The Concept Of Reinforcement In Behaviorism

Reinforcement
This refers to anything that has the effect of strengthening a particular behaviour and makes it
likely that the behaviour will happen again.There are two types of reinforcement: positive and
negative.
Positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a powerful method for controlling the behaviour of both animals and
people.For people,positive reinforcers include basic items such as food,drink,approval or even
something as apparently simple as attention. In the context of classrooms, praise, house points
or the freedom to choose an activity are all used in different contexts as rewards for desirable
behaviour.
Negative reinforcement
As its name suggests, this is a method of decreasing the likelihood of a behaviour by pairing it
with an unpleasant ‘follow-up’.There is controversy about whether punishment is an effective
way of reducing or eliminating unwanted behaviours.Laboratory experiments have shown that
punishment can be an effective method for reducing particular behaviour, but there are clear
disadvantages, especially in classroom situations. Anger, frustration or aggression may follow
punishment, or there may be other negative emotional responses.

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