Reinforcement Theory Essay

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The idea behind reinforcement theory is that behavior is influenced by consequences, be they negative or positive consequences. This assignment involved doing a social experiment where I would use reinforcement theory to encourage good behavior when I came across an action that was worthy of compliment. Instead of selecting a simple experiment where the results would have been easy to predict, I decided upon a test subject I had in the past failed to have an impact upon. In other words, I decide I wanted to influence the behavior of my little brother. My little brother is an excellent musician. He quickly learned to play complicated pieces on the piano within a very short time of starting classes in high school. He has been in choir…show more content…
In this case, a negative punishment was not an option as I would only take my experimentation so far. So a reward was chosen. Here I finally found success. I promised him that in the event he would create a music video, I would take care of the social media and marketing end of the production (it would give me experience in my field of study). Then when it is done, I would treat him to ice cream. It was a bit over the top, and essentially bribery, but it worked. This coming Saturday, my younger brother and I are scheduled to create a music…show more content…
At first, he probably was encouraged by my words of approval after him playing the piano. But after telling him so many times to create a music video, I am guessing his positive reaction gave way to slight annoyance. It wasn’t until I resorted to “bribery” that he finally gave in.
I am not sure that my experiment would translate into similar results if I were to use the same tactics in a business setting. Perhaps in the case of an employee and manager relationship, the employee would be more ready to comply with the wishes of the manager than a little brother listening to his older sister.
Short-term results of the experiment are that he is now going to record his music, the long-term results of the experiment are just speculation at this point. My guess, however, is that it will improve his performance to have an audience. He also knows that his big sister admires his talent. And he probably thinks I am a bit strange… But really, what little brother doesn’t think this of his older
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