Monday, June 8, 2015

Post 2- Negative Reinforcement

On the contrary to the popular belief that negative reinforcement is solely a form of conditioning similar to punishment that a dominant figure of some sort imposes on someone or something under their control, that is not always the case. In many situations, a parent or guardian may use negative reinforcement in their parenting techniques, or a teacher may use it in his or her classroom, but negative reinforcement is present in our everyday tasks as well.

The simplified definition of negative reinforcement is when something that is already present is removed as a result of a specific behavior, thus causing that behavior to increase in the future due to the favorable outcome that it produced.  Whether or not we realize it, this definition lends itself to several every-day occurrences, and negative reinforcement is present in our lives all the time.

An article from lists several of these examples including the following:
1. Drying wet hands.- Wet hands after washing them may cause discomfort, but the behavior of drying them produces a favorable outcome and removes the discomfort.
2. Beeping the car horn.- When the traffic light turns green but the car in front of you does not move, one often beeps the car horn in order to cause the car to move. Once the car in front moves, the horn is released.
3. Using Windshield Wipers in the car.- When you are driving in the rain, the rain on the Windshield makes it difficult to see so you use your Windshield Wipers to remove the visual impairment and make it easier for you to see while driving.
4. Putting on Oven Mitts.- Taking something hot out of the oven can burn your hands, so you use oven mitts in order to prevent your hands from burning. The mitts are removed once you are done taking the food item out of the oven.
5. Turning off your alarm clock.- When your alarm wakes you up in the morning, it may be an unpleasant sound which causes you discomfort or annoyance so you turn it off thus removing the discomfort and creating a desirable outcome.

These are only some of the many situations in which negative reinforcement is present and effective in our lives each and every day. For more information and examples of negative reinforcement, visit the following link:

Cosgrave, Gavin. "Examples of Negative Reinforcement." Educate Autism, n.d. Web. 08 June 2015.

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