Reinforcement Theory Case Study by Peter Pen

Reinforcement Theory
A analysis of the reinforcement theory and its applications.
# 109581 | 3,050 words | 6 sources | APA | 2008
Published on Dec 03, 2008 in Psychology (Behaviorism) , Psychology (Case Studies)

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This paper examines the reinforcement theory, the most well known and popular behavioral approach to motivation. The paper discusses the theory as a contingency used to increase desirable behaviors by rewarding the person engaging in the behavior with a pleasant consequence that is of value to that person and speaks of how and when the reinforcers will be administered. The author includes an example of the theory in action with a case study.

Reinforcement theory
Reinforcement contingencies
Reinforcement schedules
Subject - Significant other
Behavior and Measure - Not calling by 9 p.m.
Contingencies: Positive and Negative

From the Paper:

"Skinner's third contingency is punishment which is essentially the opposite of positive reinforcement. This method of reinforcement involves experiencing a negative or unpleasant consequence due to engaging in an unwanted behavior. This is a contingency that results in the decrease or cessation of unwanted behaviors. However, in order for this contingency to be effective the consequence must immediately follow the behavior. Although it is believed by some to be as successful as positive reinforcement, it is considered to be the least preferred type of reinforcement by many behaviorists and moral philosophers."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Daniels, Aubrey C., & Daniels, James E. (2006). Positive Reinforcement: Misunderstood and misused. T+D, March 2006 (3), 60-61. Gibson, J. L., Ivancevich, J. M., Donnelly,
  • J.H. & Konopaske, R. (2006). Organizations: Behavior, Structure, Process. New York: McGraw Hill/Irwin. Lauer, Charles S. (2004).
  • Positive Reinforcement. Modern Healthcare, 34 (47), 22-24. Leslie, Julian C. (1997).
  • Ethical Implications of Behavior Modification: Historical and Current Issues. The Psychological Record, 47, (Fall, 1997), 637-648. Staddon, J.E.R. & Cerutti, D.T. (2003).
  • Operant Conditioning. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 115-144. Timberlake, William (2004). Is the Operant Contingency Enough for a Science of Purposive Behavior?

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

Reinforcement Theory (2008, December 03) Retrieved July 28, 2014, from

MLA Format

"Reinforcement Theory" 03 December 2008. Web. 28 July. 2014. <>