Reinforcement – A Quick Breakdown

In terms of behavior, positive and negative do not equate to good and bad. They simply refer to adding and taking away. In ABA reinforcement is simply a consequence that increases the likelihood of a behavior occurring again in the future. Think of a boss handing out bonuses for a job well done, the employees will be incentivized to work well next time as well.

An example of reinforcement would be asking your patient to look at you when you say their name and once they complete the task reward them by letting them take part in an activity they enjoy such as drawing or playing. Reinforcement is a significant practice that effectively changes behavior. You will use it in all your ABA programs, but it also happens naturally all the time in your everyday life. Take a moment to think about how it’s happening in your life today. Remember that it’s only truly reinforcing if it makes the behavior more likely to occur again. For more information about reinforcement check out our RBT study guide on YouTube.