A task analysis is a breakdown of a behavior chain into simple measurable steps or tasks that are sequentially ordered (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). Using a task analysis allows data on which parts of the chain a child may have more difficulty mastering. Many times a simple and effective way to create a task analysis is to perform the chain yourself to determine the breakdown and order of steps. We use a wide variety of chains throughout the day such as brushing teeth, making a bed, making a phone call etc.. A task analysis can be used to help teach these self help skills or help to learn chore or job related tasks. By learning each step effectively children or adults can later be taught to self monitor and check off each completed part of the task themselves. Chaining also has the advantage of helping individuals tolerate longer sequences of tasks before gaining access to reinforcement (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007).
Cooper, J., Heron, T.E, & Heward, W.L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.