6 Difference between Positive and Negative Reinforcement with Table

What is the difference between positive and negative reinforcement?

Reinforcement is an operant conditioning whose objective is to decrease or increase the rate at which certain undesirable behavior from occurring again.

The reinforcement can either be positive or negative depending on the undesirable behavior under the control.

The lesson provides the difference between positive and negative reinforcement in a tabular form for easier understanding.

difference between positive and negative reinforcement

What Is Positive Reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement is an operant conditioning where a new stimulus is introduced to increase the probability of certain patterns of behavior from occurring.

The reinforcement act as a reward to help in strengthening and maintaining the process. Besides that, the stimuli have pleasant consequences since it involves the elimination of obstacles.

What Is Negative Reinforcement?

Negative reinforcement is an operant conditioning where unfavorable stimuli are removed to encourage certain good behaviors.

The reinforcement act as a penalty to help in avoiding and escaping the responses. The removed stimuli have unpleasant consequences.

Comparison Chart: Positive Vs Negative Reinforcement

Basic TermsPositive ReinforcementNegative Reinforcement
MeaningThis refers to the addition of a stimulus to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited to encourage it to reoccur.This refers to the removal of stimulus after the occurrence of certain behavior from a person.
StimuliAddedRemove
ConsequencesThe stimuli have pleasant consequencesThe stimuli have an unpleasant consequence
ReinforcementRewardPenalty
EffectStrengthening and maintaining processAvoiding and escaping responses
ExamplesGood students get praisesWeak students to attend summer school

Differences between Positive and Negative Reinforcement

  1. Positive reinforcement is the addition of stimulus to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited while negative reinforcement is removable of stimulus after undesirable behavior has occurred.
  2. Positive reinforcement is where favorable stimuli are added while negative reinforcement is where unfavorable stimuli are removed
  3. Positive reinforcement results in strengthening and maintaining processes while negative reinforcement results in avoiding and escaping responses
  4. Positive reinforcement act as a reward while negative reinforcement act as a penalty
  5. The effect of positive reinforcement is pleasant while that of negative reinforcement is unpleasant

Comparison Video

Summary

The core difference between positive and negative reinforcement is where positive reinforcement refers presenting favourable reinforcers while negative reinforcement refer to presenting unfavourable reinforcers.

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