Glossary

  • Positive Reinforcement: involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. When a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened. For  example, After you execute a turn during a skiing lesson, your instructor shouts out, "Great job!".  At work, you exceed this month's sales quota so your boss gives you a bonus. 
  • Positive Punishment: This type of punishment is also known as "punishment by application." Positive punishment involves presenting an aversive stimulus after a behavior as occurred. For example, when a student talks out of turn in the middle of class, the teacher might scold the child for interrupting her.

  • Negative Punishment: This type of punishment is also known as "punishment by removal." Negative punishment involves taking away a desirable stimulus after a behavior as occurred. For example, when the student from the previous example talks out of turn again, the teacher promptly tells the child that he will have to miss recess because of his behavior. 
  •  Coercive control: is a behavior controlled by negative reinforcement or punishment.

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