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Instructions

Description of the Strategy

In the context of behavioral analysis, verbal and written instructions are utilized to facilitate positive behavioral change by describing or prompting desired behaviors that are likely to be rewarded. In this way, instructions serve as discriminative stimuli to signal which behaviors will receive desired consequences, when to initiate prompted actions, and how to complete the responses.

There are four instructional prompts commonly employed by most behavior analysts (i.e., verbal, environmental, physical, and behavioral). Each of these prompts may be used alone or in combination with the others. Verbal prompts are clearly stated statements indicating what the individual is expected to do and, ideally, when the response is to be performed (e.g., “Joe, grab the rake with your hand now”). ...

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