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Fundamental principles of behavior



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Positive reinforcement

Negative reinforcement

Negative behavior





Different people have different behavior in society. When there is physical or emotional harm from a person is called aggressive behavior.  Assertive is another type of behavior by which an individual can stand up by his own calm and positive way or passively accepting ‘wrong’. Passive behavior has an indication of hostility through various attitude.  

Above is a chart of four different kinds of things in different quadrants. Top two things that increase their behavior, so can be called as positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when you act something and get a return, you get something good. A little kid nags their mum and they get a chocolate bar so that’s positive reinforcement. So that is going to cause the behavior of nagging them to increase. A person does something and receives something positive for it and that’s called positive reinforcement.

The other thing that can cause the behavior to increase as what we call negative reinforcement. Now for example research on smoking has shown that smoking is mostly maintained by negative reinforcement. What that means is that it’s maintained the behavior is maintained by taking something away. It’s by taking something aversive away so in the case of smoking that aversive thing is that, smoking takes away the craving to smoke. So often people think of smoking as they do it because it gives them something it gives them a little bit of stimulant but might research on smoking indicates that smoking is mostly maintained by the fact it takes away the craving to smoke. So every time that someone smokes that you know they get that dependence happening. They with a cravings to smoke kick-in sooner and sooner and sooner so they’re kind of on that constant cycle of wanting to smoke more and more frequently.

Binge is an excessive activity and people who binge eat for example might benefit from thinking about what’s the negative reinforcement going on. So when they binge eat they might get some positives out of it so they might get some positive reinforcement in terms of the deliciousness of the food but it might also be for example taking away worried thoughts or something like that or taking away physical tension. So there might be negative reinforcement going on as that decrease their behavior.

Positive punishment means that something is introduced and that causes the behavior to decrease. So, for example, if you touch something and then get an electric shock from it that’s positive punishment. so rather than taking something away, it is the introduction of something adverse that decreases the behavior. Negative punishment is when you punishment by taking something away. Negative punishment would be that a child gets the toy taken away if they are not playing with it gently enough.

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