Positive Reinforcement

Written by Dr. Betty Patten

Positive reinforcement is a type of behavior modification technique that involves the use of rewards to increase the likelihood that a desired behavior will occur in the future. When a desired behavior is exhibited, a positive consequence or reward is provided, which strengthens the behavior and makes it more likely to be repeated.

Examples of positive reinforcement include:

  • Verbal praise or encouragement

  • A tangible reward, such as a toy or food

  • Access to a preferred activity or item

  • Positive attention from others

It's important to note that the rewards should be immediate, consistent and appropriate to the individual's preference. Positive reinforcement can be an effective tool for teaching new skills, increasing appropriate behaviors, and reducing problem behaviors. It can be used in a variety of settings, such as in education, therapy, and at home.

It is also important to note that positive reinforcement is just one of the behavior modification technique and it should be used in conjunction with other techniques, such as teaching replacement behaviors, to effectively change the behavior.

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