Positive Reinforcement Concepts Discussion


The analysis of specific behavioral paradigms can help identify how they affect the worldview, what drivers stimulate them, and how strong their manifestations are. As the objects of discussion, four concepts will be involved: a) positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment; b) social change in life-span development; c) motivation and emotion; d) personality. Each of these concepts includes detailed interpretations and the unique features of manifestation. Discussing the proposed paradigms in relation to my life is a mechanism that may help identify specific manifestations of their effects and the consequences of their influence on my behavior and interpersonal interaction.

Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, and Punishment

Positive reinforcement is a behavioral strategy of stimulation and approval expressed in response to specific achievements. Negative reinforcement, in turn, is a response expressed in the form of cessation or avoidance and serves as a driver aimed to prevent the recurrence of unwanted behavior. These paradigms are often used to maintain discipline and interest in specific activities (Kelly & Pohl, 2018). As an example, a school environment may be analyzed in which extra playtime is assessed as positive reinforcement and a ban on mobile phone use as a negative one (Kelly & Pohl, 2018). In addition, the punishment aspect is also part of the reinforcement response to any deliberate violation. These can be sanctions in the form of a fine, restriction of freedom, expulsion, and other measures aimed to create an unfavorable environment for a violator (Kelly & Pohl, 2018). Reinforcement principles can be applied in different areas and situations that require assessment.

I encountered manifestations of positive and negative reinforcement in primary school. With high academic performance, I could count on my teachers to give me more playtime, but when one of the cleaners offered to help him clean up after I got the floor dirty, I faced negative reinforcement for the first time. In addition, during my childhood, I also experienced punishment from my parents for unfulfilled household chores and poor grades. Thus, one can note that the considered behavioral reactions can manifest themselves early in life.

Social Change in Life-Span Development

The concept of social change reflects the state in which the habitual framework of life is transformed under the influence of individual drivers. As a rule, these are external circumstances that imply reassessing established attitudes and habits, for instance, moving to a new place of residence or increasing income. However, social change is often an age-specific phenomenon (Rudolph & Zacher, 2017). As a person grows up, he or she moves into new stages of interaction, starting with kindergarten and ending with a work team. At each stage, values ​​shift under the influence of changed role models (Rudolph & Zacher, 2017). Thus, the aspects of growing up and adaptation are directly related to social change.

In my life, one of the big changes took place when I finished high school. At that time, I had to make a choice about further education, which ultimately led to a number of new acquaintances, expansion of knowledge, and other consequences of lifestyle transformation. Therefore, while evaluating my individual experience, I can argue that social change in lifespan development is a natural and integral component that cannot be avoided without severe consequences for personal well-being.

Motivation and Emotion

When applied to human behavior, the concepts of motivation and emotion can be viewed as drivers and effects, respectively. Motivation is a trait that determines an individual’s tendency to perform specific actions, and emotion is a reflection and natural response to external situations (Strus & Cieciuch, 2017). These concepts may be associated with temperament since innate and acquired habits of interpersonal interaction and social development determine how strong motivation can be and how pronounced an emotional background is (Strus & Cieciuc, 2017). In my life, the main motivation is building a sustainable and successful career due to obtaining education. I can explain this desire by the values ​​inherent in my family. Regarding the concept of emotion, I, like other people, tend to be reflective, but I can argue that my reaction to a particular situation or event is not the key factor in explaining my behavioral habits.


Personality is a concept that includes a number of traits within specific dimensions. According to the existing definition, these measurements are “Neuroticism (vs. emotional stability; N), Extraversion (E), Openness to Experience or Intellect (O), Agreeableness (A), and Conscientiousness (C)” (Strus & Cieciuc, 2017, p. 71). These components are key in the formation of character, and, as can be seen from the definition, the aspect of emotionality is also included in the personality term. In my life, I can recall each of the aforementioned elements. Within the framework of extraversion and introversion, I am an open person with a stable emotional background. Due to conscientiousness and agreeableness, I have been able to make friends and establish positive interactions, which are valuable implications of personality traits.


The analysis of the concepts of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment, social change in life-span development, motivation and emotion, and personality may help reflect their peculiarities and assess them in relation to my life. The review of these paradigms proves that they are essential elements that influence human behavior. The development of social skills largely depends on how strongly specific concepts manifest themselves in everyday life.


Kelly, J., & Pohl, B. (2018). Using structured positive and negative reinforcement to change student behavior in educational settings in order to achieve student academic success. Multidisciplinary Journal for Education, Social and Technological Sciences, 5(1), 17-29. Web.

Rudolph, C. W., & Zacher, H. (2017). Considering generations from a lifespan developmental perspective. Work, Aging and Retirement, 3(2), 113-129. Web.

Strus, W., & Cieciuch, J. (2017). Towards a synthesis of personality, temperament, motivation, emotion, and mental health models within the Circumplex of Personality Metatraits. Journal of Research in Personality, 66, 70-95. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Positive Reinforcement Concepts Discussion." January 4, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/positive-reinforcement-concepts-discussion/.