The concept of immediate confirmation is closely related to the concept of reinforcement. In organisational behaviour, an important concept is ‘reinforcement’. This implies that people have a general tendency to repeat those actions which result in a positive outcome, and avoid those actions which result in negative consequences. Researches have shown that if individuals are provided with feedback and reinforcement as soon as possible after a training is administered or reinforcement program is undertaken, they tend to learn faster.
Apart from quick learning, immediate confirmation also aids in several other aspects. This includes the fact that if there have been any errors during the training program, they might add up to result in cumulative undesirable effect. Immediate confirmation ensures that this does not happen, and employees get the maximum out of the imparted learning. It also aids in transfer of information gained during training to the job being performed.
For example, if a teacher gives a maths test to its students and declares the results the next day of the test, there are high chances that students might be more interested and end up leaving with a greater learning from the test. This is because the human mind will accept the results being presented more positively if they are shared immediately. If the assessment results are declared after months, the students will have lost interest and forgotten about the test altogether.
Another concept that means exactly opposite is delayed reinforcement. The longer the delay is, the lesser is the probability of learning. Immediate reinforcement is usually used for small items and regular learnings, whereas delayed reinforcement is applied on things with relatively greater importance, like college degrees. A good example of immediate confirmation is people hitting the snooze button on their alarm clocks every morning, as they get the immediate reinforcement of a few minutes of extra sleep following their decision.