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Four Contingencies of Reinforcement

By mcc99561 Apr 11, 2013 2627 Words
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 extinction. Extinction required ignoring, longer time and high consistency. Like the case that 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.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, understand, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. The four dimension of EI is self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Details of each dimension are as below: Self-awareness| Ability to recognize own emotions and how they affect own thoughts and behavior, know own strengths and weaknesses.| Self-management| Ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods.| Social awareness| Ability to understand the emotional of other people| Relationship management| Ability to develop and maintain good relationships, communicates clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.|

EI plays and important role in a workplace because it will affect worker’s performance. A worker with self-awareness is able to recognize their emotions and understanding of their strengths and weaknesses without any obstruction. This means that they are able to perceive emotions as they arise in response to an action or situation. As a result, they are able better able to address problems and handle any future complications.

Besides, EI is important to maintain worker’s physical and mental health. Workers with high self-management will ale to regulate their stress level and stay in control. If the worker unable to manage their stress level or anger, it can lead to serious health problem like high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

In addition, worker with high EI are well tuned to emotions of other and are able to pick up on what is going on around them. This kind of workers is able to sympathize with others by putting themselves in the position and giving helpful feedback. Worker with high EI also can quickly solve any conflicts between employees, customers, and other parties and build rapport in tense situations.

EI is not totally innate it can be learned through coaching and training. For example, observe own reaction to people, do self-evaluation or examine how own action affect people is an efficiency ways to improve the self-awareness and self-management skills. Besides, always aware others tone of voice, body language and facial expression will also increase social awareness and maintain the relationship between colleague and customer. Be open-minded, intellectually curious, objective and flexible is important when deal with conflicts, because with all this condition, worker can solve the problem in a calm, unbiased and self-assured manner.

Involving employee in decision making will result a better decision making quality and commitment because most of the time employee is the first who knowing the problem and they know it by more clearly compare to the management level. Besides, with the participants of employee will also increase the number and quality of the solution. This is because several people working together can potentially generate more solution than people working alone. In addition, discussion among the employee will also increase the quality of evaluation to alternatives and this will result a better decision.

The optimal level of employee involvement is affected by these four contingencies: (1) Decision Structure
When programmed decision is needed, employee involvement is suggested. This is because more opinion from different level can be obtained and this usually will result a more effective outcome compare to one person’s idea. For example, company decide to increase their image by introducing 5S policy and in order to produce a useful standard operating procedures, participant of all departments is necessary because the management level should know clearly all the process or situation in each department and make sure the standard is applicable to all department.

(2) Source of Decision Knowledge
This is because most of the time, employees have relevant knowledge beyond the leader. For example, the factory plan to replace the old machine by machine with new function, and the operator most probably is the one who clearly know that whether all the new function is compulsory in increasing the production or not. Hence, when make decision whether to buy it or not should include the operator’s opinion.

(3) Decision Commitment
Employee will feel more motivate to implement the decision that with their involvement. This is because the decision is made based on their knowledge and past experience and they belief that the can meet the requirement. For example, a decision to have a fine for RM10 if an employee late for work more than 3 times in a month. If the decisions were made with involvement of employees, they will accept the decision and will always make sure that they will be punctual to work. (4) Risk of Conflict

Usually, employees motivations is
The Expectancy Theory of Motivation explains the behavioral process of why individuals choose one behavioral option over another. In essence, the motivation of the behavior selection is determined by the desirability of the outcome. "The basic idea behind the theory is that people will be motivated because they believe that their decision will lead to their desired outcome" The expectancy theory is based on the three elements shown below:

(1) Effort-Performance (E-P) Expectancy
E-P expectancy states that in order for a person to be effectively motivated, that individual needs to belief that one’s effort will give the desired/expected performance goals. The main factor affect individual’s expectancy perception is the self-confidence. For example, a new graduate employee who are assigned to handle a big project will easily lack-confidence and this will decrease his motivation on work. At this moment, the supervisor can provide coaching, training, example, sufficient time and resources to build up confident and directly improve their motivation. Besides, goal difficulty will also affect the motivation. Employee’s motivation will decrease when they believed even they do their best; they still cannot to achieved the target.

(2) Performance-Outcome(P-O) Expectancy
P-O expectancy explained that employee’s motivation is increase when they believed performance level is directly proportional to the outcome. It means that when employee feel accomplishing a particular task will definitely receive a great reward will increase their motivation in work. To apply this expectancy effectively, the employer or leader must clearly describe and explain how the reward system function. Besides, a prefect evaluation system must be available to measure the employee’s performance accurately and fair. For example, a black and white commission system can distribute to the entire salesman to show them the reward will be obtained when they achieving certain level.

(3) Outcome Valences
The outcome valences indicate the level of satisfaction of an employee feel towards the outcome. Employees’ motivation will be increase when they feel the reward received by them is equal or higher to their value. However, most of the employees will feel demotivation during the time release the bonus especially company with standardize bonus system. Hence, to increase the employees’ motivation an individual rewards policy is recommended to minimize the unfair feeling.

Goal setting is another method used to increase employees’ motivation and clarify their role perception. Usually it done by (1) amplifying the intensity or persistence of effort and (2) giving employee clear role perception to improve their work performance. Six key characteristic is required for goal setting. (1) Specific goal

Motivation of employee will increase when the goals are measurable and time bounded. This is very important because significant goals can prevent employee use their effort on goal-irrelevant action. For example, employee will put more effort into task like “increase the sales by 10% over the next 6 months” rather than “improve your performance”, because the goals state clearly what should he do in the next 6 months and he can plan according it. (2) Relevant goal

Motivation of employee will also decrease if the goal is not within his role or control. This is happen when the company asking the machine maintenance operator to lower the cost of office expenses. The operator will have low motivation to achieve this goal since he doesn’t have any power or knowledge to regulate the uses of the other department. (3) Challenging Goal

A realistic and challenging goal is very effective in increasing employees’ motivation because it will bring out their passion, excitement and enthusiasm. For example, production department can set their goal to reduce the production time of 100 goods from 1 hour to 50 minutes. (4) Goal Commitment

A goal must be accepted and have commitment in order to be achieved. As mention before employee motivation will be decrease when they belief that they cannot meet the target; for example, increase sales by 300% on next month. (5) Goal Participation

Employee is more motivate to achieve the target when they are participating in the process of settling the goals. This is because the goal is set based on their knowledge and past experience and they belief that the can meet the requirement in the time given. For example, let the production department to set the production goal themselves. (6) Goal Feedback

Feedback provides information on the successfulness of the goal we had set. This will redirect the efforts of employees to perform on the right track. For example, changing a new way to produce goods in the production was expected to increase the production quantity in lesser time. But it seems like the feedback from the employees are using more time to produce the same quantity because they still haven’t adapt to the system. Then the management may consider giving training to the employees on the new system.

He identified four distinct cultural dimensions that served to distinguish one culture from another. Details are shown as below: (1) Power Distance
Power distance indicates the ability of a person to perceive the situation that power is distributed unequally. Usually, a person with high power distance is always obedience to authority and they will comfortable when receiving commands from superiors. Most of the Asia country like Malaysia, India and Thailand are the typical example country with high power distance. However, an organization with high power distance might cause the leader become autocratic and paternalistic especially they are situated in hierarchical positions. (2) Uncertainty avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance index show how the society feels when they are in uncertain or unknown situation.  People in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance are more rely on strict laws/ rules and safety or security measures. Person who always stay in this kind of circumstances are tend to be more emotional, they will try to minimize the occurrence of unknown and unusual circumstances and to proceed with changes step by step and planning everything carefully, implementing rules, laws and regulations. However, people who live in country with low uncertainty avoidance will have a higher capability to accept the changeable environments and they might be feels comfortable under unstructured situations. Hence, we can conclude that people in these cultures tend to be more pragmatic, they are more tolerant to change. (3) Individualism vs Collectivism

A person with high individualism is means that he is appreciated to his own personal uniqueness quality and they are always expected to stand up for themselves and others. However, high individualism scores also indicate the behavior lack of interpersonal connection and little sharing of responsibility. In the other hand, collectivism is regarded to how people value their group memberships and harmonious relationships within the group. In a high collectivist society, individuals act predominantly as members of a lifelong and cohesive group or organization. Besides, there would be a large amount of loyalty and respect for members of the group. The group itself is also larger and people take more responsibility for each other's wellbeing. (4) Achievement-Nurturing Orientation

This value reflects a competitive and cooperative view of relations with other people. People stay in organization or society with high achievement usually has high desire to success and usually person who is assertive, competitive and materialism. Japan is one of the most famous countries with high achievement orientation, since they stress for achievement and recognize and appreciate the tough person. Conversely, low nurturing cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life. For example, United Kingdom’s company offered an attractive welfare to their employee

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