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Misconceptions of Negative Reinforcement

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Misconceptions of Negative Reinforcement

Misconceptions of Negative Reinforcement
Negative reinforcement is commonly misunderstood because of the term negative. Most people get it mixed up with punishment or think it refers to an unwanted behavior being reinforced. In the science of behavior analysis, the term negative refers to the fact that a stimulus is being removed after a behavior. Remember, reinforcement is used to increase behavior, so with negative reinforcement, a stimulus is removed following a behavior to increase the frequency of the behavior in the future. For example, when you connect your seat belt to stop the annoying buzzing sound in your car, this is negative reinforcement (the behavior of wearing a seat belt increases to remove an aversive stimulus).

Explain the difference between the common misconception of the term negative reinforcement and how the science of behavior analysis defines it. Why do you think this misconception exists?
Provide three real-life examples of negative reinforcement that you have encountered.
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Read the posts of your peers and respond to two. Your response should be substantive and demonstrate your understanding of the material. What aspects of the post do you like or agree with and why? Are there areas that are not clear? Did the post spark questions that you would like to ask your peer? In this, and in all of your courseroom posts, be sure to keep your tone scholarly, respectful, and professional.

Learning Components
This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:

Define negative reinforcement from a behavior analytic perspective.
Describe real-life examples of negative reinforcement.

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