Friday, July 24, 2020

Post #1: Rewards

I found the slides titled "Rewards" to be extremely informative. As a Registered Behavior Technician, I find that operant conditioning is a part of my daily work. People are motivated by both primary (food, water, other necessities) and secondary (money, stickers, tally marks) reinforcers. They can be intrinsically motivated, which means that they are motivated by their own means, or extrinsically motivated, which typically requires a secondary reinforcer, such as a reward chart or a token economy system, in order to perform the said behavior. For example, many children are not intrinsically motivated to brush their teeth and children with neurological differences, like ASD, ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorder, might feel more repulsed to do so due to tactile and sensory reasons. Therefore, they can be given a visual chart that reminds them to brush their teeth and every time they do this task, they get a sticker (5 stickers equals a treat). Schedules of Reinforcement can help set up a rule for instances in which a behavior will be reinforced. The four schedules are known as fixed ratio, fixed interval, variable ratio and variable interval. The reinforcers can vary based on the allotted time or number and a behavior might be reinforced every time, some of the time, or at random times, depending on whether it is fixed or variable. Ratio refers to the amount of times someone does something and interval refers to the time elapsed. A real life example of this is a slot machine, which follows a variable ratio schedule as the person will get a bonus after a certain amount of times, but those times are random and variable. This makes gambling so reinforcing to an individual because they never know when they will hit the jackpot. The above example I provided about getting a child to perform the action of teeth brushing and the associating chart is based on a fixed ratio schedule. This video explains the schedule of reinforcement well!


  1. I'm really glad you brought up the example of using stickers for a child to brush teeth and get essential task's completed. I have another class that is speaking about the opposite effect for adults like bonus's at work for example. It speaks on the fact that people may have tunnel vision with their work and only work for a bonus opposed to working hard for the job itself. It speaks on the negative effect these rewards can have. However, for children I think it is much more important to give rewards to motivate them to get things done.

  2. I found this slide to be very informative too. Using a reward system for young kids through adults helps in many ways. Using a reward system for people with neurological differences really helps motivate them to complete the task. Rewards can be something little like a sticker or something big like money which motivates them in different ways.