Noncontingent Reinforcement as a Treatment for Problem Behavior in the Classroom

Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) involves the presentation of reinforcers on a time-based schedule, such as either a fixed time (FT) or variable time (VT) schedule. The FT schedule involves presenting reinforcers at set points in time (e.g., once every 5 minutes). The VT schedule is similar to FT, but the reinforcer delivery varies around some average (e.g., once every 5 minutes on average). Because reinforcers are delivered based on time, reinforcers are delivered independent of behavior (i.e., no specific target behavior needs to occur). Time-based schedules have commonly been used to reduce the frequency of behavior problems in a variety of settings, including educational settings.

It has been widely demonstrated that many problem behaviors are maintained by reinforcement (such as attention from teachers, escape ...

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