Shaping modifies behavior by reinforcing behaviors that progressive approximate the target behavior (operant response). Shaping can be used to train organisms to perform behaviors that would rarely if ever occur otherwise.

For example, to teach a child to write his or her first name, you initially give praise for writing the first letter correctly. After the child has mastered that first step, letter-by-letter you give praise until the entire name is correctly written.


Glossary Index