Extinction burst

Extinction burst – This label is used to describe the increase in intensity or rate of a behavior when the behavior no longer results in the usual reinforcer that maintains it over time.  Using Leo’s example above, an extinction burst when his hitting no longer results in a cookie may be stronger hits, and/or screaming, and/or crying, et cetera. It is important for continency managers (e.g., parents, teachers, professionals) do not “give in” during these bursts.