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Excerpt: "Like extinction, response cost contingency, and time out, overcorrection is a behavioral procedure used to decrease the frequency of an undesired behavior. Overcorrection involves an exaggerated form of making amends or restoring the damages caused by misbehavior. Schreibman, Charlop, and Kurtz (1992) describe overcorrection as a weak or "mild but effective form of punishment [requiring] effortful behavior contingent on the occurrence of inappropriate behavior" (p. 339). For example, a child who runs in the hall may be required to return to the point of the offense and repeatedly walk from there to the desired destination; one who left the milk out may be required to take out the milk and then replace it in the refrigerator several times. In some applications the person is manually guided in the corrective activity if it is not voluntarily performed. Overcorrection makes behavioral requirements of the person, whereas time out and most common forms of punishment do not."


Originally published in D. G. Benner and P. C. Hill (Eds.), Baker encyclopedia of psychology and counseling (2nd ed.; pp. 814-815). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 1999.

Used by permission.