Friday, August 4, 2023

Positive and Negative Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement involves the introduction of a favorable stimulus or reward to strengthen a desired behavior.  On the other hand, negative reinforcement entails the removal or avoidance of an unpleasant stimulus as a means to encourage a particular behavior. During my high school years, I found myself struggling with advanced mathematics. The subject matter was challenging, and I often felt overwhelmed. One semester, I had a teacher who employed a mix of positive and negative reinforcement to motivate students. For positive reinforcement, she introduced a system where we could earn "math bucks" for completing assignments, actively participating in class, and helping peers. These math bucks could be exchanged for small rewards like stationery or extra credit points. This approach boosted my motivation to engage in the subject and strive for improvement.

However, the negative reinforcement aspect came into play when she allowed students who consistently performed well on quizzes to opt out of certain homework assignments. While this was intended to incentivize excellence, I noticed that some students, including myself, began to focus solely on quizzes and ignored the importance of well-rounded learning.

The Pros and Cons of Giving Your Child an Allowance | Coosa Valley Credit  Union

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