Psych M.D. - Reinforcer

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Term: Reinforcer
Definition (Myers): In operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.
Definition (alternative):The term reinforce means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer to any stimulus which strengthens or increases the probability of a specific response. *
Contextual explanation: For example, if you want your dog to sit on command, you may give him a treat every time he sits for you. The dog will eventually come to understand that sitting when told to will result in a treat. This treat is reinforcing because he likes it and will result in him sitting when instructed to do so. *

Positive reinforcement: adding a desirable stimulus : for example, getting a hug or watching TV
Negative reinforcement: removing something an aversive stimulus: for example, fastening seatbelt to turn off beeping
Related terms and concepts:
Punishment
Primary Reinforcer
Conditioned Reinforcer

-> This video compares effects of punishment and reinforcement in child's behavior.
Psych M.D. - Reinforcer - The Neuron

-> Compare and contrast positive, negative reinforcements and positive, negative punishments. As mentioned above, positive reinforcement adds something good to the environment, and negative reinforcement removes something good from the environment.
Psych M.D. - Reinforcer - The Neuron
-> This rat is trained to press the lever when the tester gives food. It follows positive reinforcement.
Related websites:
http://academicportfolio-sudipa.blogspot.com/2007/09/effect-of-positive-and-negative.html
-> This is a personal blog that explains the effects of positive and negative reinforcers easily.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinforcement
-> General overview of reinforcement with related terms.
http://www.wisegeek.com/in-psychology-what-is-reinforcement.htm
-> Brief and straight forward guide.
Edited by: Elaine

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