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Rewards and Punishments : A New Way of Socialization

 Do you ever feel that your behaviour gets moulded easily towards things with simple incentives or at times through harsh repercussions. You might notice, for example, that if you put a snack or a chocolate at the end of your homework session, you will finish it faster than on other days. when you tell your pet dog or scold him for peeing on the bed, he does not repeat that action again. Both of these things might not grab your attention on a regular day, but if I were to tell you the reason behind these reflexes, you would be amused.

A New Way of Socialization


There is no rocket science behind such behavioural patterns. It is the same old human psychology behind it. Rather, the brain in general. Everyone has some natural reflexes. We call them stimulus and response. In simple terms, it is like our body reacting to the external environment. Take the example of hot water. If you touch a hot surface, you will immediately remove your hand from that surface. Why does that happen? It is your brain trying to save you from any harm.

Also Read- Top Ten Ways to Help Your Child Pass Elementary School with Flying Colors

Are you familiar with the term "operant conditioning"? Actually, you might just be and yet have no idea that you do know. It is something very similar to what I mentioned above. It is a psychological principle that aims at inculcating learning in humans, or animals, for that matter. It was discovered by behaviourist B.F. Skinner. He was an American psychologist who, in the year 1937, first coined the term "operant conditioning." He was researching the effects of environment on reflexes. In his experiments on animals with the help of the "Skinner Box," he proposed the following :

1. Neutral operants

2. Reinforcers

3. Punishers

All of this is mentioned in this write up because today, parents struggle a lot with the issues of parenting and how they should bring up their kids in a world where nothing seems to be going in the right direction. Kids are very impressionable and get swayed in the wrong directions very easily. To stop this from happening, parents can apply the rewards and punishment method based on the psychological study of operant conditioning. It aids in learning or unlearning certain information. It can prove very handy for parents in order to socialise their kids by making use of different social media platforms.

Psychology can play a big role in formulating behaviour in young kids. If Skinner’s model of operant conditioning is applied to kids every day, they will turn out to be much more sincere and obedient. And the best part is that this method has no side effects or harms children in any way whatsoever. Parents can use the following four reinforcers as discovered in the Operant Conditioning model. Here is the big secret reveal:

Positive Rewards

(giving something +ve)

Negative Rewards

(removing something -ve)

Positive Punishment

(adding something -ve)

Negative Punishment

(removing something +ve)





 Positive Rewards

They are simply positive events or outcomes that occur as a result of your child’s behaviour. In this setting, a response or behaviour is boosted by praising or giving a direct reward. If your kid studies hard and gets a good grade, you should reward them with their favourite toy. In this way, they will study every time to get good grades because they realise that at the end of it they are going to get a reward.



 Negative Rewards

It is like positive reinforcers, but it works in a different way. When your kid gets a good grade on the test, you remove their playing restrictions. This is a form of reward that, after the exhibition of a behaviour, involves the elimination of unpleasant occurrences or consequences. The removal of something unpleasant strengthens a response in this case.


 Positive Punishment

Also known as punishment by application, it is the presentation of a negative occurrence or outcome in order to weaken the response that follows. One example would be, if your kids misbehave, you punish them with household chores. So, the next time they are about to misbehave, they will be reminded of the chores they had to do when they did it for the first time. This will restrict or stop such behaviour all together.


 Negative Punishment

When a good occurrence or outcome is withdrawn after a behaviour happens, this is known as negative punishment. Negative punishment can include taking away a child's video game after disobedience. This way, children will learn that if they do something wrong, they will have to part ways with their favourite belongings. This would be an incentive for them to not do it.

Hopefully, this write up gives you plenty of creative suggestions to fall back on when your child is going out of hand. This can even help with assignment related issues that you and your kids face on a day-to-day basis.


Authors’ bio : 

Rene Carter is a psychology professor and teaches at reputed institutes all around the world. He is very passionate about helping people understand the nuances of psychology and how to apply them in day-to-day life. He has been working with Global Assignment Help as a freelancer to assist children and parents alike with their queries. He provides help with assignment to make them easy for students to write. In his free time, he writes journals.


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