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Reinforcement today

Reinforcement today The discovery of facts and practices concerning reinforcement in the past 25 years "have increased our power to predict and control behavior and in so doing have left no doubt of their reality and importance." In the acquisition of a bowling response in pigeons 3 points are relevant: (a) The temporal relationships between behavior and reinforcement are very important. (b) Behavior was set up through successive approximations. (c) Behavior gradual "shapes up" by "reinforcing crude approximations of the final topography instead of waiting for the complete response." The maintenance of behavior through various schedules of reinforcement is discussed. "The world in which man lives may be regarded as an extraordinarily complex set of positive and negative reinforcing contingencies . . . . In any social situation we must discover who is reinforcing whom with what and to what effect." The modern study of reinforcement is: (a) difficult and relatively expensive; (b) usually single-organism research, in which a statistical program is "unnecessary" and "wrong"; (c) not theoretical. "The new principles and methods of analysis which are emerging from the study of reinforcement may prove to be among the most productive social instruments of the twentieth century." http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Psychologist American Psychological Association

Reinforcement today

American Psychologist , Volume 13 (3): 6 – Mar 1, 1958

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1958 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0003-066x
eISSN
1935-990X
DOI
10.1037/h0049039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The discovery of facts and practices concerning reinforcement in the past 25 years "have increased our power to predict and control behavior and in so doing have left no doubt of their reality and importance." In the acquisition of a bowling response in pigeons 3 points are relevant: (a) The temporal relationships between behavior and reinforcement are very important. (b) Behavior was set up through successive approximations. (c) Behavior gradual "shapes up" by "reinforcing crude approximations of the final topography instead of waiting for the complete response." The maintenance of behavior through various schedules of reinforcement is discussed. "The world in which man lives may be regarded as an extraordinarily complex set of positive and negative reinforcing contingencies . . . . In any social situation we must discover who is reinforcing whom with what and to what effect." The modern study of reinforcement is: (a) difficult and relatively expensive; (b) usually single-organism research, in which a statistical program is "unnecessary" and "wrong"; (c) not theoretical. "The new principles and methods of analysis which are emerging from the study of reinforcement may prove to be among the most productive social instruments of the twentieth century."

Journal

American PsychologistAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Mar 1, 1958

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