Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Extinction Burst

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_1073



Extinction burst refers to the phenomenon of a previously reinforced or learned behavior temporarily increasing when the reinforcement for the behavior is removed. Learning theory suggests the organism is increasing the frequency of the behavior in an attempt to regain the original reinforcement for the behavior. In the absence of additional reinforcement, the behavior will diminish to lower (pre-extinction burst) levels and eventual cessation.


  1. 1.
    Lerman, D. C., & Iwata, B. A. (1995). Prevalence of the extinction burst and it’s attenuation during treatment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 93–94.PubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rivier CollegeNashuaUSA