Positive reinforcement examples are important to understand the concept that was first coined by B.F Skinner while working on operant conditioning.

To give you a high-level idea, positive reinforcement is a reward-based system that aims to encourage positive behaviour. This method is also one of the most important concepts in behaviour analysis. In this quick guide, we’ll discuss the definition, outcomes, and examples of positive reinforcement.



What Is Positive Reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement is an integral part of operant conditioning. In positive reinforcement, a stimulus is reinforced to encourage a certain behaviour, in hopes that it’ll occur again in the future.

This favourable behaviour is encouraged via a reward, event or outcome to ensure the response is strengthened.

Unlike negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement occurs when something is added to the equation. To help you understand this better, we’ll be discussing some basic positive reinforcement examples below.



Positive Reinforcement Examples You Should Know

Here is a list of positive reinforcement examples, that you can read through to clarify what it means.

Example 1

In the world of advertising and marketing, positive reinforcement can be as simple as providing excellent customer service to customers in need. Listening to the customer and paying attention to their problems works as a positive stimulus.

In the future, that’ll encourage existing customers to buy more products and services from the same vendor.


Example 2

One of the most classical examples of positive reinforcement is when a brand introduces a rewards program to build customer loyalty. Reward programs allow customers to earn points for repeat purchases.

Customers can be either cash out these points after a specific period of time or use them as currency to buy more products in the future. Motivated by rewards, this fosters a long-term relationship between the customer and brand.


Example 3

Positive reinforcement is repeatedly used by parents to encourage positive behaviour. For instance, parents may praise their kids or offer them treats for tidying up their rooms.

The same practice is often replicated in schools to encourage young students to behave or concentrate in their studies.


Example 4

Many organizations use positive reinforcement to encourage employees to perform well. Some employers also award bonuses or other forms of perks to encourage and motivate employees to perform their best.

This is one of the most effective ways to boost morale and motivate employees to do their best.


Example 5

Pet owners often use positive reinforcement to house-train their canine friends. This is done by offering treats or by simply petting the dog.

Using positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to enforce good behaviour in kids.

Example 6

Max is a young boy who struggles in mathematics. After putting in a lot of effort, Max manages to get the perfect score.

Aside from getting a good grade, Max’s parents also reward him with gifts for his success and hard work.


Example 7

Verbal encouragement is another example of positive reinforcement that can strengthen certain behaviours.

For instance, when a boss appreciates the work done by his/her employee, the employee is encouraged to continue working hard.


Example 8

Were you a girl/boy scout in school? Then you probably remember being rewarded with badges. Girl/boy scouts are given badges after completing each milestone.

This encourages scouts to take part in several activities to get more badges.


Example 9

Young children often have a hard adjusting in school for the first few days. During this period, parents and teachers try their best to motivate the child to adjust to their new surroundings.

Once the child understands that he/she will be rewarded for behaving well and participating in class, they are more willing to go to school.

Example 10

Ever wonder why dentists and pediatricians always stock up on candies and lollipops? It’s because most kids are afraid of going to the doctor for their routine checkups.

By offering them a piece of candy at the end of each visit, the child is encouraged to come back to the doctor/dentist.

This also diminishes fear of going back to the doctor for their next visit.


Example 11

Ever wonder why gaming enthusiasts can’t unglue themselves from the screen? Most video games award players with tokens, badges and other kinds of rewards.

This works as positive reinforcement which in turn encourages gamers to reach the next level.


Examples 12

Sales officers are often dosed with incentives and bonuses for completing targets. This encourages them to perform better in the future. Business owners and entrepreneurs often use positive reinforcement as a means to get the best people on-board.


If mastered correctly, positive reinforcement can effectively be used to encourage all kinds of favourable behaviours.

Can you come up with an example? Tell us about it in the comment section below.


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