What the Heck is Shaping?
The 10 Laws of Shaping - developed by Karen Pryor
- Raise criteria in increments small enough so that the subject always has a realistic chance of reinforcement.
- Train one aspect of any particular behavior at a time. Don't try to shape for two criteria simultaneously.
- During shaping, put the current level of response on a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement before adding or raising the criteria.
- When introducing a new criterion, or aspect of the behavioral skill, temporarily relax the old ones.
- Stay ahead of your subject: Plan your shaping program completely so that if the subject makes sudden progress, you are aware of what to reinforce next.
- Don't change trainers in midstream. You can have several trainers per trainee, but stick to one shaper per behavior.
- If one shaping procedure is not eliciting progress, find another. There are as many ways to get behavior as there are trainers to think them up.
- Don't interrupt a training session gratuitously; that constitutes a punishment.
- If behavior deteriorates, "Go back to kindergarten." Quickly review the whole shaping process with a series of easily earned reinforcers.
- End each session on a high note, if possible, but in any case quit while you're ahead.
Creating your Shaping Plan
Baby Step 1 - treat for sniffing
Baby Step 2 - treat for moving the meds bottle with his nose.
Baby Step 3 - treat for picking the meds bottle up more than an inch
Repeat Baby Steps 1-3 with 2-3 repetitions for each.
Baby Step 4 - treat for hand delivery, at this point I basically moved my hand to his mouth as he was still only picking it up about an inch. Repeating 4-5 times
Repeat Baby Steps 1-4 with 1-3 repetitions for each.
Baby Step 5 - Tossed the meds bottle off to the side to encourage Cam to move his head to my hand instead of me moving my hand towards his head.