Four Contingencies of Reinforcement

Topics: Motivation, Reinforcement, Geert Hofstede Pages: 9 (2627 words) Published: April 11, 2013
Four contingencies of reinforcement:

1. Positive Reinforcement
Purpose: Serve to strengthen desired behavior
Method/How: Gives bonus or present that is powerful and durable, praise Essential Element: Correct timing and consistency (Directly after the desired behavior) Example: Teach child correct manners

Consideration: Modifications in behavior should equal to the reinforcement

2. Punishment
Purpose: Decrease inappropriate behavior
Method/How: Can carry out through
1) Positive Punishment – given (ask the child wash the dishes because he refused to eat his broccoli) 2) Negative Punishment – something taken away (Confiscate handphone) Essential Element: Presented immediately following a behavior. Consideration:

* Emotional side effect,
* No new behavior is taught
* The fear of punishment tends to decrease over time and when the threat of punishment is removed, negative behavior is likely to increase again.

3. Negative Reinforcement
Purpose: Strengthen desired behavior
Method/How: By remove the negative condition / stimuli.
Essential Element: Presented immediately following a behavior. Example: ???? Teacher close the window to bring back the child attention on the class

4. Extinction
Purpose: Eliminate undesirable behavior
Method/How: Do nothing. No reward or punishment
Essential Element: Consistency
Example: If an employee makes a habit of telling offensive jokes in order to achieve the positive consequence of laughter, then other employees can attempt to modify his behavior by agreeing not to laugh at the jokes.

The main objective of behavior modification is to change behavior by managing its antecedents and consequences. The basic concept of behavior modification is learning and it occurs as results from interaction with the environment, reinforcement practice and experience. The preferred outcome of the behavior modification is to maximize the positive consequences and minimize adverse consequences.

Behavior modification identifies four types of consequences, called the contingencies of reinforcements and usually is used to strengthen desired behavior and weaken undesired behavior.

Positive reinforcement is served to strengthen desired behavior and it happens when a reward or praise is given. Correct timing and consistency is essential to have a positive outcome. For example, employee receives an additional bonus at the end of the month or be praised at the meeting when his sales amount is over the set target might cause the employee is likely to repeat his behavior in the future, because he enjoyed the positive reinforcement he received.

The other contingencies of reinforcement will strengthen desired behavior is negative reinforcement. Different to positive reinforcement, no reward or praise is given. A behavior is strengthened by stopping or removing the negative or aversive stimulus. For example, teacher will draw the curtain to increase the student’s attention in the classroom; this is very effective because the facts that lower student’s concentration are removed. To have an effective outcome, negative reinforcement is recommend presented immediately following a behavior.

Punishment is designed to reduce the probability of undesired behavior and it can carry out through positive or negative punishment. Positive punishment is happen when unpleasant instruction is added, for example, child is ask to wash the dishes because he refused to eat his broccoli. However, in the case of negative punishment, it involves taking something good or desirable away in order to reduce the occurrence of a particular behavior. For example, confiscate a teenager’s handphone who past his curfew. Punishment can be highly effective if it present immediately follow a response and applied consistently but it might also cause an emotional side effect. Hence, it should be consider twice before apply.

Undesirable behavior also can effectively eliminate by...
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