A comparison of procedures for programming noncontingent reinforcement schedules

Sung Woo Kahng, Brian A. Iwata, Iser G. DeLeon, Michele D. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We compared two methods for programming and thinning noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) schedules during the treatment of self-injurious behavior (SIB). The participants were 3 individuals who had been diagnosed with mental retardation. Results of functional analyses indicated that all participants' SIB was maintained by positive reinforcement (i.e., access to attention or food). Following baseline, the effects of two NCR schedule-thinning procedures were compared in multielement designs. One schedule (fixed increment) was initially set at fixed-time 10-s reinforcer deliveries and was also thinned according to fixed-time intervals. The other schedule (adjusting IRT) was initially determined by participants' baseline interresponse times (IRTs) for SIB and was thinned based on IRTs observed during subsequent treatment sessions. Results indicated that both schedules were effective in initially reducing SIB and in maintaining response suppression as the schedules were thinned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional analysis
  • Noncontingent reinforcement
  • Reinforcement schedules
  • Self-injurious behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology


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