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Simply put, reinforcement theory claims that stimuli are used to shape behaviors.There are four primary approaches to reinforcement theory: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment, which will be covered in a later paragraph.According to the law, the rate of a particular behavior depends both on its own reinforcement rate and on the reinforcement rate of other behaviors.From this statement, it follows that operants (i.e.Reinforcement theories focus on observable behavior rather than needs theories that focus on personal states.Reinforcement theory is a form of operant conditioning and focuses on the environmental factors that contribute to shaping behavior.The science of psychology that is often associated with the current era may be considered inadmissible to those that follow Skinner’s beliefs.
To avoid any confusion we can think of positive as a plus sign ( ) and negative as minus sign (-).
In their opinion, it would make the discipline of Psychology more "scientific" and on par with the core sciences.
These researchers turned to exploring only the behaviors that could be observed and measured, and away from the mysterious workings of the mind (Funder, 2010).
target behaviors such as rat’s lever-pressing) can be weakened by increasing the reinforcement earned for alternative to top According to Huitt & Hummel (1997), four methods are employed in operant conditioning: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment.
The table below is derived from the table created by Huitt & Hummel (1997): back to top Reinforcement theory provides two methods of increasing desirable behaviors.