Pros and Cons of Negative and Positive Reinforcement

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Negative and Positive Reinforcement This paper discusses the differences between negative and positive forms of reinforcement. It also examines negative and positive forms of punishment. Further, it investigates how effective each type is in changing the behaviors of students. By comparing the effectiveness of punishment and reinforcement, hopefully psychologists and educators can find the best way to change negative behaviors both in and out of the classroom. Definitions: Negative Reinforcement "psychological reinforcement by removal of an unpleasant stimulus when a desired response occurs" (Negative Reinforcement 2012) Example: A person washes all of their soiled dishes after making a mess in the kitchen because they have learned that not doing so would lead to a large fight with the person that they live with. Positive Reinforcement "a technique used to encourage a desirable behavior; also called positive feedback, in which the patient or subject receives encouraging and favorable communication from another person" (Mosby 2008). Example: Being told you have done a "good job" by an instructor or sporting coach for performing well Positive Punishment this is a form of punishment wherein an "aversive stimulus is added to the situation;" this is also referred to as punishment by application because the person may not have intended harm or mischief (Cherry 2012). Example: Your cell phone rings in the middle of class and you are given detention by the teacher.

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