Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Christina Noel (Director), Dr. Carl Myers, and Dr. Susan Keesey

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


A pilot study of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) was conducted using NCR statements to (a) decrease target behaviors, (b) increase unprompted praise statements from the teacher and decrease reprimands, and (c) increase proximity to the participants by the teacher implementing NCR. Data were collected using a single-subject research design on two participants and one teacher. The target behaviors were physical and verbal aggression and inappropriate gestures. Teacher behaviors targeted with this study were praise statements, reprimands, and proximity to students. The participants included were one 16-year-old student with an emotional behavior disability, one 18-year-old student identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and an undergraduate student who was the teacher in this setting. The results were inconclusive regarding the students’ behavior due to confounding variables. However, regarding teacher behavior, the results demonstrated an increase in proximity and praise statements and a decrease in reprimands. This single-subject study provided empirical support that the NCR intervention positively altered teacher behavior.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Special Education and Teaching