Skinner's Reinforcement Model

Topics: Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Reward system / Pages: 4 (949 words) / Published: Mar 19th, 2012

Motivation is derived from the Latin word movere, which means “to move”. According to dictionary of management, it can be defined as the forces acting on or within a person that cause the arousal, direction, and persistence of goal-directed, voluntary effort. Motivation is one of the most important areas of study in the field of organizational behaviour. Motivation is done to inspire and encourage people to fulfil their needs. In motivation people tend to do something because they want to do it. The internal needs and drives lead to tensions, which in turn result into action. In organization, motivation can be described as the willingness to achieve high levels effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts and ability to satisfy some individual need. There are several theories in motivation, such as Hierarcy of Needs Theory, ERG Theory, Two-Factor Theory, Acquired Needs Theory, Process Theories of Motivation, Expectancy Theory, Goal-Setting Theory, Self-Efficacy Theory, and Reinforcement Theory. In this paper, the authors will discuss more about reinforcement theory which popularized by Burrhus Frederic Skinner, a psychologist, an investor, and Harvard psychology professor who came from America.


1. Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory is the process of shaping behaviour by controlling the consequences of the behaviour. In reinforcement theory a combination of rewards and punishments is used to reinforce desired behaviour or extinguish unwanted behaviour. Any behaviour that emerges a consequence is called operant behaviour, because the individual operates on his or her environment. Reinforcement theory concentrates on the relationship between the operant behaviour and the associated consequences, and is sometimes referred to as operant conditioning where behaviour is controlled by manipulating the

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