- The definition of reinforcement is the occurrence of increasing a behavior. Reinforcement could be positive and negative. When it is positive, it is when something is added to grow the probability of a behavior. If it is negative, then it is when it is eliminated to increase the probability of a behavior. Punishment is when a behavior is reduced. Punishment could also be positive and negative. When it is positive, it is when something is added to lessen the probability of a behavior. If it is negative, then it is eliminated to decrease the probability of a behavior.
- For example, I had to babysit my uncles children and they were not the most well behaved-children. The youngest would throw tantrums whenever we would go grocery shopping because he would see something that he liked but he knew he cannot get. However, I would take away his iPad to put a stop to his tantrums.
- An example of observational learning from my own life is when I had to learn my way through my job. I was hired during Christmas time and it was very busy and I did not have anyone to train me. I made a lot of mistakes however, I learned everything by myself after two weeks.
- An example of how observational learning is used in the real world is when an old employee gets fired for turning their ten-minute breaks into fifteen-minute breaks, and the new employee avoids passing the ten minutes mark of their breaks.
The difference between reinforcement and punishment is that reinforcement, whether positive or negative, is used to increase the chances of a desired behavior recurring again. For example, if I am trying to teach my dog not to bark when someone rings the door, I would give him a treat every time he is silent after the doorbell goes off. My dog is given positive reinforcement for the desired behavior of not reacting to the door bell ringing. Punishment, also positive or negative, is used to decrease the chances of a behavior recurring again. For example, everytime a child throws food on the ground, he will have to clean it up. This negative punishment is used in hopes of decreasing the childs behavior of throwing food on the ground.
There are many situations where I have used or experienced operant conditioning in my life. As a teenager, I had a tendency to text while driving. Unfortunately, one day I was texting while on a freeway merging onto another freeway, and realized too late that I was going too fast. As I looked up from my phone, I was diving too wide to turn in time and I hit the wall. This resulted in me learning my lesson to not text and drive. This would be an example of negative punishment, I learned that texting while driving resulted in me not having a car and it decreased my texting while driving.
Observational learning occurs constantly throughout our lives. Sometimes we dont even realize we learned something new until we really need to utilize it. An example of observational learning in my life would be when I got a flat tire and my boyfriend changed it to the spare tire. When I got a flat tire again several months later, I was able to change the tires because I had learned from observing my boyfriend the previous time. Another example, I used to do martial arts as a child. I loved to watch and cheer my teammates on during tournaments. I saw that one of my teammates had some great strategies that led to them winning their matches. I found that I began using similar strategies in order to have the same success, which indeed, it did. I had learned from my other teammate just by observing their actions.
Observational learning is so important for people to gain insight, grow, and be successful in life. Having first hand experience working with children with developmental delays, I have observed children who do not have strong imitation skills begin to fall behind compared to their peers. However, I have found that I can work around this by using the clients strengths. If a client likes to watch videos and I notice they will observe and imitate the people in the videos, then I will show them videos of desired behaviors. For example, I have shown a client videos of how to interact with peers by using self advocacy, like telling them no or stop when a peer does something they dont like. When I do it in person, the client struggles to imitate me, but when he watches a video of children using self advocacy with their peers, I find that they are more likely to understand it and demonstrate these behaviors with peers. Observational learning helps people learn new things, we do this all the time. I watch a video if I dont know how to cook something, need to fix a broken cabinet, or how to make a graph for my homework assignment. Observational learning is also utilized in other ways, I observe a coworker when Im new to a job, I take note that a stranger pressed a button in order to cross the street, my mom takes the trash out every time its full. After directly observing, I am more likely to imitate these behaviors.
- Self care involves taking care of your mind and body. Checking up on your health both mentally and physically is very important. Self care is not just about taking care of your basic necessities but also loving and caring for your body so that you continue to stay happy and healthy.
- I’ll be totally honest, my parents both had very extreme and u healthy views of themselves. My father being a narcissist, prioritized himself over everyone else. My mother’s childhood trauma gave her very low self esteem so she rarely took care of herself. It took a lot of friends and family to help me balance self care views.
- I have a hard time consistently engaging in self care. In the last few months I have been doing something very simple each week. I would simply drive to a park and read. It isn’t much but getting a change of scenery helps a lot.
- I want to do more physical activities outside. I know I feel so much better when I get outside. I would like to go to the beach, even for just a few hours, every week. Taking a mini trip and treating myself to a good meal is something I enjoy a lot. I also want to practice roller skating a few times a week. I can also skate at the beach or read and paint. Both of these are fun hobbies that benefit me mentally and physically.
- Every week I will set days and times to do those activities as soon as I get my work schedule. I also want to use positive reinforcement techniques by getting myself something when I finish my class assignments everyday/week. For example, when my bio class ends at 12, I’ll take myself out for one of those activities.
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