Operant Extinction

In this unit, you, are learning the concept of operant extinction and how it is applied to change behavior. Make sure you complete the Operant Extinction interactive activity in this unit, which will provide you with some valuable experience you can apply to this assignment.


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Operant extinction procedures are frequently used effectively in ABA treatment plans. However, as you observed in the interactive media presentation you completed, they can also be incorrectly implemented. This improper implementation can result in unknowingly reinforcing the very behavior we want to decrease. As a future ABA professional, it is important for you to learn how to correctly identify maintaining antecedents and consequences that reinforce unwanted behavior, and to correctly apply extinction techniques that effectively reduce the target behavior.

In order to successfully complete this assignment, you will first, identify a behavior frequently exhibited by yourself or by someone close to you, to which you would like to apply an extinction procedure.


Define the behavior operationally.

Describe the antecedent to the behavior.

Describe the consequences of the behavior.

Describe positive and negative reinforcement contingencies that occur as a result of engaging in the behavior. (Hint: think about what is maintaining your identified behavior and what you will be withholding when you implement the extinction procedure.)

Identify procedures that can end up reinforcing the unwanted target behavior, and explain the potential results of improperly implementing these procedures that were meant to help extinguish the unwanted target behavior.

Identify the extinction techniques that you feel will most effectively reduce the target behavior and explain why you feel these will be most effective. (Hint: think back to your identified positive and negative reinforcements to help you identify what you should be withholding to change the behavior through an extinction procedure.)

Assignment Requirements

Written communication: Should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.

APA formatting: References and citations are formatted according to current APA style guidelines.

Resources: At least two scholarly or professional sources.

Length: 4–5 pages, in addition to a title page and reference page.

Font and font-size: Times New Roman, 12-point.


Operant Extinction Scoring Guide.

APA Style and Format. For more information on Operant Extinction check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_(psychology)

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