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    Reinforcement and Reward for Tasks at Any Age

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    Each person has a different view of work ethic as well as what a “good” reward is. During childhood, parents will typically reward their child with a snack or a compliment after they complete a task or homework. At school, a student is rewarded with good grades or with a sticker, depending on the grade. When a student is unable to complete their work, they have both teachers and their parents to support them to be able to do better. While this is an optimal standard, there are cases in which teachers and or parents will push the child to do better, regardless of their performance. This may cause the student confusion and alter how the child acts, including what type of reinforcement is effective.To reinforce positive behavior, negative behavior is met with consequences while positive behavior is met with rewards. In current times, children tend to react to negative consequences more effectively than to positive.

    This may prove to be more reinforcing than giving a constant positive reward. This is important for young students who begin to demonstrate a decrease in their work effort and attempt to avoid various types of work or tasks. By learning consequences, a student learns that demonstrating bad behavior results in a decrease in that bad behavior. The student gains an understanding that negative consequences are undesirable, and thus will avoid bad behavior. Similarly, good behavior performed by a student is more likely to continue if the student has experienced a number of negative consequences.vs. Role Confusion. Children tend to absorb information similar to a sponge absorbs water. The first relevant stage is the second stage. When the student develops a sense of shame, consequences are more heartfelt than rewards. Children learn that there are limits to what they can do in both positive and negative ways. In the positive aspect, the child learns that there is only so much time in one day, therefore they learn time management skills. In a negative regard, disobedience has a limit. But disobeying an authoritative figure, such as a parent or a teacher, negative actions are met with negative consequences. The child also begins to be to greatly affect by small events that seem like crises. This can make rewards more effective because it may cause great relief to the child. In the third stage, the child is now capable of making their own decisions.

    This is a very important time frame for the child because they are now choosing what they think is right for them. Imagination becomes a key concept at this point in time as well. This is good as well as bad for a child. When the child performs a task or makes a decision to do or not to do their homework, the child begins to think of what the reward or punishment will be. The imaginative part of the child may exaggerate the reward and it can make a bigger impact on the child. However, if the child performs a negative action, they may exaggerate the consequence, terrifying the child. This is also a fuzzy area for when an adult is trying to figure out what the best type of reinforcement is. As stated by ___, stage four is important for reasons such as “These are the years when a child can begin to work hard academically and gain competence in various areas of activity,” “…it is vitally important to help the child feel that he can pursue a task and do it well. Sometimes, in this age group, there is a tendency for teachers to excuse lack of skill, lack of completion or lack of accuracy in a child’s work, the child being young and there being enough time to learn,” as well as “… the junior and middle school is a time to validate the child in his or her own multiple talents and to build a work ethic.” While the child works diligently to maintain a constant reward academically, they are learning and being tested in these new areas, being reinforced to complete the task at hand. If the child feels that they are incompetent of completing the task or homework, they may become discouraged. This may lead to the student to become more resilient to the same punishment if it progresses. Constant reinforcement is important, but as aging continues similar rewards and punishments become nullified.

    A child between the ages of four and eight may love getting cookies as a reward and hate having less time to watch their favorite shows. Eventually, the child will become bored of the cookies and tolerable of the shortened television time. In school, receiving low grades may become a norm for some children. However, they may develop the mentality that passing is passing. This is where many teachers lack in the discipline area. Around the age of ten, a student may develop a certain type of work ethic that requires a reinforcement such as pressure. If this happens, they may become a procrastinator. If they develop a passive type of work ethic, they may feel that they only need to get the basic, higher point assignments done while skipping a few smaller assignment here and there. Regardless of how a student becomes, it is all about how the student learned how to become what they are.B. F. Skinner was popularly known for his experiments with lab rats on his Operant Conditioning experiment. In this experiment, he put a mouse in the box and observed what it did when it was hungry. After some time, the rat pulled a lever in order to get food and fulfill its hunger. The rat then was able to determine that pulling the lever means that food will become available. The experiment was then reproduced in slightly different circumstances. The rat was placed in a small box that had a small electrical voltage and would cause discomfort. The way to turn off the voltage would be to pull the lever. The rat was not hungry, so it most likely did not think to pull the lever. While running around trying to escape the discomfort, it accidentally bumped into the lever, stopping the shock. Once it happened again, the rat was able to pull the lever. The hunger and they seem to be more likely to do it.It is vital to point out that a student is not limited to a child, teen, or young adult.

    A man or woman at the age of 75 can very well be a student which means that they most likely have a significantly different view of work ethic, different view of a positive reward and negative view of other consequences, or may have similar ones to what they have had in the past. It is also vital to explain that work is a task that must be done in order to earn money which in turn is related to almost everything that we do. The reward for work is money and the consequence is a significant time loss. Work ethic may be similar to that from school or it may be different. Erikson’s stage development(Erikson) in the early parts of life are some of the most influential things a human being will experience. Almost everything learned from this time period will affect the individual for life.

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    Reinforcement and Reward for Tasks at Any Age. (2022, Apr 18). Retrieved from

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