THE POWER OF CONDITIONING & REINFORCEMENT

BCM is an intervention that uses teacher feedback and the power of conditioning to structure an environment that provides positive attention and praise only when students are on-task, and consequences when a student is off-task. Teachers report that when such differential feedback is selectively applied, students show improved attention in class as a result. Behavioral contingency management has been validated with moderate to large effect sizes for behavioral outcomes, though the reported effects vary greatly.

ClassicAttention© is a BCM application built on the immutable laws and principles of conditioning and reinforcement. Such  principles were developed in the early 1900’s and have proven to stand the test of time ever since. Accordingly, behavior which is reinforced (rewarded) tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out or be extinguished (i.e. weakened). The resultant behavioral change that occurs when reinforcement is repeatedly delivered as a consequence of response is called “operant conditioning”.

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hereas positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding, “punishment” is defined as the opposite of reinforcement: a stimulus delivered to weaken or eliminate that immediately preceding response.

Punishment works either by applying an unpleasant stimulus after a response or by removing a rewarding stimulus, (i.e. response cost): for instance, deducting someone’s pocket money to punish undesirable behavior.

In managing a classroom setting, it has long been known that if a teacher gives a student positive verbal feedback, e.g. each time the student completes an assignment, the more likely the student will repeat this behavior in the future, thus strengthening the behavior of completing homework.

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