Chapter 10

Second extinction can be a very slow process

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Unformatted text preview: parents, peers, and teachers do not acknowledge her improvements is an unfortunate example of unintentional extinction. Although extinction can be an effective intervention, there are some considerations in using it well (Alberto & Troutman, 1999; Lerman & Iwate, 1995; Schloss & Smith, 1994; Wielkiewicz, 1998). First, extinction does not work well for all behaviors. For example, self-reinforcing behaviors such as daydreaming are hard to extinguish. Second, extinction can be a very slow process, especially if the target behavior was originally maintained by an intermittent reinforcement schedule. 24 Also, remember that behaviors are functional and often have a goal. Try to replace the extinguished behavior with a reasonable alternative. This is how Roberta Jones handles this issue. • “When students are misbehaving for my attention, I have learned that it is not enough to ignore them. I get better and quicker results if I also reinforce them for seeking attention in better ways” Third, when you...
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