A Comparison of Noncontingent Plus Contingent Reinforcement to Contingent Reinforcement Along on Students' Academic Performance

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Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) can be described as time-based or response-independent delivery of stimuli with known reinforcing properties. Previous research has shown NCR to reduce problem behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities and to interfere with the acquisition of more desired alternative behavior. To date, however, little research has examined the effects of NCR on children’s academic performance. The present study examined the effects of NCR on the completion of math computation worksheets by 3 students in an elementary school setting. An ABCB reversal design was used to compare an NCR schedule in combination with contingent reinforcement to contingent reinforcement alone. Results showed that digits correct per session decreased to baseline levels for all 3 students during implementation of the NCR plus contingent reinforcement condition. Implications of these results for the reductive effects of NCR are discussed.

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Journal of Behavioral Education