Response Effort

Introduction

The amount of effort that a person must put forth to successfully complete a specific behavior has a direct impact on the frequency that the person will engage in that behavior. As the 'response effort' required to carry out a behavior increases, a person is generally less likely to show that behavior; conversely, as the response effort decreases, a person will be more likely to engage in that behavior. To use one example, a student will probably read more frequently if a book is stored in his or her school desk than if the child must walk to a different floor of the school building and get access to a locked cabinet whenever the student wants to read a book.

This issue of The Practical Teacher provides interventions to either increase or decrease the "response effort", each of which can be useful, depending upon the behavioral issue that prompts the intervention.

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