Positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement
In the Operant Conditioning, it divided into reinforcement and punishment, and there are positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Also, there are positive punishment and negative punishment. Reinforcement is a kind of stimulus that enhance/ increase the probabilities of a certain behavior. We mainly discuss positive reinforcement, which strengthens a response by presenting a typically pleasurable stimulus after a response (Psychology 10th edition, P288). Basically, positive reinforcement is adding a desirable stimulus that will motivate people to increase the probability that engaging the behavior again. A lot of examples can prove my statement. I remember that when I was at primary school, I always missed few points on very easy questions in the exams. It is not terrible but my mother wanted to correct my incaution. She said that whenever I got 100 (full points) in the exams, I could have 10 dollars as prizes. I was stimulated and tried my best to get perfect score in exams. Once I got a perfect score in the exam, my mother will fulfill her promise. Prizes encouraged me to do not make small mistakes but I actually became more circumspective than before.
Let us talk about something related to negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement occurs when a certain stimulus (usually an aversive stimulus) is removed after a particular behavior is exhibited. The likelihood of the particular behavior occurring again in the future is increased because of removing/avoiding the negative consequence (behavioral consulting, Kelley Prince M.A.). Negative reinforcement is not like punishment. Negative reinforcement is removing or reducing bad things by doing something. For example, I would turn on the windscreen wipers when I saw water on my car’s windscreen. The water on the windscreen disturbs my sight and affect driving. I will turn on the windscreen wipers when I drive in the rain to avoid water staying on my windscreen (educateautism, Gavin Cosgrave)
Positive reinforcements and negative reinforcements exist in our lives commonly. Any decisions we make or any behaviors we do may relate to reinforcement.