Cautela, J. R., & Kearney, A. J. (1986). The covert conditioning handbook. New York, NY: Springer.

Covert extinction is a method used to decrease the rate of troublesome target behaviors. It consists of imaginations of behaviors followed by no reinforcement. An example would be an athlete troubling another athlete (the target behavior) without any positive consequence being associated with it.

Implication. This technique could be used for phobias, disruptive or inappropriate practice behaviors, inappropriate outside-of-practice behaviors such as eating and resting habits, as well as removing inappropriate social behaviors that are detrimental to the athlete's sport participation.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.