Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement & Punishment
Directions: Please look at each of the following and decide whether or not it is an
example of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, or punishment.
1. Ever since his mother began to give Julio gold stars for keeping his bed dry all night,
Julio discontinued his habit of bedwetting. What type of learning is this and what type of
reinforcer are gold stars?
2. Because Mandisa would always pick up her newborn daughter when she began to cry,
her daughter is now a real crybaby. In this case, picking up the infant was a
3. Escape from an aversive stimulus is a _______________ reinforcer?
4. Jacinda has a glass of wine after work because it relieves her anxiety. Her wine
drinking is likely to continue because it is followed by a _____________ reinforcer.
5. Jared’s grades have been terrible as of late. His parents are very concerned and decide
to ground him from the television and computer in order to improve his study skills.
What type of learning is being used?
6. Mary’s been mouthing off to her mother. In order to decrease this behavior, Mary is
grounded for the next week. What type of learning is being used?
7. Victoria is quite the swimming athlete. She has done very well during the season until
she accidentally disqualifies her relay team. She is so distraught over the DQ that she
tries to get out of swimming relays in the future. Every time she is about to swim, she
experiences nausea and panic which cause her to bow out of the race. What behavior can
we expect to see in the future and what kind of learning is this?
8. Jared is learning how to potty train. To entice Jared to continue, his mom gives him
M&Ms. What type of learning is this and what type of reinforcer are M&Ms?
9. What are the issues with using punishment as a disciplinary measure?