What Is Reinforcement?

What is Reinforcement?

A definition of reinforcement is something that occurs when a stimulus is presented or removed following response and in the future, 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 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. a 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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