August 6 – 9, 2018
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
State College, Pennsylvania

”We Tried Reinforcement, But it Didn’t Work” – Analyzing Contingency Failures in Instructional Settings

Monday, July 31, 2017 -
1:00pm to 4:00pm

Reinforcement is defined by its effects on the future probability of the operant class upon which it is contingent. As such, it is never correct to say that reinforcement did not work; if it did not work, then it wasn't reinforcement. Still, this is not an uncommon expression to hear in applied settings. In most cases, the speaker is describing a situation in which a response-consequence contingency was arranged, but failed to produce a demonstrable increase in the behavior, or aspect of behavior, that the contingency designer had intended. There are numerous explanations for such outcomes. Some are related to the stimulus used as a reinforcer, but others are more directly related to the response or to the reinforcement system in which the contingency is embedded. In this presentation, I will draw upon the behavior analytic literature, both basic and applied, to a) illustrate no less than 15 reasons why reinforcement contingency failures occur, and b) when possible, suggest strategies to repair the contingency. Test

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Available Credits: 
Act 48
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All Participants
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