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Fading is a technique applied in behavior therapy, particularly behavior modification, as well as skill training settings, where an initial prompting to perform an action is gradually withdrawn until the need for it fades away.
The overall goal is for an individual to eventually not need prompts. As an individual gains mastery of a skill at a particular prompt level, the prompt is faded to a less intrusive prompt. This ensures that the individual does not become overly dependent on a particular prompt when learning a new behaviour or skill.
This approach built on studies in operant conditioning in which a new stimulus was presented alongside an existing one to which a response had been learnt. The old stimulus was gradually faded out, by a process of stimulus attenuation, its frequency or intensity reduced, and it was shown that this allowed the new stimulus to gain control of the response.