In this week’s reading assignment we learned about the four types of reinforcement used in behavior modification. The four types are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, extinction, and punishment. Positive reinforcement involves the use of some type of positive consequence given after a desired behavior is displayed. Negative reinforcement involves removing something negative after a desired behavior is displayed. Extinction is designed to weaken a behavior by either giving no consequence when the behavior is displayed. Finally punishment involves weakening a behavior by establishing something negative after the unwanted behavior is displayed or by removing something positive (Knicki & Williams, 2013).
Of the four types of reinforcements mentioned I believe positive reinforcement is the easiest to implement. To use positive reinforcement most effectively you should reward the behavior you wish to reinforce as soon as it occurs. Positive reinforcement should be individualized, as much as possible, to the individual receiving the reward to increase its effectiveness (Knicki & Williams, 2013). Positive reinforcement for use in a school system can be something as simple as verbal praise from the teacher. Teachers often do the reverse. They negatively criticize behaviors that are disruptive. Instead, school systems should implement a system of constant positive reinforcement by actively looking for desirable behaviors and providing verbal praise at that time (Alber & Heward, 2000). For schools such as Marshall Metro High School implementing positive reinforcement such as active verbal praise would cost nothing. It certainly is not the answer to all the problems, but it would be a step in the right d...
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...ra work would discourage the student from engaging in the undesirable behavior of being late to class.
In theory all four reinforcement techniques have the ability to affect student behavior. However, as in the case more often than not, it is easier to study the theory of something than to actually perform it on a regular and consistent basis in real life. The problems presented in schools such as Marshall Metro High School are complex and involve a wide variety of sources. There would be no easy solutions as presented in this writing assignment. However, positive changes can be made when the administration and teachers are all on the same page and are working toward achieving the same goals. By implementing some of the four ways to reinforce behaviors, the administrators and teachers at Metro would be taking steps to a better educational environment.
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