Answer to Question #173739 in Psychology for Om gill

Question #173739

compare and contrast the four methods used to modify behaviour in operant conditioning (positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement and punishment) giving original example of how each can be used at the work place

Expert's answer

There are four methods of operant conditioning including; positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment. Behavior modification pertains to changing the behavior of an individual using various techniques; in this case, the undesirable behavior is replaced by more desirable ones. It is essential to note that behavioral techniques have been to treat both adults and children with various problems such as bedwetting, general anxiety, and various phobias. When it comes to behavior modification, the cause of the behavior is not highlighted, only the method used to change it is emphasized. 

Positive reinforcement pertains to using different forms of rewards for positive behavior. It is aimed at motivating and encouraging the child to continue with the positive and desired behavior. In most cases, this has proven to be the most effective method in shaping a person’s behavior. In the workplace, employees are rewarded for doing different things. For example, the most improved employee may be awarded a trophy or a sum of money. 

On the other hand, negative reinforcement involves taking something unpleasant away from the individual to reinforce positive behavior. In this case, nothing negative is being done. For example, the management nags an employee every-time about getting their tasks completed. One night, the employee decides to do his tasks to avoid hearing the management nag. In this case, the employee avoids the negative consequences associated with his behavior. 

Positive punishment refers to the process of presenting a negative consequence for the negative deeds or behavior. There are various ways in which positive punishment can be reinforced including allowing the natural course to take its place. When it comes to the workplace, positive punishment can be used to reprimand, warn and remind the employees of how they are supposed to behave. For example, if an employee fails to complete his tasks, the management can call him out during the general meeting and reprimand him for his behavior. 

Negative punishment involves taking something away in response to the negative behavior. Negative punishment is usually perceived differently; however, it has been proven especially in work settings where employees are underperforming. It helps keep people on their toes and reminds them of what is important. For example, when an employee constantly fails to complete his tasks, the management might decide to decrease his salary.

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