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What are examples of behavioral reinforcement?

Sheri D. Pruitt
Psychology
Behavioral reinforcement (the principle that rewarded behaviors are more likely to be repeated) can take a variety of forms. All kinds of treats -- money, candy, verbal praise, applause, or gold stars on a monitoring chart -- can increase your chance of repeating a desired behavior. What works best? That's the tricky part, and it's an individual thing. What might be a powerful treat for one person might not be for someone else.

Here are some broad categories:
  • Monetary rewards (cash)
  • Non-monetary gifts (clothes, music CDs)
  • Social rewards (praise from friends and family)
  • Activity rewards (going out to a movie or getting a manicure)
  • Physiological rewards (pleasant sights, sounds, tastes, and smells)
  • Psychological rewards (feelings of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction)
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.