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Noncontingent Reward (Reinforcement)

Description of the Strategy

Noncontingent reward (NCR)* is a procedure that, as its name suggests, involves delivering rewards independent of the occurrence of any specified behavior. Sometimes NCR is used to make a particular setting more attractive. That is, offering a high rate of rewards reinforces entering and staying in that setting. However, once in the setting, receipt of the rewards does not depend on engaging in any particular response and, in fact, may alter previously established patterns of behavior. Indeed, the most common and well-studied use of NCR is as a procedure for decreasing problem behavior. To illustrate, imagine a child diagnosed with autism who engages in self-injurious behavior (e.g., head banging), maintained by social reinforcement (i.e., the child receives attention following ...

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