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A response cost is the negative consequence of a response. By administering a response cost you are attempting to reduce a targeted behavior through withdrawal of specific amounts of previously established reinforcers contingent upon that behavior's occurrence.
As an example: in a behaviour modification program aimed at reducing a childs aggressive verbal behavior we might deduct a point or token, or a promise of future reward (the response cost), if they swear (the target behavior) in an attempt to reduce the frequency of that behavior.
The concept has been used in token economy programs.
Principals of administration
Token economy studies
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