Difference Between Reinforcement And Punishment

828 Words 4 Pages
Zachary Roberson
Professor Shahnaaz
PSY 2012
Reinforcement & Punishment As humans, we display distinct behaviors that have been set through how we were raised or those that are instinctual. However, these behaviors may not have been common or even apparent in a child, but as a child grows older they begin to display these behaviors more often and other behaviors that were possessed as a child begin to disappear. For example, a child is likely to be a messy eater because it has no concept of manners, but as the child starts to become an adult they have an understanding of manners and are more polite at the dinner table, thus being a less messy eater. Now there are multiple ways the behavior in the example could be changed. The most
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A primary reinforcer, more commonly seen in positive reinforcements, is something that brings satisfaction to a recipient that requires no sort of learning. Refer back to the example above where the child was positively reinforced. In this case the candy would be a primary reinforcer. Types of positive reinforcers are things that are naturally satisfying such as water, food, and sex/sexual satisfaction. A secondary reinforcer is learned, normally a positive experience for the recipient after the behavior has been produced, such as receiving appraisal from your boss or teacher for your work. The appraisal is positive; however, it is not naturally positive, but rather the recipient has learned the response is positive through its …show more content…
In these cases, reinforcement is replaced by punishment. Punishment by definition is “a consequence that decreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur” (The science of Phycology an appreciative view, Laura A. King, pg.197). Essentially, punishments have the opposite effect of reinforcement, namely the stimulus is usually something negative. Like reinforcements however, there are two different types. In positive punishments the behavior is decreased due to a stimulus being presented afterwards. A driver speeding down the road is caught by a police officer. As a punishment the driver is given a speeding ticket. In this scenario, the driver speeding is the behavior that is wanted to be decreased. To discourage the motorist from speeding and decrease the likelihood of the behavior reoccurring the man is given a ticket; a negative stimulus. In negative punishment, rather than receiving something as a punishment stimulus, something is instead taken away to decrease the likelihood of a reoccurring behavior. Normally the unfavorable condition is the opposite of the favorable behavior. So, when negative reinforcement is used against the unfavorable behavior, it is normally the positive reinforcement stimulus that is taken away to act as the negative punishment stimulus. Both positive and negative punishments use unpleasant consequences to decrease the behaviors of the recipient. To conclude, reinforcement

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