Lecture 4 Reinforcement
Course CodeKinesiology 1088A/B
ProfessorRobert La Rose
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September, 20 2010
Kinesiology – Lecture 4
Definition: Any personal interaction (evaluative comments or reactions) that will increase the
occurrence or strength of a behavior.
Positive reinforcement: Introduction of something positive that increases or maintains a response.
(if the coach comments on something you did good, you’ll keep doing good
Negative reinforcement: Removal of something noxious that increases or maintains a response.
(getting rid of suicides if you do well at practice)
Punishment: Any interaction that decreases the strength of a behavior. (you want to avoid punishment,
so you are motivated to do good)
Maximizing the use of punishment- if used
- Consistency – punish everyone the same for the same misdemeanor
- Punish the behavior not the person
- Allow input into what is the punishment (let the team pick the punishment)
- Don’t use physical activity as punishment ( if you make them run a lap they’ll see it as a negative
and won’t want to run)
- Impose punishment impersonally.
- Make sure the punishment isn’t perceived as a reward or attention.
- Don’t punish errors during play
- Don’t embarrass player in front of teammates.
- Use punishment sparingly but enforce it when you use it.
Too often we teach to avoid punishment but don’t teach correct alternative behaviors. ( if someone
makes a mistake, for instance a bad pass gets intercepted, show them an alternate way to do a better
Social Reinforcement: Non-tangible, positive or negative evaluative comments and reactions made by
Can be presented through either:
1. Verbal praise or criticism/ sarcasm
2. Non- vernal expressions or gestures (positive or critical)
*NOTE: option 2 often overrides option 1*
There are a number of factors which influence the degree to which social reinforcers have an impact on
learning and performance – they don’t always enhance it!
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