Reinforcement is a key part of any successful training program. It is used to modify behavior, both positive and negative. Positive and negative reinforcement are two different approaches that can be used to motivate behavior. But which of the following is true of positive and negative reinforcers?
1. Positive Reinforcement Increases Behaviors
Positive reinforcement is a type of reward that encourages a desired behavior. When the behavior is followed by a positive reward, such as praise or a treat, it increases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated. Positive reinforcement can be used to increase a desired behavior and extinguish an unwanted behavior.
2. Negative Reinforcement Decreases Behaviors
Negative reinforcement is a type of reward that is used to reduce or extinguish undesired behaviors. Negative reinforcement involves the removal of an aversive stimulus (like an obnoxious sound or an uncomfortable feeling) when a desired behavior is performed. This reinforces the desired behavior as the removal of the aversive stimulus is rewarding. Negative reinforcement has been used to reduce behaviors such as aggression, self-harm, and inappropriate vocalizations.
3. Both Types Of Reinforcement Can Be Used
Positive and negative reinforcement can both be used in training programs. It is important to consider the context and the individual being trained when deciding which type of reinforcement to use. If a positive behavior is being encouraged, then positive reinforcement is usually the best choice. If an undesirable behavior is being extinguished, negative reinforcement can be the most effective tool.
4. Reinforcement Should Be Used Consistently
Reinforcement is most effective when it is used consistently. It is important to be consistent with the reward given and to deliver the reward promptly. This will help to increase the effectiveness of the reinforcement and ensure that the desired behavior is maintained.
Positive and negative reinforcement are powerful tools that can be used to modify behavior. While both types of reinforcement can be effective, it is important to consider the context and individual when choosing which type of reinforcement is best. Consistent reinforcement is also important to maintain the desired behavior.