Reinforcement for maintaining behaviour has two
classifications, these are positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is the action of the reward for good
behaviour, such as giving an ice cream to a child. The ice cream was given due
to the child remaining well behaved, whilst they accompanied a parent around a
supermarket. Thus, the child will attempt to be well behaved during the
shopping trip to receive their favourite treat as a result.
Negative reinforcement is the action of turning a negative
into a positive to establish a response. Such as the application to purchase
something on a financial plan. If you are accepted, you are given the choice of
a lower monthly interest rate by placing down a deposit. You are still paying
monthly for the item you desire however you are paying less for it by initially
adding money at the beginning.
Levels of effectiveness can be applied to both positive and
For example; the effectiveness of positive reinforcement can
be amplified. This can be done by the parent adding chocolate sprinkles to the
child’s ice cream for being polite as well as well behaved. Thus, increasing
the reward for the increased effort.
The same can be said about negative reinforcement. By adding
a larger deposit at the start of your financial agreement you effectively
reduce the interest rates further. Thus, paying an amount closer to the
purchase price of the item.
Both methods require continuous monitoring as the behaviours
evolve around the reinforcement. The reinforcement process is constantly
revolving and includes those who implement it as well. For example;
A salesman is rewarded a bonus for hitting his targets
before their due dates. The manager of the salesman who gives the reward is
rewarded a bonus for his team hitting their targets. The company who employs
the manager and the salesman increase their profits due to the manager and the
salesman achieving their goals. The company grows due to its increased profits,
the share holders are encouraged to invest more due to the company’s success.
The larger the investment the bigger the bonus and so on.
A natural progression of behaviour will occur due to
constant maintenance. Eventually reinforcement will no longer be required in
the consistency it once was, as the behaviour will be maintained by the
individual who was the subject of reinforcement.
In summary, reinforcement plays a vital role in maintaining
behaviour as it has an evolutionary effect. The behaviour cycle is
subconsciously reinforced in all who are involved, therefore can also transfer
to those who are indirectly connected. The reinforcement cycle then repeats
itself, through other maintaining behaviour.
The post Analyse the role of reinforcement in maintaining behaviour?
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