Lecture 5 - Reinforcement
➢ *We already know how to measure and graph behaviour
➢ Critical Questions
What is the principle of reinforcement?
How is positive reinforcement different from negative reinforcement?
How are unconditioned reinforcers different from conditioned reinforcers?
What factors influence the effectiveness of the reinforcement?
What are intermittent schedules of reinforcement and how do they affect the rate of behaviour?
➢ What is reinforcement?
The process in which a behaviour is strengthened by the immediate consequence that reliably
follows it's occurrence
This process has shaped our behavioural repertoire (for better or worse) since the moment of birth.
Reinforcement was discovered by Thorndike but research on this was mostly done by Skinner → He
used rats to experiment → Skinner Box
The terms reinforcement and positive reinforcement are often used interchangeably.
Are those that operate/interact on the environment to generate consequences, and are in turn
influenced by those consequences.
Bre those consequences that strengthen an operant behaviour
* but what's reinforcing for 1 person may not be reinforcing for another
➢ What's the difference btwn positive and negative reinforcement?
Negative → removal of aversive stimulus
Positive → adding a pleasurable stimulus.
➢ Important Terms
Any object/event that can be detected by any of the 5 senses and has the potential to influence
• Positive or aversive
Negative reinforcement is NOT the same as punishment
• The confusion lies w/ the use of the term “negative”
• Negative reinforcement = involves an aversive stimulus being removed
➢ So is it Positive OR Negative?
1) What's the target behaviour?
2) What happened immediately after the behaviour (stimu