Behavior: Consequence, Probable Effect, and Classification
Behavioral consequences (results) have a direct influence on the behavior a child exhibits. Behavior can be modified, that is, increased, initiated, or extinguished, by systematic manipulation of its consequences. The possible consequences of human behavior are classified as positive reinforcement, extinction, negative reinforcement, and punishment.
In the table below there are several examples of (a) classification of the consequence, (b) appropriate and inappropriate behavior, (c) the consequence of that behavior (not necessarily a planned intervention), and (d) the probable effect of the consequence on the behavior in the future.
|Classification||Original Behavior Exhibited||Consequence||Probable Effect on the Original Behavior in the Future|
|Positive reinforcement||Jane cleans her room||Jane's parents praise her||Jane will continue to clean her room|
|Positive reinforcement||Shirley brushes her teeth after meals||Shirley receives a nickel each time||Shirley will continue to brush her teeth after meals|
|Extinction||Jim washes his father's car||Jim's car-washing behavior is ignored||Jim will stop washing his father's car|
|Positive reinforcement||Alton works quietly at his seat||The teacher praises and rewards Alton||Alton will continue to work quietly at his seat|
|Punishment||Gwenn sits on the arm of the chair||Gwenn is reprimanded each time she sits on the arm of the chair||Gwenn will not sit on the arm of the chair|
|Negative reinforcement||Bob complains that older boys consistently beat him up, and he refuses to attend school||Bob's parents allow him to remain home because of his complaints||Bob will continue to miss school|
|Punishment||Elmer puts Elsie's pigtails in the paint box||The teacher takes away Elmer's recess||Elmer will not put Elsie's pigtails in the paint box|
|Extinction||Shirley scolds Joe||Joe ignores Shirley's scolding||Shirley will stop scolding Joe|
|Negative reinforcement||Jason complains of headaches when it is time to do homework||Jason is allowed to go to bed without doing his homework||Jason will have headaches whenever there is homework to do|
© ______ 2007, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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