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Negative Practice

Negative practice involves the repeated performance of a behavior with the goal of eliminating or reducing the occurrence of the behavior. The idea is that massed practice of the problem behavior creates fatigue or a similar aversive consequence and thus reduces the rates of the behavior in the future (similar to the process of positive punishment). Hull's concepts of reactive inhibition and conditioned inhibition have been used to explain the mechanism whereby negative practice produces reduction in rates of behavior. Specifically, the aversive consequence associated with performing a behavior repeatedly produces an inhibition of performing the behavior (i.e., reactive inhibition). In addition, because the aversive consequence occurs while practicing the particular behavior, the aversive consequence becomes associated with that behavior (i.e., conditioned inhibition).

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