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Response Cost -- Applying Consequences to a Reinforcement Plan

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Definition:

Response Cost is the name given for removing reinforcement from children when they exhibit inappropriate behavior or fail to comply. It is a form of negative punishment, as it involves removing something in order to make the appearance of a behavior less likely.

There is a great deal of controversy over the effectiveness of response cost in behavior management programs. Many districts or special schools do not permit it, even though research has shown that it is effective with some students. It has been shown that reinforcement is much stronger than punishment. There is also the problem that teachers or staff who become vindictive often will use response cost because they are angry, and it may further sour unproductive relationships. It can make the reinforcement system less effective.

Read more about Response Cost.

Also Known As: Consequences
Examples:
Janet's ABA therapist has found that response cost is an effective means to prevent her from leaving the instructional setting. She will remove a token from Janet's token chart when she gets up and leaves the table. Janet seldom wanders off now.
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