Differential Reinforcement Overview. Across school settings, the ultimate goal is for students to engage in appropriate behavior instead of inappropriate behavior so all students may access a safe and productive learning environment. In the overviews on supporting appropriate behavior and decreasing inappropriate behavior, the behavioral processes of reinforcement and negative consequences are discussed along with interventions based on these principles. Differential reinforcement involves combining these two processes to promote optimal behavior; appropriate or desirable behavior is reinforced, and inappropriate or undesirable behavior is not reinforced. Further, there are several variations of differential reinforcement, allowing for flexibility and individualization for the context in which the intervention is to be applied.
Citation: Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2021). Overview of Differential Reinforcement. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/instructional-delivery-differential