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B.F. Skinners Positive Reinforcement theory - Research Paper Example

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B.F. Skinner’s Positive Reinforcement Theory Name Institution Date Abstract Skinner’s theory of reinforcement involves shaping behavior by shaping the consequence of that particular behavior (Skinner, 1970). Here, punishments and/or rewards are combined and used to extinguish and/or reinforce certain behaviors respectively…
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B.F. Skinners Positive Reinforcement theory
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Download file to see previous pages This paper provides a detailed exploration of the theory of reinforcement while highlighting the facets of the theory as well as its organizational application. B.F. Skinner’s Positive Reinforcement Theory Background and Development of the Theory Many behavioral theories of motivation and learning have their main emphasis on the consequence of previous behavior on future behavior. In contrast, classical conditioning emphasizes on the responses automatically elicited by stimuli. The reinforcement theory argues that individuals will choose the response they exhibit to a given stimulus, and based on the outcome they will repeat the same choice in cases of similar stimulus in the future (Skinner, 1970). To further develop the theory’s suggestion, Thorndike (1911) developed what is now known as the Law of Effect which states that, with other factors remaining constant, positive responses to stimuli will be strengthened as opposed to the weakening of the responses to stimuli associated with discomfort (Michael, 2005). ...
Positive reinforcement is as a result of the occurrence of a behavioral consequence of immense value that has a strengthening effect on the probability of the repeated occurrence of the behavior. This behavioral consequence is referred to as a reinforcer (Michael, 2005). A suitable example of this case is where a sales person trying a sales quota (behavior) exerts additional effort towards this goal, and the end result is a bonus reward (positive reinforcer). Administering the positive reinforcer makes it more likely that the salesperson will not stop exerting the required effort in the future (Montana and Charnov, 2008). Negative Reinforcement Negative reinforcement is as a result of undesirable behavioral consequences being withheld while at the same time strengthening the effect on the probability of a repeat of the behavior. Few people mistake negative reinforcement for punishment, but the two are different (Montana and Charnov, 2008). While negative reinforcement attempts to increase the desired behavior punishment strives to reduce the probability of occurrence of the behavior. Thus, Montana and Charnov (2008) believe that both negative and positive reinforcement have a trend of increasing the probability of the learning and repeated occurrence of a particular behavior. A suitable example in this case comes with the salesperson too. This time, the sales person exerts an effort with an aim of increasing the sales in their point of sale (behavior). Consequently, the decision that follows is not to reassign the successful salesperson to another sales point that is undesirable (negative reinforcer). Administration of this type of reinforcement ensures that the salesperson is able to exert more effort in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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