In behavioral psychology, reinforcement is defined or perceived as a consequence that is applied to strengthen an organism’s future conduct whenever that conduct seems to be preceded by a particular antecedent stimulus. In addition, positive reinforcement is regarded as one of the most efficient methods of teaching an individual or an animal a new trend. This is because a desirable and suitable stimulus can increase a particular action in positive strengthening. Therefore, this research paper extensively looks at reinforcement and how it can trigger desirable characteristics and behaviors in the classroom.
In psychology, reinforcement is categorically divided into two sections: secondary and primary. In most scenarios, primary reinforcement occurs through natural means or modes and does not require the subject to learn something new. In addition, it is also known as unconditional strengthening, and it serves a significant part in helping human beings, plants, and even animals to survive. The natural cycle also plays a critical role in providing human beings with air, water, sleep, and food (Kelly & Pohl, 2018). Nonetheless, genetics also contribute significantly towards enforcing primary enforcement. An example is if human beings do not like certain foods, they will not consume them. Another example of primary reinforcement is how individuals with fair skin are often associated with bathing in the sun on the beach.
Secondary reinforcement is another category, and it is also known as conditioned reinforcement. It involves using or appointing two reinforcers to work together to increase or decrease certain behaviors. An example is in dog training, whereby a trainer opts to use a clicker in conjunction with a treat. In this case, the dog’s pleasure is regarded as a primary reinforcer. There are also two major types of support, negative and positive types of reinforcements. Positive strengthening entails or describes the delivery of a supporter to increase acceptable and appropriate behaviors.
On the contrary, negative reinforcement entails removing an aversive condition or scenario; this will play a vital role in increasing appropriate, acceptable behaviors (Nelson, 2017). An illustration of positive support is the provision of stickers to the students, especially after they have completed their assignments. An example of negative reinforcement is a teacher or tutor allowing the students to have a leave circle time for a ten-minute break after they have used their break card. This will, in return, play a vital role in increasing desired and acceptable conduct.
In the Bible, an illustration of positive reinforcement is how Jesus nurtured the people around him. One of the most familiar stories is when they were in the temple, and they said several worshippers were giving and assisting people wholeheartedly. Through this form of teaching, Jesus was able to praise the widow who gave all that she had to God. This was a form of encouragement hence illustrating positive reinforcement (Weaks, 2019).
All the teachings of Jesus were based on encouragement. Another example is when He fed the 5000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. Some of his disciples had doubts when He told them to gather the individuals who had initially followed them so that they may eat. They did not believe that Jesus could perform miracles and provide enough food for the people. Positive reinforcement, in this case, is visible through performing the miracle and providing enough food for the individuals even when it seemed impossible.
In conclusion, reinforcement is the most valued management tool by several individuals, including teachers. It is also evident that it has contributed significantly towards teaching new skills, replacing certain unacceptable behaviors, and increasing on-task performances. However, despite educators preferring it more than any other technique, they also find it less effective. Developing positive conduct can facilitate the strengthening of individual acts to enhance survival amongst people.
Kelly, J., & Pohl, B. (2018). Using structured positive and negative reinforcement to change student behavior in educational settings to achieve student academic success. Multidisciplinary Journal for Education, Social and Technological Sciences, 5(1), 17-29. Web.
Nelson, L. (2017). Out of the institution, into the classroom. Legal challenges to the use of restraint and seclusion in school settings in the United States. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 53, 97-101. Web.
Weaks, D. D. (2019). Navigating need: Mark 6: 30–44. Review & Expositor, 116(3), 347-350. Web.