Antecedent Control Procedures

Description of the Strategy

Antecedent control procedures are environmental changes implemented prior to the behavior in order to control the frequency of that behavior—usually the reduction of challenging behavior, often with clients requiring pervasive support.

The Law of Effect

Antecedent control procedures started with a cat in a box. In 1898, Edward L. Thorndike published the following observation concerning a cat placed in a cage (puzzle box) containing dangling ropes, levers, and latches: When the cat made the proper response with these manipulanda, the cage door would open and the cat would exit and eat the food placed just outside. Over the following trials, the cat would less and less frequently make irrelevant responses and more and more quickly make the door-opening ...

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