Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Behavior

Description of the Strategy

Differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior (DRL) is one of a family of reinforcement schedules that offer an alternative to using punishment to decrease a target behavior. When a DRL schedule is in effect, a response is reinforced after a specific time period elapses since a response last occurred. An increase in interresponse time (IRT > t) reduces response rate. An increase in interresponse time reduces but may not eliminate the rate of the incompatible response. Thus, the DRL contingency is useful when the overall frequency of behavior needs to be reduced, not eliminated. Children are not required to be “perfect”; they can improve and thereby earn reinforcement.

Research Basis and Target Population

Laboratory studies with ...

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