After reading Chapter 4, reviewing the powerpoints uploaded in Week 2, and the YouTube video, you should have a very good understanding of reinforcement. Reinforcement is defined as a process in which a behavior is strengthened by the immediate consequence that follows its occurrence. When we look at positive and negative reinforcement, it is important not to take the terms literally, but to look at them from more of a symbol. For example, positive is a + symbol, and what does that mean? It means something is added. Take negative as the symbol, and that means to remove, or take away. It is kind of like thinking about it in terms of a mathematical concept of adding and subtracting. Positive reinforcement is when the occurrence of behavior is followed by the addition of a stimulus or an increase in the intensity of stimulus which results in the strengthening of the behavior. Typically the “addition” is that you get something you want. Negative reinforcement is when the occurrence of a behavior is followed by the removal of a stimulus or a decrease in the intensity of a stimulus which results in the strengthening of the behavior. Typically the “removal” is that you are escaping from or avoiding something you don’t want.
For your Original post/Assignment you must address each of the 5 areas below:
1. Provide some every day examples of behavior and consequences that illustrate positive reinforcement and that illustrate negative reinforcement.
2. Explain and justify why you have identified such examples as positive or negative.
3. What factors helped to influence the effectiveness of the reinforcement?
4. What particular events or consequences may have led to less reinforcement?
5. Was escape or avoidance involved at all?
* Do not use examples from the book – come up with your own to show you understand the behavior principles.
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