The power of reinforcements

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Known as a prevalent training method in psychology lab, operant conditioning also serves as an effective technique to shape behaviors in the real world. Compared with the punishment, which will make people feel disappointed and stressful, reinforcement is a better choice for people for three reasons. First, reinforcements can let people know what the correct way to behave is. Punishments only make people realize that they have made mistakes but not provide them the correct methods. In contrast, reinforcements encourage people to repeat the previous right actions and finally, people are able to achieve their goals. Just like the process of teaching the parrots to play ping-pong. They got food as a reward when the ball fell from the competitor's side. In this case, both of the parrots prevented the ball from falling. As time increased, they learned how to play ping-pong. Second, reinforcements can not only increase the incident of the right actions that people have already made, but also stimulate people to come up with new correct methods by themselves. Take the video as an example, Sheldon used the chocolate as a positive reinforcement to encourage Penny to behave in the way that he thought was right. Influenced by the previous consequences, Penny unconsciously pushed herself to adapt to Sheldon's way. Penny went outside to answer the phone when she found Sheldon was unhappy about that without being taught to do it. Instead of being forced to learn, people tend to change themselves to get closer to the goal spontaneously. What's more, because people have the initial eager of complements, they would correct themselves as soon as possible to get rewards, which will also make the learning process much shorter. Life abounds examples. If children have accomplished a work successfully and been praised by someone, they would be eager to show their work to others to earn more complements. All in all, reinforcement is a useful tool to improve the efficiency and result of the training process.

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This page contains a single entry by zhan1570 published on October 22, 2011 8:38 PM.

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