Positive and Negative - Punishment and Reinforcement - The Horse Forum
Old 05-12-2014, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Yearling

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 870
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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.

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.

Positive Reinforcement
The addition of something desired in order to increase a behavior.

Negative Reinforcement
The removal of something unwanted in order to increase a behavior.

Positive Punishment
The addition of something unwanted in order to decrease a behavior.

Negative Punishment
The removal of something desired in order to decrease a behavior.

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!

Hold On To What You Love. When It Tries To Buck You Off Hold On Even Tighter!
WildAtHeart is offline

Old 05-12-2014, 06:27 PM
Foal

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 192
• Horses: 1
It's so sad that this is such a foreign concept in the horse world right now. Hopefully in time PR based training methods will be employed more routinely. And not because it is a 'nice' or 'soft' approach, but because it simply is the most effective form of learning when people commit to it and understand it properly.
I have been looking for discussion groups specifically for PR horse trainers for so long and only now am I starting to see the odd mention of it ever so often.
Fingers crossed for the future :) Thanks for the post!
AceyGrace is offline
Old 05-14-2014, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
Yearling

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceyGrace View Post
It's so sad that this is such a foreign concept in the horse world right now. Hopefully in time PR based training methods will be employed more routinely. And not because it is a 'nice' or 'soft' approach, but because it simply is the most effective form of learning when people commit to it and understand it properly.
I have been looking for discussion groups specifically for PR horse trainers for so long and only now am I starting to see the odd mention of it ever so often.
Fingers crossed for the future :) Thanks for the post!
I agree! PR is rarely talked about. I plan to do more research so I can use it more effectively when working with horses. And no problem =)

Hold On To What You Love. When It Tries To Buck You Off Hold On Even Tighter!
WildAtHeart is offline

Old 05-14-2014, 10:30 AM
Super Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 10,945
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The talk of two negatives make a positive takes me back to school days with an awful teacher having the whole class on the stairs to learn positives and negatives.
I endeared myself to her forever when I refused to try and balance on a stair with 30+ classmates.
Foxhunter is offline
Old 05-14-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
Yearling

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 870
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
The talk of two negatives make a positive takes me back to school days with an awful teacher having the whole class on the stairs to learn positives and negatives.
I endeared myself to her forever when I refused to try and balance on a stair with 30+ classmates.
Hahah that's great =D Sorry for the painful reminiscing =P

Hold On To What You Love. When It Tries To Buck You Off Hold On Even Tighter!
WildAtHeart is offline

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