Types of Generalization • Stimulus generalization occurs when behaviors are performed in settings or in the presence of stimuli other than those in which the behaviors were taught. • Response generalization occurs when behaviors change that were not specifically targeted in the original intervention. • Response maintenance occurs when a behavior is performed following the withdrawal of an intervention.
Approaches to Generalization • Look for a response that enters a natural community; in particular, teach students to cue their potential natural communities to reinforcer their desirable behaviors. • Keep training more exemplars; in particular, diversify them. • Loosen training control over the stimuli and responses involved in training; in particular, training different examples concurrently, and vary instructions, social reinforcers, and backup reinforcers. • Make unclear the limits of training contingencies; in particular, conceal, when possible, the point at which those contingencies stop operating, possibly by delayed reinforcement. • Use stimuli that are likely to be found in generalization settings in training settings as well; in particular, use peers as tutors. • Reinforce accurate self-reports of desirable behavior; apply self-recording and self-reinforcement techniques whenever possible. • When generalizations occur, reinforce at least some of them at least sometimes, as if “to generalize” were an operant response class.
Tactics for Promoting Generalization Take Advantage of Natural Communities of Reinforcement Train Diversely Incorporate Functional Mediators
Take Advantage of Natural Communities of Reinforcement • Teach relevant behaviors • Modify environments supporting maladaptive behaviors • Recruit natural communities of reinforcement
Train Diversely • Use sufficient stimulus exemplars • Use sufficient response exemplars • Train loosely • Use indiscriminable contingencies • Reinforce unprompted generalizations
Incorporate Functional Mediators • Use common physical stimuli • Use common social stimuli • Use self-mediated stimuli
Applying Generalization Tactics • List all desired behavior changes • List all the situations, settings, and places where and persons with whom the desired behavior changes should occur • List all the behaviors that must be emitted by everyone else involved in or affected by the behavior change
Issues in Promoting Generalization • Generalize Teacher Repertoire • Use Functional Contingencies • Provide Sufficient Detail • Build in Generalization • Conduct Outcome Assessment • Use the Least Restrictive Intervention