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Episode 037: Contingent and Non-Contingent Reinforcement with Shira and Shayna

Today, we’re discussing contingent and non-contingent reinforcement, including the difference between the two and how to know which one to use. Reinforcement is a huge focus as an ABA practitioner. It can also be a slippery slope. When all reinforcement becomes contingent, a child can feel like they have to earn everything.

Parents often get confused with the two types of reinforcement as well. It’s helpful to always keep the difference between contingent and non-contingent in our heads so we can let kids know what they should and shouldn’t be expected to earn. As adults, we have plenty of non-contingent rewards in our lives – like that glass of wine or chocolate after a long day. Kids should have them as well and they’re essential for their well-being. When setting up contingent reinforcement, make sure you’re staying consistent.

You’ll Learn:

  • How and why the two types of reinforcement become confusing.
  • The difference between contingent and non-contingent reinforcement.
  • Why it’s beneficial for kids to have plenty of non-contingent opportunities.

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