Negative and positive reinforcement definitions

I have trouble with negative and positive reinforcement I know he is going over it right now but can anyone summarize it concise with example?

Positive reinforcement is a reward for doing something well. Negative reinforcement occurs when an aversive stimulus (a ‘bad consequence’) is removed after a good behavior is exhibited.

Hope this helps!

A child whines to the babysitter for a cookie. The babysitter gives him a cookie. The babysitter is negatively reinforced, because they will not hear whining for a little while. The whining is positively reinforced, so, the child will come back and whine again.

Reinforcement increases behavior. Punishment decreases behavior. Positive reinforcement adds something to increase behavior (e.g. reward). Negative reinforcement takes away something to increase behavior (e.g. remove noise because you are now doing something good). You have to be in a bad situation in order for negative reinforcement to work. (e.g. You act like an ideal prisoner so your sentence is reduced).

Your car starts to buzz because you haven’t clicked your seatbelt. You click it, and the buzzing stops. You are negatively reinforced for wearing your seatbelt.

You drive safely with no accidents for a year. Your insurer gives you a small refund for your good driving. You are positively reinforced for good driving.

thank you!

Fiveable Logo

2550 north lake drive
suite 2
milwaukee, wi 53211



about for students for parents for teachers for schools & districts content team privacy contact


🥇 2020 Fiveable Olympics study plans upcoming events trivia hypertyper resources cram passes


community tiktok discord twitter instagram facebook careers

*ap® and advanced placement® are registered trademarks of the college board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

© fiveable 2020 | all rights reserved.