7. The different types of reinforcements and corrections
During conditioning behaviour has to be rewarded (stimuli) all the time to stimulate the right behaviour and prevent the wrong behaviour. These ‘rewards’ form the association between the behaviour itself and the consequences of that behaviour.
They can be seen as a response to the behaviour and are therefore often referred to as response stimuli. The type of training is often referred to as RSC (Response Stimuli Conditioning). They are the connection between the response (behaviour) of the sub and the stimulus (consequence) of that behaviour.
There are four basic ways to influence behaviour:
- Something good can begin or be continued
- Something good can be stopped or taken away
- Something bad can begin or be continued
- Something bad can be stopped or be taken away.
As said before reward should be either given immediately or a bridge has to be built. In the training of subs rewards can be postponed and promised immediately after the behaviour. A sub who is showing good behaviour can be promises the use of a chair later that evening. A sub that is showing bad behaviour can be corrected with solitary confinement later, when she is finished performing all her tasks.
The beginning of continuing of something is called added (positive) (+). The stopping or taking away of something is called subtracted (negative) (-).
Everything that initiates behaviour, stimulates behaviour or makes it happen more often is called reinforcement (R). If behaviour leads to the beginning of something good or the ending of something bad, a sub will see this as something worth while thriving for. At the same time the sub has the tendency to repeat such behaviour to initiate the same reinforcement, even when it was not specifically asked. This automatic repeat is referred to as positive conditioned behaviour.
Everything that prohibits certain behaviour, diminishes behaviour or makes it less likely to appear is called correction. In literature often the term punisher is used; therefore we use P for abbreviation. If behaviour leads to the start of something bad or the end of something good, a sub will see this as something worth wile to prevent.
After time she will try to prevent such behaviour altogether automatically even when she’s not specifically asked to do so. This automatic repeat is called negative conditioned behaviour. In itself the preventing of bad behaviour is of course not a bad or negative thing, but it is conditioned by using correction or negative reward.
For a summary look for table 1; There are two types of reinforcement (R); there goal is to stimulate good behaviour. There are also two types of corrections (P); there purpose is to prevent bad behaviour.