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Psychology: Positive Reinforcement Really Works

Updated on March 16, 2013

Positive Psychology

My cats know that when they come running, when they hear the crinkle of the cat treat bag, they'll get treats.This is positive reinforcement. I do it to myself. I told you earlier that I like to reward myself with little things like earrings, for losing inches or pounds. It's positive. It's because I want to achieve the same result time after time. If I know things are going to be great if I do this one action, of course I'll think about it. If I decide I want a result I will continue to reinforce positive behavior.

We use positive reinforcement when raising children. It's a great way to teach important lessons. When my son was toilet training we made up a chart with a calendar. Each day he achieved a positive result he got a sticker on the calendar. He knew that if he got a sticker for 30 days in a row he'd get this great prize at the end of the month. We cheered him on. He succeeded. He was reinforced with his great prize.

The idea that you get reinforced for doing what you want or need to do, is great. It feels great. Though I must caution that it isn't always a "great" prize Sometimes it's recognition, a pat on the back, a compliment...Whatever makes you reach above and beyond where you would normally reach, is what you need for your thanks. You have to figure this out for yourself. It isn't hard. Just think about it. What makes you tick? What makes you want to carry on?

Once you figure out what your personal motivators are, you have to implement them into your life. That is, that you have to make sure you're following through with your rewards.You have to use positive reinforcement. You can't skimp on this once you decide upon it. You should get the result that you've worked for.You deserve it.


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      Kathleen Kerswig 6 years ago

      Great reminder at the end - implementation is the key. I think about many things all day long but if I want to get results, I have to implement the ideas I have floating around in my head. Thanks for sharing.