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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

High Probability Requests (HPR) - Topic 25

What is it?

High Probability Requests (HPR) is an antecedent-based intervention used to increase compliance through high-probability request sequences (HPRS). The basis for HPR involved presenting several high-probability requests that a person has a history of responding positively to, prior to presenting a request that a person has a low-probability of responding to (noncompliance). There has been a considerable amount of research completed that demonstrates the compliance increases when high probability requests are paired with a low-probability request. Additionally, antecedent-based interventions, such as HPR, have shown to increase compliance when compared to other approaches (Pitts & Dymond, 2011).

The HPR intervention involves quickly presenting 2-3 high probability requests before presenting the low-probability task. Implementing this type of compliance sequence seems to help reduce frustration and lessen the resistance to compliance. By obtaining compliance to high-probability requests, an amount of momentum is built within the response class of behaviors, thus making it likely the person will respond positively to the low-probability request (Banda & Kubina, 2006).

Why is it important?

Handling problem behavior can be quite a challenge for educators and others who work with individuals with behavior difficulties. Noncompliance can have a negative impact on vocational, personal, social, and academic success (Lee, 2005). Specifically, the number of students attending public schools with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is likely to increase due to the rise in of individuals diagnosed with ASD. Students with ASD tend to experience difficulty with transitioning from task-to-task and can engage in tantrum-like behaviors in response to these transitions. HPR has shown to be helpful by increasing compliance relative to transitions for students with ASD (Banda & Kubina, 2006). Additionally, children with academic and/or behavior problems tend to have much difficulty initiating or completing a requested task within a specific time period due to noncompliant behavior. HPR has been used to help treat noncompliance relative to latency (Wehby & Hollahan, 2000).


Banda, D.R., & Kubina, R.M., Jr. (2006). The effects of high-probability request sequencing

technique in enhancing transition behaviors. Education and Treatment of Children, 29(3),


Lee, D.L. (2005). Increasing compliance: A quantitative synthesis of applied research on high

probability request sequences. Exceptionality, 13(3), 141-154.  

Pitts, L., & Dymond, S. (2011) Increasing compliance of children with autism: Effects of programmed

reinforcement for high-probability requests and varied inter-instruction intervals. Research in

Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 135-143.

Wehby, J.H., & Hollahan, M.S. (2000). Effects of high-probability requests on the latency to initiate

academic tasks. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33(2), 259-262.

Web Links

University of Minnesota: High Probability Request Sequence Videos and Examples

Professional Development in Autism: Get Connected Tip Sheet

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