Wednesday, December 1, 2010


edpsy10natural: "Reinforcement can conveniently be divided into artificial (contrived) and natural (logical) reinforcement. This division applies to all three types of reinforcement. A reinforcer is artificial (contrived) to the extent that the recipient sees it as logically unrelated to the task which must be performed in order to obtain it. A reinforcer is natural (logical) to the extent that the recipient perceives it as logically related to the task he has to perform to obtain it. Few reinforcers are purely natural or artificial. Rather, reinforcers can be graded along a continuum, with some reinforcers being more natural than others.6 For example, reading a book because it is a good book is at the natural end of the curriculum. Reading a book when I hate the book but my parents will pay me five dollars for reading it is at the artificial end. Reading a book when I would rather watch television because I know my parents would be proud of me would be somewhere in the middle of the continuum. Likewise, reading a difficult book because I want to become a photographer and I know I can get a better job as a photographer if I get a college degree is somewhere in the middle."

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