Positive and Negative - Punishment and Reinforcement
So there is all this craziness about punishment and reinforcement and negative and positive and ahhhh!
Let's break it down:
Reinforcement - this is to increase the frequency of a behavior. You are reinforcing the behavior.
Punishment - this is to decrease the frequency of a behavior. You are punishing the behavior.
Negative - removal of something.
Positive - addition of something.
Now we put them together:
All four examples will follow this model:
The (addition/removal) of something (desired/unwanted) in order to (increase/decrease) a behavior.
We know about addition/removal and about increase/decrease. The tricky part here is knowing when you are talking about something desired and when you are talking about something unwanted.
The addition of something desired in order to increase a behavior.
The removal of something unwanted in order to increase a behavior.
The addition of something unwanted in order to decrease a behavior.
The removal of something desired in order to decrease a behavior.
A Bit More Information
If you are still confused about where desired / unwanted goes think of it like multiplication in math. (I know, ew!). Think of negative and punishment as negatives. Think of positive and reinforcement as positives.
With desired being positive and unwanted being negative you can solve what goes in what definition.
Two positives make a positive.
One of each is negative because it "overrides" the positive.
Two negative make a positive.
Example: let's use negative punishment. You know negative is removal and punishment is decrease already, so you have 2/3 words. Now, negative and punishment are both negatives in our math equation. And what do two negatives make? A positive! Therefore you know that negative punishment is the removal of something desired in order to decrease the frequency of a behavior.
If you look back at the above examples you will see that it works. Finally some use for math!
I hope this made some sense to you wonderful people!
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