Various methods and techniques of promoting or preventing certain behaviors exist in modern psychology. Positive reinforcement is one of the methods that implies providing some kind of reward for the successful completion of a particular action. It helps to motivate specific patterns in behavior and instill good habits. However, the opposite is also true for negative reinforcement, which implies removing the motivation to prevent the occurrence of bad habits in the future. These techniques are considered one of the most effective in the field, so we must examine how they operate and provide a suitable example.
To reinforce a certain pattern in behavior, it is necessary to find a proper reward for its completion. Rewards are subjective and vary depending on the situation and whose behavior we want to alter. A child may receive 5$ every time it gets an A at school, giving him the proper stimulus to keep studying consistently. In our case, we will use a similar tactic to train a pet. By giving our dog a treat every time it goes to “potty” outside, we instill a habit, a specific behavior pattern.
However, it is crucial to draw connections between the task and the reward for the pet. A person can come to a logical conclusion that certain behavior results in a reward, which is not the case for our subject. It is necessary to use negative reinforcement to clarify what we want to instill. By punishing our pet when it goes to “potty” inside via electrifying collar, or preventing him from entering the house until it does its thing, we create motivation to do what we want from it.
Providing and removing motivation where necessary is one of the most effective ways of instilling proper behavior. Both methods have their place in modern psychology; however, it is best to combine their usage to achieve better results. Focusing on one aspect of reinforcement, whether positive or negative, will do admirably but take much longer. There is also a possibility that your pet will not appreciate you punishing it all the time.