The Premack Principle
The Premack principle is a great way to use activity reinforcers for completing a task or engaging in a required daily activity.
The definition of the Premack Principle: If a person wants to perform a given activity, the person will perfom a less desirable activity to get at the more desirable activity. In behavioris terms, activities become reinforcers.
The classic example of Grandma’s law, as it is also called, is eat your vegetables to get your desert!
This a way to think about daily activities and how you can use them to plan ahead, and have an activity reinforcer ready for your child.
For example, do not go to the playground first! Go to the store first, then the playground. This brings us to the very convenient “first-then” language.
First/Then language has 2 purposes:
- It gives the child information about what will happen.
- It gives the opportunity to know or pick out a reinforcer.
For example, first we will go to the bank, then we will go to the playground – OR you pick what you would like to do.
- First pajamas, then story.
- First homework, then TV or computer.
It is very good language to use, and much used in special education classrooms. Even if children are nonverbal, they learn this pretty quickly.
Introduction to Module 4
Review and Agenda
Purpose of Reinforcement
Finding Good Reinforcers
The Tag as a Reinforcer
How to Reinforce Effectively
Effective Reinforcement Delivery
Wrap-Up and Q&A