One example of new behavior acquisition is mastering the use of the APA referencing style. One aspect that was helpful in my learning is my previous experience with using the MLA system in written assignments. During my skill development endeavors, I did not rely on any specific person’s support and focused on studying the American Psychological Association’s official referencing manuals. Other materials that have supported me include multiple explanatory blog posts that make information from the guides easier to comprehend. To some degree, such materials “anatomize” APA reference list entries to promote an understanding of each bibliographic element’s acceptable format, purpose, and location in the source.
When learning to use APA referencing a few years ago, I did not apply any behavior modification strategies deliberately. However, with new behavior modification knowledge in mind, I assume that chaining would have been extremely helpful in the learning process. Chaining refers to breaking a certain skill/task into smaller steps and teaching the steps one by one (Miltenberger, 2016). Moving on to the next skill occurs once the previous one has been mastered properly.
The potential effectiveness of chaining refers to the complex nature of referencing tasks. To some extent, this approach promotes waiting for “things we do not see” with patience (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 1996/2015, Romans 8:25). Using any referencing style correctly involves a sequence of steps, including locating a source, identifying the source type, searching for appropriate rules in the referencing guide, and creating a correctly formatted entry that follows the example. Developing proper reference list entries is impossible if sources have been categorized incorrectly. Thus, chaining is the strategy that would promote successful learning in the situation when any step’s success depends on skills peculiar to the previous step.
Finally, one example of stimulus control peculiar to studying the APA referencing system is the presence of distractions. From my observations, when formatting written assignments, I make minor mistakes less frequently in the absence of distracting factors, such as a working TV or people talking nearby. With that in mind, I would always study APA manuals in silence or even use earplugs to create optimal conditions.
Thank you for detailing the specifics of yourself acquainting with the painting techniques and improving on them. You seem to put the most emphasis on the presence of other individuals, who were instrumental in helping you master the needed skill. However, it should be noted that without personal perseverance, no amount of external advice would have been helpful, which renders the teaching strategy as chaining more than prompt.
Thank you for the valuable insight on your familiarization with the Internet. One point, in particular, attracted my attention, which is using chaining and chunking as means of avoiding distractions. However, the Internet itself is overloaded with extra information, which may negatively impact concentration. It would be interesting to know whether you continued to rely primarily on one’s competence to avoid distractions on the Internet, or you switched to a different strategy.
Thank you for sharing your experience of learning dancing skills. I cannot help but notice that almost the entirety of your journey from a Latin dance novice to an experienced dancer is supported by your friends and the instructor. Although I do not doubt your dancing abilities, it would be interesting to know whether you could achieve the same results with the chaining strategy, which emphasizes personal effort over collective advice.
Thank you for the exhaustive account of your mastery of the Turabian style. Although you are clear in your appraisal of prompting, you make it sound like a strategy, which has inherent advantages over other ways of learning. I am not sure that this is the case with everyone even if it does work for you most efficiently. Still, I would encourage a more cautious judgment of strategies, considering individual differences and learning preferences.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation. (2015). Tyndale House Publishers.
Miltenberger, R. G. (2016). Behavior modification: Principles and procedures (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.