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What is Reinforcement?

A definition of reinforcement is: something that occurs when a stimulus is presented of removed fllowing a response and in the fugure, increases the frequency of that behavior in similar circumstances. (Cooper, Heron and Heward 2007).

In other words adding or taking something away AFTER a behavior occurs that will increase the likelihood that the same behavior will happen again at a future time.

There are two types of reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when something is added after a behavior occurs (ex. Child receives a sticker or a high five after a correct response). Negative reinforcement is when something is taken away after a behavior occurs (ex. Taking medication when one has a headache- removal of the headache increases the likelihood that one will take the medication in the future).  


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