Positive reinforcement là gì

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNPhường — Written by Ashley Marcin — Updated on August 31, 2017

Negative sầu reinforcement is a method that can be used lớn help teach specific behaviors. With negative sầu reinforcement, something uncomfortable or otherwise unpleasant is taken away in response khổng lồ a stimulus. Over time, the target behavior should increase with the expectation that the unpleasant thing will be taken away.

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Read on lớn learn more about this type of learning.


The relationship between behavior và consequences is part of a type of learning called operant conditioning. It dates baông chồng to lớn the late 1930s.

For negative reinforcement lớn work, whatever is taken away must be taken away immediately after the behavior in question. The kết thúc result is lớn get whatever behavior is happening to lớn continue và even increase.

Examples

A person hears a loud alarm. They push the STOPhường. button on the alarm to lớn make the noise stop. Now whenever the alarm goes off, they push the STOPhường button as quickly as they can.

Before behavior: Loud alarmBehavior: Person turns alarm offAfter behavior: No more annoying soundFuture behavior: Person pushes STOPhường. every morning lớn quiet alarm

Parents complain khổng lồ their child when the child doesn’t clean their room. The child starts cleaning their room to lớn make the complaining stop. Now the child cleans their room more regularly to avoid the complaining.

Before behavior: Complaining parentsBehavior: Child cleans roomAfter behavior: No more complainingFuture behavior: Child keeps room clean

Positive sầu reinforcement is when you give sầu something to a person in response to lớn a certain behavior. It can include anything from allowances to special activities khổng lồ verbal praise. The idea is that giving that thing will increase the likelihood that the behavior will continue.

For example, a child is told that they’ll earn $5.00 for each A on their report thẻ. The child starts getting good grades. The positive reinforcement here is the $5.00 for each A. The behavior achieved is the child earning good grades.

With both positive and negative reinforcement, the goal is to increase the behavior. The difference is that with negative reinforcement, the behavior results in taking something unpleasant away. With positive sầu reinforcement, the behavior results in earning or attaining something desirable.


Many people confuse negative reinforcement with punishment. The key area where these two methods differ is in the end result. With reinforcement, adding or taking away something is meant to lớn increase the behavior. With punishment, adding or taking away something is meant khổng lồ decrease or weaken the behavior.

You may already be familiar with specific examples of punishments. They include things lượt thích time-outs, groundings, or loss of privileges. Just like with reinforcement, though, punishment can be broken down inkhổng lồ positive sầu punishment and negative punishment.

With positive punishment, you add something unpleasant in response lớn a behavior. For example, a child chews gum in class, which is against the rules. The punishment is the teacher disciplining them in front of the class. The child stops chewing gum in glass.With negative sầu punishment, you take away a positive sầu reinforcement in response lớn a behavior. For example, an older sister picks on her younger brother. The punishment is the parent taking away her favorite toy. The girl stops picking on her brother as a result.

So, should you use negative sầu reinforcement or punishment? Think baông chồng lớn your goal. If it’s lớn increase a certain behavior, negative reinforcement is the better approach. If it’s to lớn decrease a behavior, punishment may be the better route.

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While the word “negative” may throw you, using this method for behavior change isn’t necessarily bad. In negative reinforcement, the word “negative” is referring more khổng lồ the act of taking something away, lượt thích a minus sign in a mathematical equation.

Usually the thing that’s removed in response to the behavior is something the person finds unpleasant or uncomfortable. The removal often results in a favorable outcome for the person.


Negative reinforcement can be an effective sầu tool when used correctly. Using negative reinforcement may not always get the intended results, however. This type of behavior conditioning is simply meant to increase a behavior. As a result, it can work both ways, reinforcing either favorable or unfavorable behaviors.

Examples of negative sầu reinforcement for unfavorable behaviors

A child screams whenever they’re offered macaroni and cheese at a meal. When they scream, their parents immediately take the food away. Each time macaroni and cheese is offered, the child’s tantrums increase and the parents give sầu in.

Before behavior: Macaroni và cheese on child’s plateBehavior: Child screamsAfter behavior: Parents take food awayFuture behavior: Child will scream whenever offered macaroni & cheese

A child doesn’t like wearing a certain shirt their mother purchased for them. The child noticed in the past that their mother doesn’t make them wear damaged clothing, so the child cuts the shirt with scissors. When the mother discovers this, she takes the shirt away.

Before behavior: Horrible shirtBehavior: Child damages clothingAfter behavior: Mother takes shirt awayFuture behavior: Child will damage clothing they don’t want to lớn wear

Negative reinforcement might work in a classroom setting.

Example of negative sầu reinforcement in the classroom

A student with autism is learning to lớn communicate using pictures. The student is working with the “no” symbol of a circle with a line through it, also known as the PECS “no” picture. The teacher helps the student learn to lớn show the “no” picture when they’re being offered something they don’t lượt thích. Now when the child is presented with something they don’t want, they display the “no” picture.

Before behavior: Child given something they don’t wantBehavior: Child shows “no” pictureAfter behavior: Undesired vật phẩm is taken awayFuture behavior: Child shows “no” picture when they want something taken away

In this example, the negative sầu reinforcement is beneficial khổng lồ the child. That said, positive sầu reinforcement is typically the better approach lớn behavior in a classroom setting. This might include things lượt thích motivating children with the use of small prizes, social activities, & special privileges for increasing positive behaviors.

Positive reinforcement in the classroom

To create a positive reinforcement method in the classroom:

Find out what motivates your students. You may consider writing up a survey to lớn have sầu them fill out.Focus on a certain behavior you want to change. For example, maybe you want students khổng lồ be better about turning in assignments.Clearly define the desired behavior to lớn your students. For example, let your students know that you want them to turn in assignments on time. Be as specific as possible when defining your expectations.Present the reinforcement immediately upon seeing the desired behavior. For example, if the class has turned in all assignments on time, immediately give sầu them praise or other motivators, like special privileges.

Not all children respond the same way to lớn reinforcement. You may need to cater your approach khổng lồ accommodate for the differences.


There are a variety of ways khổng lồ encourage & discourage behaviors. Negative reinforcement can be a useful tool if you’re looking to increase a certain behavior. Punishment, on the other h&, is meant to decrease behaviors. The word “negative” simply refers to lớn taking something away and does not mean that this method is bad và not worth exploring.

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Regardless of what discipline method you choose, consistency và the timing of the consequence are the most important aspects.


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Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP.. — Written by Ashley Marcin — Updated on August 31, 2017

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