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Negative Reinforcement

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by suem123, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Yes this fits with my understanding. Although usually behaviourists would be seen to consentrate on operant and classical conditioning in explanations of anorexia. So it is more likly to be seen in terms of positive reinforcment, for example a person is on a diet and gets a compliment so the dieting behaviour is rewarded. sue
  2. example of negative conditioning- a child never brings in their homework, so receives a punishment. They then change their behaviour, not to get a reward but to avoid a punishment.
  3. Negative reinforcement is the rewarding of the absence of a behaviour, just as positive reinforcement is the rewarding of its presence. Punishment in the homework circumstance is just as likely to elicit some other avoidance behaviour (e.g. ducking the lesson), or no change at all if the punishment is not truly one (e.g. detention for most kids). Conditioning is the overall term for behaviourist manoeuvres.
  4. Just to clarify. A lot of people with anorexia have never been fat, so may never have had nasty comments about their body! The negative reinforcement comes from the fear/anxiety about gaining weight (losing control of their body), so an operant conditioning explanation could be as follows:
    1. Operant conditioning is when you continue doing something because something good happens (a reward). E.g. The person loses weight (may get some compliments from others) and feels good (or in control), so feels good. Another example is the positive attention the person gets when he/she first loses weight.
    2. Negative conditioning is when you continue doing something because you avoid something bad happening (another reward). E.g. the person's behaviour around food continues because he/she avoids putting on weight, so feels good (avoids losing control of their body/fear about gaining weight is reduced). Another example is not wanting to stop getting the positive attention for losing weight.

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