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Kinesiology 1088A/B
Bob Larose

Reinforcement Definition: Any personal interaction (evaluative comments or reactions) that will increase the occurrence or strength of a behaviour or performance Positive Reinforcement: introduction of something positive that increases or maintains a response Negative Reinforcement: removal of something noxious that increases or maintains a response Punishment: Any interaction that decreases the strength of behaviour, maximize the use of punishment if used. Consistency: punish everyone the same for the same misdemeanor  Punish the behaviour not the person  Allow input into what is the punishment  Don’t use physical activity as a form of punishment  Impose punishment impersonally  Make sure the punishment isn’t perceived as a reward or attention  Don’t punish errors during play  Don’t embarrass players infront of their teammates  Use punishment sparingly but enforce it when you use it Too often we teach to avoid punishment but don’t teach correct alternative behaviours Social Reinforcement Non-tangible, positive or negative, evaluative comments and reactions made by others Can be presented through either: a) Verbal praise or criticism/sarcasm b) Non-verbal expressions or gestures (positive or critical) NOTE: often b) overrides a) There are a number of factors which influence the degree to which social reinforcement has an impact of learning and performance, it doesn’t always enhance it. Social Reinforcement works best when: a) it is used on younger participants b) it is used infrequently c) it is used to convey information about competence d) it is administered by significant people of the opposite sex e) It is given by unknown or disliked others f) The task being reinforced is simple, well learned, or boring Implications 1. Children receiving continuous +ve social reinforcement gain better self-esteem and more positive perceptions of their coach and team 2. A judicious use of +ve social reinforcements is important in the development and maintenance of +ve coach/athlete interpersonal relations, which has a decided impact on learning (especially physical skills) 3. It must be deemed whether to use social reinforcement to improve performance (use sparingly) or to enhance the social environment (use liberally) or something in-between 4. Any use of positive social reinforcement should: a) Be meaningful or important to the participant (not given indiscriminately) b) Be contingent on some performance criteria not just on outcome c) Be administered immediately and consistently among participants d) Be given
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