What is behavioral momentum?
Do you ever have one of those days where you think to yourself; “If I could just get the ball rolling, I would be able to get so much more done.”?
Enter BEHAVIORAL MOMENTUM.
Behavioral momentum (which is also known as a high-probability request sequence) is “an antecedent intervention in which two to five easy tasks with a known history of learner compliance are presented in quick succession immediately before requesting the target task.” (Cooper, Heron and Heward, 2007)
The idea behind this concept is to build momentum by introducing 3-5 easy (low effort) tasks before presenting a harder (but necessary) request. For example, you might clear off the counter and load the dishes from lunch into the dishwasher before starting dinner.
For children who struggle with compliance, behavioral momentum is essential. It allows them to be successful and contact positive reinforcement multiple times before encountering a less-preferred demand.
I have found that the hardest part about training people to use behavioral momentum is teaching them how to come up with a series of easy (high-probability) requests on the spot. It doesn’t always come naturally to people, so I had an idea. I took 9 basic skill topics and turned them into a set of cue cards for parents, therapists and other professionals.
Behavioral Momentum Cue Cards are sized to fit on a lanyard or keychain. They also pair nicely with my Visual Rule Cue Cards. Each set of 4 cards relates to a specific basic skills topic and appeals to a variety of different learners.
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Marissa Zoffranieri says
As a fellow BCBA always looking for teacher-friendly resources, I feel like I’ve hit the goldmine. Thank you SO much for your hard work with this site, for the comprehensive explanations and beautiful visuals!!
You’re welcome! Thanks for the positive feedback. It’s always good to know that people find these visuals and posts useful!