Positive Reinforcement

Posted in Human Resource Terms, Total Reads: 457
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Definition: Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement refers to the application or addition of a stimulus (reinforcement) that increases or maintains the probability of some behaviour. The reinforcer is dependent or contingent on the occurrence of some desired behaviour. This means that if you get a reward for a particular behavior, then you are more likely to repeat the same behavior.

Example: When you come to the class on time, you get attendance.

When a salesperson meets his target within the stipulated time, he/she gets commission on the same.


In operant conditioning, there are two types of reinforcement; positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.


Types of positive reinforcement:

Out of the many ways of encouraging a behavior, a good manager chooses the most appropriate type of reinforcement depending upon the nature of an individual and the prevailing situations in the organization.

• Natural Reinforcers: They occur naturally as a response to a particular behavior.

Example: A student, who studies hard and pays attention in class, gets good marks.


• Token Reinforcers: These are the points awarded for performing specific actions, which can be exchanged for something of value.

Example: When you shop from an online website for a specific number of times, then you get points and you can exchange these points earned for something worth those points.


• Social Reinforcers: It refers to appraising a person socially.

Example: The teacher says, “Excellent work” when the student does something good.


• Tangible Reinforcers: It includes giving a physical reward to an individual to encourage a specific behavior.

Example: The doctor gives candies to kids who don’t cry.



Above diagram shows positive reinforcement


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