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Question 1: What is the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment? >>
Question 2: How do I know which type of reinforcement to use? >>
Question 3: When using positive reinforcement, how do I know which type of reinforcement schedule to use? >>
Question 4: How do I know when to switch from continuous reinforcement to intermittent reinforcement? >>
Question 5: With what ages can token economy programs be used? >>
The difference between these two procedures is that negative reinforcement is used to increase behaviors whereas punishment is used to decrease behaviors.Top of Page
When first teaching a skill, a continuous reinforcement schedule should be used to establish a clear relationship between a learner’s use of the target skill and the subsequent reinforcer. As learners become more proficient at using target skills, intermittent schedules of reinforcement should be used (i.e., ratio, interval). These types of schedules help learners maintain the use of newly acquired skills. Ratio reinforcement schedules are most helpful when you want to build a high response rate for a particular skill (e.g., raising hand rather than talking out in class). Interval reinforcement schedules are most often used when teaching a learner to engage in a particular behavior for a longer period of time (e.g., staying seated during class).
Generally, you switch from a continuous reinforcement schedule to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement when a learner has reached a preestablished performance criterion. For example, a learner with ASD is now able to stay seated for 5 minutes during class. Rather than providing reinforcement after the -5minute period, the teacher may provide reinforcement after 4 minutes or after 7 minutes.
Token economy programs are most appropriate for learners in elementary, middle, and high school. Although they can be used with young learners with ASD, they may be too abstract to comprehend.