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Effective Learning Environments

The Role of Contingencies of Reinforcement

Behavior analysis has brought the attention of practitioners and scientists to the contingencies that exist in any environment. Such contingencies consist of the events that immediately precede a behavior (antecedents, or A), the behavior (B), the events that immediately follow the behavior (consequences, or C), and the sequences of events that establish or alter the value of the antecedents and consequences, known as establishing operations (EO). Simple three-term contingencies (ABC), plus establishing operations (EO), are powerful tools for creating effective learning environments. Contingencies establish, strengthen, maintain, and weaken the behavior that is exhibited in any environment.

Contingencies establish behavior by providing an occasion sufficient to produce the behavior (stimulus control, or prompting) and ensuring that the behavior ...

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