Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Premack Approach to Punishment

We learned about the Premack principle in chapter five that states a high- probability behavior can be used to reinforce a low-probability behavior. For example, if your class is always unfocussed during reading you would give them the option of a game of kick ball only if they stay focused during your reading lesson. Well, the same can be applied to punishment in chapter nine.

Take, for example, a child who hates school. It would be much easier for this child to do his homework if each time he didn't he would lose his recess time, and be forced to complete his homework while his peers were outside playing.

Simply, this principle states that punishment is the opposite of reinforcement: If reinforcement strengthens behavior, then punishment weakens behavior.

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