Analysis of free-time contingenciesas positive versus negative reinforcement

Jennifer R. Zarcone, Wayne W. Fisher, Cathleen C. Piazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Providing a short break contingent on completed work may increase responding through positive reinforcement (e.g., access to preferred activities) or negative reinforcement (e.g., escape from work). In this investigation, three analyses conducted with a boy with profound mental retardation showed that (a) a 20-s break increased responding more than a positive reinforcer (cola) did, and (b) the reinforcing effects of a 20-s break were affected by the availability of positive reinforcers during the break.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-250
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral assessment
  • Free-time contingencies
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Reinforcer assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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