Monday, May 20, 2024

What Is Reward In Psychology

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Is Reward Better Than Punishment

Reward power ~ Psychology simplified ~ episode 2.1

YES. A person is motivated to learn new behavior if there is an opportunity to gain incentives. Since, a reward is a great way of expressing appreciation or acknowledging the efforts of another person in a positive light, rewards are better than punishments! However, for rewards to be effective, three conditions must be fulfilled

  • The subject MUST be interested in the reward
  • The reward must be given AFTER accomplishment of the desired action
  • Performance must EXCEED normal standards

The failure of achievement of desired results occurs due to inability to fulfill all the three requisites. Also, it must be noted that the rewards presented not only cause behavior modification, they also lead to creation of values which set the trend for rewards that must be bestowed in future as a part of positive reinforcement. I would like to point out here that, extraordinary results beyond the capabilities of the subject should not be expected.

In A Nut Shell: Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning is a type of learning in which a behaviour is strengthened when its followed by reinforcement, and weakened when followed by punishment. Operant conditioning is based on a simple premise that behaviour is influenced by the consequences that follow. When you are reinforced for doing something, youre more likely to do it again. When you are punished for doing something, you are less likely to do it again.

If you are a mental health practitioner, who would like to learn advanced techniques based on Hypnosis, NLP and Metaphor therapy to use the principle of Operant Conditioning into your therapeutic practice, check out the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy Program.

Neurotransmitter Systems Related To Reward

The first two papers in this special issue consider the role that specific neurotransmitters play in the brains reward circuity. When one thinks of a neurotransmitter system that plays a critical role in reward processing, the dopaminergic system is the one that inevitably pops to mind. Its role has been examined in regard to reinforcement learning, as dopamine is thought to aid in reward-related and error-driven learning . In addition, disruptions and hijacking of the reward systems have been implicated in addiction . In the first paper of this section, Berry et al. focus on how dopaminergic systems influence decision-making from the perspective of aging. Dopamine levels are known to decline with age , and Berry and colleagues consider the implications of this phenomenon for alterations in decision-making with age, as well as individual differences in the nature of this decline. They also discuss the degree and conditions under which the well-documented affective bias in older adults toward positive material may counteract decision-making processes that could be compromised by reduced levels of dopamine.

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Relationship To Personality Disorders

Social reward dependence is hypothesized to be related to behaviors that represent the RD personality dimension sub-scales of social sensitivity and attachment. It is suggested that the brain substrates that are involved in the response to simple primary rewards stimuli are also implicated in the response to complex social rewards stimuli. The RD sub-scale from the TCI inventory measures how sensitive individuals are to social rewards. High RD scores on the test correlate to increased attachment and an increased need for social relationships. Low RD scores show a movement towards social detachment and insensitivity.

  • According to Cloningers model, the early life onset of neuropsychiatric disorders lead to personality disorders, with individuals having low RD scores.Antisocial personality disorder is characterized in behavioral terms by childhood or adolescent onset of recurrent antisocial behavior. Cloninger had predicted from his biosocial theory that individuals most at risk of aggressive, antisocial behavior, will be those with lower RD scores and these individuals are equated with the primary psychopaths who show aloofness and social detachment. Particular research conducted on childhood behavior has tested this theory and researchers have shown that children with lower RD scores have more of an anti-social profile as defined in the DSM, and are at highest risk for early onset of frequent delinquent behavior.

Positive Reinforcement Is Its Own Reward

What Is Operant Conditioning and How Does It Work?

Opportunities abound to make your business stand out, nourish an emotional connection, and grow your relationship with your audience throughout various touchpoints. And its all worth it not just because it feels good, but also because of the monetary gain that will allow your brand to flourish into the future.

Reward psychology is a give-and-take tool that can lead to increased sales, brand recognition, customer loyalty, referrals you name it. How will you use it?

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Note About Operant Conditioning Tools:

Here the terms positive and negative are not used in their popular sense, but rather: positive refers to addition, and negative refers to subtraction.

What is added or subtracted may be either reinforcement or punishment. Hence positive punishment is sometimes a confusing term, as it denotes the addition of a stimulus or increase in the intensity of a stimulus that is aversive .

History Of The Incentive Theory

Incentive theory began to emerge during the 1940s and 1950s, building on the earlier drive theories established by psychologists such as Clark Hull. Rather than focusing on more intrinsic forces behind motivation, the incentive theory proposes that people are pulled toward behaviors that lead to rewards and pushed away from actions that might lead to negative consequences.

Two people may act in different ways in the same situation based entirely on the types of incentives that are available to them at that time.

You can probably think of many different situations where your behavior was directly influenced by the promise of a reward or punishment. Perhaps you studied for an exam in order to get a good grade, ran a marathon in order to receive recognition, or took a new position at work in order to get a raise. All of these actions were influenced by an incentive to gain something in return for your efforts.

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Core Tools Of Operant Conditioning:

  • Positive reinforcer: Favorable events or outcomes that are presented after the behaviour. This Positive reinforcement strengthens a behaviour by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding. For example, if your teacher gives you Rs. 100 each time you complete your homework you are more likely to repeat this behaviour in the future, thus strengthening the behaviour of completing your homework.
  • Negative reinforcers involve the removal of an unfavorable events or outcomes after the display of a behaviour. In these situations, a response is strengthened by the removal of something considered unpleasant. For example, let us say, you have to give your teacher Rs. 100 everyday . But on the days you complete your homework you dont have to pay the teacher . You will complete your homework to save Rs. 100, thus strengthening the behaviour of completing your homework.
  • Positive Punishment: An unfavorable consequence / response following a behaviour which leads to a decrease in that behaviour. For example every time you come late , you are slapped . This consequence of being slapped will demotivate you from coming late, thereby weakening the behaviour.
  • Less Specific Behavioral Reactions

    This Psychological Trick Makes Rewards Backfire

    Rewards share a number of stimulus components with other behaviorally relevant objects. Rewards come in different sensory submodalities and have specific sensory stimulus attributes, such as form, color and spatial position. Rewards induce general behavioral activation and alerting and stimulus-driven attentional reactions that are also produced by punishers and by physically salient stimuli such as novel, large or rapidly moving objects.

    The behavioral reactions to sensory, activating, alerting or attentional stimulus attributes can be measured by preferences in free choice behavior, movement responses in reaction time tasks, and vegetative responses such as skin conductance, heart rate, pupillary diameter and salivation. Behavioral reactions to these stimuli can be distinguished from their rewarding properties by using different non-rewarding stimuli with specific sensory and rewarding properties at different spatial positions. Discriminations can be difficult when these objects have also rewarding components, as in the case of novel or physically salient objects. A good initial approximation is the distinction of rewards from punishers.

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    How Do Rewards And Recognition Affect Us Psychologically

    Recognition has a profound effect on the workplace, encouraging more prosocial behavior. The Positive Psychology Program defines prosocial as promoting others wellbeing, usually through altruistic acts. This attitude in the workplace generates more teamwork, more productivity, and more communication between teams. In fact, a simple thank you will help give your organization the advantage to outperform your competition more than you think.

    Maslows Hierarchy of Needs breaks down the elements humans need to thrive and how they apply to psychology. Youll see in the figure below that compensation and benefits meet the basic human needs of safety and physiological near the bottom of the pyramid. At the top, youll see psychological needs of love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Peer-to-peer recognition meets these needs, and its a crucial component to a happy and productive workforce.

    The key takeaway here is that every workplace should address and fulfill each level of Maslows Hierarchy. By doing so, you encourage prosocial behavior, gain a competitive advantage, and encourage your employees to work harder and smarter.

    The Psychology Behind A Loyalty Points Program

    Points programs are one of the most well-known and established retention marketing strategies in the world. Used by millions of brands in virtually every industry, theyre the most common definition of the term loyalty program, but why? What makes them so successful, and why have they worked well for so long?

    The answer lies in basic psychology. Lets take a look at three psychological principles that continue to drive us to sign up for points programs.

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    The Psychology Of Positive Reinforcement Theory

    Although it sounds like a simple idea, it was not always the go-to method for teaching. Punishment has always been a popular method for teachingwhether it was for training children, pets, or adults.

    In fact, positive reinforcement is only one of the four types of conditioning according to famed behaviorist B. F. Skinners model.

    Question: What Is Reward And Punishment In Psychology

    Psychology of Reward &  Recognition

    Learning Objectives Reinforcement means you are increasing a behavior, and punishment means you are decreasing a behavior. Reinforcement can be positive or negative, and punishment can also be positive or negative. All reinforcers increase the likelihood of a behavioral response.

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    Points Motivate Customers To Engage In Order To Earn Rewards

    Motivation is one of the most powerful psychological factors at play in any rewards program. Its what makes a customer believe that they can achieve something, and also what pushes them to succeed. In a brand-customer relationship, motivation is largely powered by a brands ability to deliver on the promises that theyve made their customers.

    Loyalty points and the rewards they can be redeemed for are one of the most common promises a brand must deliver on. When businesses prove that they follow through on these promises, it starts a cycle that keeps their relationship with customers going. By offering additional benefits for engaging with a brand, points turn your customer experience into a challenge customers want to overcome. This prompts engagement that might otherwise be missing, encouraging customers to come back as repeat customers.

    Display Progress Towards The Next Reward

    Theres a theory called the Goal Gradient Effect which states that we tend to work harder towards a goal the closer we are to achieving it. This is because were influenced by the perception of progress: if we feel weve moved closer, we feel the goal is attainable and as a result want to keep working so that we can say weve achieved it.

    You can incorporate this effect into your points program by making each customers progress towards their next reward easy to see and understand. This is actually something we put a lot of time and thought into at With a Smile rewards program, progress bars are built into the customer panel so that you can easily put this information in front of your customers. On top of that, its highly visual, branded, and extremely easy to find!

    Whether you use onsite progress bars or not, you can also turn it up a notch by varying the ways your customers are working towards your program goals. If youre running a VIP program, why not accelerate points earning the higher they are in your program tiers? You could also run a bonus points events to boost their account balance and push them closer to their next goal. Remember: the closer they seem to the goal, the harder theyll work to achieve it, which means more purchases and increased engagement – a true win-win for your program!

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    The Cons Of Rewarding

    Rewards can also have negative effects. While the above examples illustrate the occurrence of a pleasant event to reward an activity, negative rewards refer to removal of a negative object or preventing the occurrence of a negative event in lieu of desired performance. This is also called negative reinforcement . On the other hand, a punishment only helps to decrease the incidence of an action or behavior by enforcing an undesirable stimulus. However, the effectiveness of punishments can be deduced from the findings of a study on this matter by Tulane University. It was found that children who were spanked at the age of 3 years became more aggressive as observed after 2 years. This, perhaps, explains why most couples end up fighting more in a relationship once either partner starts nagging. The study revealed that punishments such as spanking are an ineffective method for behavior modification in children aged below 12 years and should not be used, otherwise they act as a stimulus for bad behavior in the later years.

    The Pros Of Rewarding

    Trading Psychology: Risk & Reward

    The opportunity to give a reward can also be used to optimum advantage by teaching values that leave a permanent imprint on a persons behavior and hence, can be observed in the long term. By doing so, you can ensure that the benefits of rewarding are not limited to a short span of time. For instance, an employee works in the company for the reward of an attractive monthly salary. Till the time it is valuable to him, he will continue to strive for productivity and optimum performance in order to achieve maximum rewards. However, when the salary loses its appeal due to any reason, he will start to slack and may even quit his job himself. Similarly, bright students often achieve good results for the incentive of top grades, whereas, average or below average students may not be attracted by the pride attached with an A grade. In such a scenario, using rewards to motivate students to perform well is a good option rather than condemning them for their failure to do so.

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    A Multidimensional View On Social And Non

    • 1Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    • 2Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    • 3School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
    • 4Research Institute, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi, Japan

    Intervention Effect On Behaviour And Automaticity

    Table shows mean behaviour and automaticity scores for flossing and vitamin C from T0-T4. From T1 to T4, mean weekly flossing frequency increased significantly, t=8.29, p< .001 , as did mean flossing automaticity, t=7.82, p< .001 . Between T0 and T4, mean weekly vitamin C tablet consumption frequency increased significantly, t=5.30, p< .001 , as did mean vitamin C automaticity, t=5.30, p< .001 . The correlations between the different flossing variables, and the vitamin C variables are shown in Tables and respectively. Significant relationships were observed between all variables, except between perceived benefits and vitamin C behaviour at T4.

    Table 2 Mean behaviour frequency and automaticity for flossing and vitamin C throughout the study

    Pleasure: Flossing

    Pleasure had a relationship with automaticity mediated by behaviour at T2, and mediated by intention and behaviour at T2 and T3. A moderation effect was observed at T3, whereby pleasure was associated with a stronger impact of behaviour on automaticity. Pleasure directly predicted T4 automaticity.

    Pleasure: Vitamin C

    Pleasure had a relationship with automaticity mediated by behaviour at T2. Pleasure was associated with a stronger behaviour-automaticity relationship at T2 and T3.

    Intrinsic motivation: Vitamin C

    Intrinsic motivation had a moderated effect at T1 and T2, such that greater intrinsic motivation was associated with a stronger behaviour-automaticity relationship.

    Perceived utility: Vitamin C

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    Why Some Incentives Are More Motivating Than Others

    Obviously, not all incentives are created equal, and the rewards that you find motivating might not be enough to inspire another person to take action. Physiological, social, and cognitive factors can all play a role in what incentives you find motivating.

    For example, you are more likely to be motivated by food when you are actually hungry versus when you are full. A teenage boy might be motivated to clean his room by the promise of a coveted video game while another person would find such a game completely unappealing.

    “The value of an incentive can change over time and in different situations,” writes Stephen L. Franzoi in his text Psychology: A Discovery Experience. “For example, gaining praise from your parents may have positive incentive value for you in some situations, but not in others. When you are home, your parents’ praise may be a positive incentive. However, when your friends visit, you may go out of your way to avoid receiving parental praise, because your friends may tease you.”

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