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Consequence

The term consequence refers to any stimulus, event, or action that follows a behavior. Consequence is used to refer to the third term of the three-term (ABC) contingency: antecedent, behavior, consequence. A consequence stimulus can be (a) neutral, in that no demonstrated functional relationship exists between the occurrence of the behavior and the consequence stimulus; (b) reinforcing, in that contingent presentation (positive reinforcement) or removal (negative reinforcement) of the consequence stimulus is associated with an increased likelihood that the behavior will occur; or (c) punishing, in that contingent presentation (punishment) or removal (time-out, response cost) is associated with a decreased likelihood that the behavior will occur.

An understanding of the role or function of consequence stimuli is important in teaching new behaviors, explaining the ...

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