Explore BrainMass

Positive and Negative Reinforcement: Learning to Ride a Bike

In the situational scenario of learning how to ride a bike:

1.) How would positive and negative reinforcement be used? What are some examples?
2.) How would reward and punishment be applied to this situation? What are some examples?
3.) Which form of instrumental condition would be the most effective in this situation?

Solution Preview

Positive reinforcement is when you provide something pleasant as a consequence of an activity. For example, if you give a kid a lollipop after he finishes his homework, that increases the chances that the kid will get the homework done in order to get the lollipop (presuming he likes lollipops). Positive reinforcement can vary from person to person because what is "positive" for one person might not be interesting to another. Some kids might not be that interested in the lollipop, but being let outside to play for an hour after bedtime might be a stronger reinforcement for them. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out what a person finds reinforcing. Some adults do this for themselves. They intentionally wait and play on facebook after they have done the dishes. This increases the odds that the dishes get done before they are too tired to want to fool with them!

Negative reinforcement is when you remove something that is unpleasant as a way of encouraging the likelihood that a behavior will return. If I don't do the dishes, I have to listen to my spouse nag me about the dishes. So, I am motivated to do the dishes to avoid hearing all the nagging and can enjoy talking to my spouse about ...

Solution Summary

Your tutorial is 804 words and has three references.