Study: Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids

Posted on August 3, 2015

Photo: flickr

The findings come out of a novel study published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions that collectively examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.

One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness. The other theory favors motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.

Behavioral therapy, which uses positive consequences to increase the likelihood of achieving certain behaviors, is among the leading psychosocial interventions for children with an ADHD diagnosis.

The authors point out that the benefits of reward are not specific to children with ADHD.

“The major difference is that typically developing kids usually perform well even when simply asked to do their best,” says Fosco. “But kids with ADHD typically need an external or an additional reinforcement to perform their best.”

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Source material from http://www.psypost.org/


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