 Use Multiple Exemplar Training
  • Experiments show that larger numbers of training
    exemplars produce better concept learning than
    fewer exemplars (Becker, 1971 Bhatt Wright
    1992 Engelmann, Carnine, 1982 Homa
    Chambliss, 1975 Homa, Cross, Cornell, Goldman,
    Swartz, 1973 Homa, Sterling, Treple, 1981
    Omohundro, 1981 Sands, Delius, 1988)
  • No studies YET for children with autism!

66
Why is Multiple Exemplar Training (MET) Superior
for Concept Formation?
  • Unlikely that a single exemplar of a perceptual
    class, for example will contain all the possible
    relevant features that define membership
  • Teach a variety of exemplars that represent all
    relevant features
  • E.g., selecting pictures containing relevant
    features of dogs
  • Also, since stimuli may also contain features
    that are IRRELEVANT for class membership, these
    irrelevant features may be controlling behavior
  • E.g., if you use five pictures of dogs with brown
    collars, then any animal with a brown collar may
    be called a dog
  • For control of responding to be exerted by the
    relevant features, the learner must, by
    necessity, be exposed to more than one class
    exemplar (more)

67
Why is ME Training Superior?
  • As the number of exemplars used during
    discrimination training increases, there is a
    greater probability that the learners behavior
    will be reinforced in the presence of the
    relevant features and a reduced likelihood of
    reinforcement in the presence of irrelevant
    features
  • E.g., Childs behavior for selecting a picture of
    a dog must occur in the presence of relevant
    features for a dog round/oblong head shape, tall
    shoulders, claws always present, bigger nose
    eyes (barking)
  • Behavior never occurs in the presence of
    irrelevant features short shoulders, retracted
    claws, smaller nose eyes, triangle head shape
    (meowing)
  • Keep in mind there are always features dogs that
    dogs share with other categories of animals fur,
    4-legs so you need to make sure that the
    relevant dog-specific features are there.

68
Why Not a Single Exemplar?
  • Although teaching with a single exemplar might be
    easier, it provides an equal likelihood that
    both relevant and irrelevant features will be
    correlated with reinforcement for responding,
    thus reducing the likelihood the child will learn
    the category (they often will just learn that one
    picture)
  • For example, only using one picture of a dog to
    teach the category of dog might mean 4-legs is
    controlling the behavior and not dog-specific
    features, such as shape of head etc.
  • As another example, using only a banana to teach
    the color yellow might lead to the shape of the
    banana or its smell or the peel rather than the
    color controlling behavior.

69
Pilot Study
  • Alternating concept teaching with many exemplars
    versus few exemplars to see which produces better
    concept formation
  • Conducted with young learners with autism who do
    not show basic concepts
  • Taught 6 animal concepts (half of classes with 3
    exemplars each and other half with 6 exemplars
    each)
  • See sample trial

70
  • Point to DOG
  • TRAINING Used 3 different teaching exemplars of
    dogs, cats, and birds
  • On alternate days, used 6 different teaching
    exemplars of horses, snakes, and monkeys
  • For TESTING Used 3 NOVEL exemplars for EACH
    concept
  • Results

71
(No Transcript)
72
Rule 7 Use Multiple Distractors (Comparison
Stimuli)
  • Consider the conditional discrimination (MTS)
    procedure used to teach our categories of DOGS
    and CATS
  • In previous slides, we showed you trials in which
    there were only 2 comparison stimuli (a positive
    and negative comparison)
  • There are a few problems with this arrangement
    (see next)

DOG
73
Effects of Number of Distractors
  • One problem is that a child may learn to respond
    to dog stimuli but then simply respond anything
    but dog on trials in which cat stimuli should be
    selected
  • As a result, the child will still be correct on
    cat trials, but NOT because they have learned the
    CAT concept
  • This is called responding by exclusion and it
    produces a failure to learn the second concept
  • A learner really doesnt have to attend to the
    other concept just make sure it is NOT a dog
    stimulus

DOG
74
Effects of Number of Distractors
  • Another problem with only two comparisons is that
    the probability of being correct by GUESSING is
    50!
  • If guesses are reinforced, but not conceptual
    behavior, then it is unlikely that the concept
    will be learned since the relevant features are
    NOT what is controlling behavior

DOG
75
Increasing Number of Distractors
  • Adding additional distractors reduces the
    likelihood of guessing being reinforced
  • In the example below, there is now only a 25
    chance of a guess being reinforced

DOG
76
Increasing Number of Distractors
  • Adding additional distractors also reduces the
    likelihood that any class was learned by
    exclusion
  • In the training paradigm below, the child would
    need to learn at least 3 of the 4 concepts (CAT,
    DOG, BIRD). The fourth, however, might still be
    learned as NOT cat, dog, bird but it would not
    be FROG

DOG
77
Rule 8 When Possible, Teach in the Context That
Exerts Control Over the Conceptual Behavior
  • Identify all higher order antecedent stimuli and
    teach concepts in their presence
  • Stokes and Baer (1977) referred to this principle
    as programming for common stimuli
  • The folks at PCDI often use this principle
    through the use of activity schedules
  • E.g., A tooth-brushing schedule is found in the
    bathroom and contains relevant pictures of items
    necessary for brushing teeth

78
Rule 9 Concurrently Teach Multiple Concepts
  • Do not teach a single concept in isolation
  • Examples on next slide

79
DOG
80
DOG
81
DOG
82
DOG
83
Whats the Problem?
  • Assuming you saw those 3 trials, would you say
    that the learner can match the written word DOG
    to the corresponding dog picture? NO
  • What function might the sample or conditional
    stimulus (written word) be serving? NONE
  • What is the problem with arranging trials in this
    way? EVERYTHING!

84
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER TEACH IN ISOLATION
  • This tricks the teacher that a child is
    learning a concept. In fact, child may not be
    learning a concept
  • A more serious mistake is that child many be
    learning the wrong things, such as
  • Dont attend to the sample stimulus
  • Dont attend to the comparison stimulus
  • Pick whatever picture is on the desk
  • E.g., 5 x 2, 7 3, 9 1, 12 2,
  • 4 2, 3 1, 2 0, 5 3, 6 4, 7 - 5

85
Rule 10 When Concept Formation Fails, Use Error
Analysis!
  • Did you first identify the relevant features
    making up the concept?
  • What are the relevant features of a shoe
  • Shape, fasteners, sole/heal,
  • Did you make sure the relevant features appear
    often in your teaching exemplars?
  • Have a wide variety of shoes with shape,
    fasteners, sole/heal
  • Did you make sure that irrelevant features are
    not consistently appearing
  • E.g., all shoes used in teaching are brown

86
Problems In Conditional Discrimination (MTS)
Training
  • Also called extraneous stimulus control
  • That is, something other than the teacher-defined
    antecedent stimuli is controlling behavior
  • Often times, extraneous control can APPEAR to be
    proper stimulus control
  • Lets examine the following trials

87
CAT
88
CAT
89
CAT
90
Whats the problem?
  • Assuming you saw those 3 trials, would you say
    that the learner can match the written word CAT
    to a picture of a cat?
  • What function might the sample or conditional
    stimulus (written word CAT) be serving? NONE
  • What is the problem with arranging trials in
    isolation this way? SAMPLE BECOMES IRRELEVANT

91
Whats the problem?
  • Now look at these 3 trials

92
CAT
93
DOG
94
HAMSTER
95
Whats the problem?
  • Assuming you saw those 3 trials, would you say
    that the learner can match the written word to
    corresponding picture?
  • What function might the sample or conditional
    stimuli (written words) be serving? NONE
  • What is the problem with arranging trials in this
    way? LEFT COMPARISON IS ALWAYS CORRECT

96
Whats the problem?
  • Now look at some more trials

97
DOG
98
DOG
99
DOG
100
Whats the Problem?
  • Assuming you saw those 3 trials, would you say
    that the learner can match the written word DOG
    to the corresponding dog picture?
  • What function might the sample or conditional
    stimulus (written word) be serving? NONE
  • What is the problem with arranging trials in this
    way? NEW STIMULI ARE NEVER CORRECT SO THEY CAN BE
    IGNORED!
  • Are these novel distractors relevant? NO

101
Strategies to Reduce Extraneous Stimulus Control
in MTS
  • Within a session, alternate the sample stimuli
    used.
  • E.g., Cant always be a picture of a dog
  • Each different sample should appear in an equal
    number of trials.
  • E.g., dont teach more trials of dog than cat
    teach equal number of trials of cat and dog
  • Use the SAME comparisons within a session during
    training.

102
MoreStrategies to Reduce Extraneous Stimulus
Control in MTS
  • Make every comparison used be, at some point, a
    correct answer
  • E.g., cat, dog, frog
  • Use 3 or more comparisons on every trial to
    reduce likelihood of reinforcing guessing. What
    is the limit on number of comparisons?
  • Within a session, the correct comparison stimuli
    should appear equally often (frequency of
    occurrence)

103
MoreStrategies to Reduce Extraneous Stimulus
Control in MTS
  • Within a session, the correct comparison stimuli
    should appear equally often in EACH POSITION
  • For each trials, the learner should be required
    to make an observing response to the sample
    (conditional) stimulus.
  • Require the learner to touch or point to the
    sample
  • Do not rearrange the trial stimuli in front of
    the learner. Screen these and then present them
    in the proper array.

104
MoreStrategies to Reduce Extraneous Stimulus
Control in MTS
  • If teaching matching, have learners POINT to the
    correct comparisons rather than PLACE ON TOP of
    the sample stimulus.
  • This is a very functional response that is good
    to practice
  • The learner can see both stimuli at the same time
  • At some point the stimuli may be too big to move
    (E.g. refrigerator, car)

105
MoreStrategies to Reduce Extraneous Stimulus
Control in MTS
  • Use errorless teaching rather than trial and
    error
  • E.g., Make relevant feature more salient
  • Idea here is that we may also reduce emotional
    side effects of trial and error learning
  • E.g., gradually fade out stimulus prompts

106
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