Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

2013 Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Noncontingent Reinforcement (NCI)

  • Anna M. KrasnoEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_126


Noncontingent reinforcement is the use of positive reinforcement that is not related to the occurrence of a target behavior. It involves delivering reinforcement on a fixed-time schedule independent of whether the individual exhibits the target behavior during the interval. In other words, the individual’s behavior does not influence whether or not reinforcement is provided. For example, noncontingent reinforcement can be used with a child with autism who exhibits disruptive behavior in the classroom for the function of gaining attention from the teacher. The teacher could implement a noncontingent fixed-time schedule of reinforcement where she gives the student attention at fixed times throughout the day. Since he is receiving the attention throughout the day, this results in a decrease of disruptive behavior. Noncontingent reinforcement weakens the contingency between the target response (disruptive behavior) and the reinforcement delivery. If extinction is used at the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Matson, J. L. (2009). Applied behavior analysis for children with Autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Matson, J. L., & Santino, L. V. (2008). A review of behavioral treatments for self-injurious behaviors of persons with Autism spectrum disorders. Behavior Modification, 32, 61–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Tucker, M., Sigafoos, J., & Bushell, H. (1998). Use of noncontingent reinforcement in the treatment of challenging behavior: A review and clinical guide. Behavior Modification, 22, 529–547.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Gevirtz SchoolUC Santa Barbara Koegel Autism CenterSanta BarbaraUSA