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18 hours agoNicole Emma Unit 9 D1COLLAPSE

Extinction is a fundamental principle of applied behavior analysis. Reinforcement maintains a behavior and when the reinforcement maintaining the target behavior stops, the target behavior will eventually go away over time. This is because the reinforcer maintaining the behavior is being withheld. As a result, it is causing the behavior to lessen and eventually stop over time (Miltenberger, 2016).  

An example using the concepts of extinction is when Sammy walks into school every day for the last month, he sits at his table and plays with a toy dinosaur. The toy dinosaur talks and lights up when you push the buttons located on the dinosaur. Sammy pushes different colored buttons on the dinosaur when he wants the toy to make sounds. He also pushes shape buttons on the dinosaur when he wants the dinosaur to light up displaying different colors located on the dinosaur. When Sammy smiles and giggles when he pushes the buttons on the dinosaur causing the toy to change colors and make silly sounds. 

One day when Sammy walks into school and sits at his table he pushes the buttons on the dinosaur, but the dinosaur no longer makes sounds or lights up. An extinction burst occurs when Sammy repeatedly starts pushing then banging all the buttons at a high frequency and intensity. Sammy eventually moved on to play with another toy. For the next three days Sammy tried playing with the dinosaur toy, but eventually stopped altogether because the reinforcement of the lights and sounds the dinosaur made stopped. The extinction contingency played a role in the discontinuation of Sammy banging on the buttons at a high intensity and rate because the sounds and lights stopped when Sammy pushed the buttons on the toy dinosaur. Due to the discontinuation of the reinforcement of the lights and sounds the toy typically displayed, Sammy no longer chose to play with the dinosaur toy when coming to school.


Miltenberger, R. G. (2016). Behavior modification: Principles and procedures (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Nicole Emma


18 hours agoCarrie Riseling u9d1COLLAPSE

A teenage client I work with has a particular set of behaviors involving insistence on sameness/constant perseverations. For example, the client believes there is something evil on his computer. Because of such, he would ask his mother to “check the computer” over 100 times a day, sometimes even more than this.

The client has a handful of these types of “obsessions”, so the definition of such is a bit more general. Basically, this behavior could be described as any repetition (occurring more than one time in a 10-minute span) of the same mand/comment/action.

In order to put this behavior on extinction, we did/still do implement what we call “planned ignoring”. As learned in class though, extinction is not ignoring a behavior but rather withholding reinforcement.

An extinction burst often occurs because of the process of extinction. An extinction burst is when a “behavior initially increases during the extinction procedure” (Cooper et. al., 2020). When this particular behavior was first put on extinction, the 100 questions a day increased to roughly 200+ (IOA was difficult to take because of the high frequency). The burst has since dwindled and the persistence is down to about 20-40 times a day now!


Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson.

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