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* I am delighted to announce that this article was written in collaboration with Dr Aubrey Daniels’, the author of “Bringing Out the Best in People” and all-round behaviour expert! Keep reading to discover the examples of positive reinforcement that we explained.
‘Positive Reinforcement’ is a term that is used frequently in the world of psychology and behaviour analysis. But what exactly is it and why should you know about it?
Positive reinforcement is a process which strengthens the type of behaviour that it is applied to. It is a consequence which follows the occurrence of behaviour, just as your actions could be followed by a smile from your friend. This consequence can increase the likelihood of you eliciting a similar response in the future, under the same circumstances. Explained more simply, positive reinforcement means: you do something, then you immediately get something you like and you will be more likely to engage in similar behaviour again in the future under a similar context.
Reinforcement is like the fuel you add to the (metaphorical!) fire to keep a behaviour going.