After looking over the lecture slides, I decided to touch on the term positive reinforcement and why it is such an important tool when it comes to motivation. According to the internet, "positive reinforcement involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future". For example, when a child is being toilet trained, positive reinforcement really comes in handy. Every time the child uses the toilet, you give them some sort of prize, which could be a sticker, a new, cool pair of underwear, or even just uplifting, positive words that will make them want to continue doing what they just did. This also can occur in adults as well. When you are working at a job that appreciates you and makes you feel like you are enough and feel like you are succeeding at the company, you are more likely to continue to do your best. If you work for a company that undermines your ability, underpays you, and does not appreciate your hard work, it will be more difficult to want to do your best or you even might start to dread going to work.
Positive reinforcement is used often in operant conditioning. Operant conditioning consists of three important factors, which are the antecedent, the behavior, and the consequence. The antecedent is the signal that a response will lead to a particular consequence. If this signal is absent, it is less likely to be followed by the consequence. The behavior is the action that produces the consequence, which is either increased or decreased in the future. Lastly, consequence is the item of sensation that follows the behavior. All of these factors work together and are linked with positive reinforcement.
The YouTube link below is a video clip from the show, The Bing Bang Theory. In this clip, Sheldon uses positive reinforcement to increase the behaviors that he wants to see in his friend, Penny. This is a good demonstration of positive reinforcement and why it is so important.