Extinction procedures help professionals who work with individuals with an intellectual or developmental disorder (ID/DD) to decrease or eliminate certain types of behavior. Extinction is the process of discontinuing the relationship between a behavior and a reinforcer. Extinction can involve withholding or terminating a positive reinforcer (stimulus that is presented to maintain or increase a behavior) or a negative reinforcer (aversive stimulus whose removal maintains or increases a behavior). This entry describes extinction and its methodology and also discusses its application to individuals with an ID/DD.

Extinction Procedures

Professionals use extinction procedures to affect behavior that is maintained by socially mediated positive reinforcement, socially mediated negative reinforcement, automatic positive reinforcement, or automatic negative reinforcement. Prior to implementing an extinction procedure, professionals determine behavioral function (i.e., the purpose ...

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