Reinforcement Procedures Paper

Reinforcement Procedures Paper


Reinforcement Procedures Paper

Today I will discuss reinforcement procedures in regards to children’s behaviors, and methods to use in certain situations. Reinforcement has been foreseen as stimuli that can help strengthen or weaken certain behaviors.(Malott, R. W. & Shane, J. T. (2014). There are two different reinforcements: positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement appears when the behavior is strengthened by a reward or token. Negative reinforcement strengthens one’s behavior by instead awarding but by removing the unwanted. (Malott, R. W.& Shane, J. T. (2014). In hindsight, we are given a unique situation from Vincent D’elia; where a mom is trying to increase the number of peas that her two children eat. She uses a sticker chart to monitor some peas that they are consuming and rewards them based on the number of stickers they have at the end of the week. The mother found that this method works for one child, but doesn’t for the second child (Class Communication, November 15, 2016).

Behavior’s Reinforced by Positive Methods

In this particular situation stated above, the mother is trying to reinforce positive behavior in both her children. She is attempting to use positive reinforcement on both children with sticker charts and rewards for getting the most stickers. So she is ultimately giving the children two rewards if they can show positive behavior in doing things they do not like doing.

Reasons Why Some Method’s Work, and Why Some Don’t

In this mother’s attempts in trying to get her two children to consume more peas, she has come to realize that some methods work on one her children, and some methods do not. In the situation stated above, the mother discovers that positive reinforcement works for her first child, but unfortunately, this method did not work for the second child. She will probably continue to use positive reinforcement method through stickers on her first child but must experiment on different method’s for her second child to increase his pea consumption.

Sometimes certain methods work on a child and some don’t. Each child (or individual) is unique in nature, and have different personalities, communication skills, etc. So the mother must try different methods of reinforcement to find what works perfectly for each child. This can become a trial by error basis for the mother, and sometimes it can be quite daunting if the first few methods of reinforcement don’t work for the child. This method may work for one child and not the other because the second child may not like stickers or the reward that is given at the end of the week.

Ideas for increasing pea consumption with positive and negative methods. The first idea to increase the pea consumption would be by specifying to the children every time they eat them that not only did they do a good job but be specific as to why they should eat their peas. The second idea would be to praise the children for eating a few peas as opposed to making them eat them all. Praising the child for eating some or all of the peas will help boost their motivation as well as feel good about what they have done. The Third idea would be to give the children a good dessert for eating their peas such as ice cream or a piece of candy. On the other hand, a method that uses negative reinforcement would be to take away the ice cream or candy if the children do not eat the peas. By using negative reinforcement, it can change the behavior by removing the stimuli.

In conclusion, this mother has used what some believe to be an effective method in order her children to eat their peas. However, she had to design another method for the other child to get the same results; it could be possible that the negative reinforcement worked better for the second child, or even a different type of reward other than stickers or ice cream, etc. In this scenario, we have found that positive reinforcement does not always work when trying to change the behavior in children (or others) as it only worked for one child and not the other.


Malott, R. W., & Shane, J. T. (2014). Principles of Behavior (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. (ISBN-13: 978-0-205-95949-5)