By Tara Chand and Ravi Prakash
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The terms in no way refer to physical properties of reinforcing agents. Is Punishment Reinforcement? Punishment is a basically different process from reinforcement. Whereas reinforcement involves presentation of a positive reinforcer or removal of a netative one, punishment consists of presentation of a negative stimulus or removal of a positive one. Again, whereas reinforcement is defined in terms of strengthening of response, punishment supposedly is a process which weakens a response. Putting it succinctly, when a stimulus is involved in strengthening a response there is reinforcement; when a stimulus is presented or withdrawn in an attempt to weaken a response, there is punishment.
Likewise, good form in bowling is reinforced by feedback from the bowler's body. What is Extinction? We know that, in general, when we engage in behaviour which no longer "pays off," we find ourselves less inclined to behave in that way again. If we get no answers to telephone calls, we eventually stop telephoning. In operant behaviourism this phenomenon would be described by saying that when reinforcement is no longer forthcoming, a response becomes less and less frequent. This is the process of operant extinction.
Progressive development of insight about a problem. These steps are as follows : 1. Recognition and definition of a problem. This occurs when we become aware of a goal and an intervening 64 obstacle. Often a problem consists of a newly sensed discrepancy in known data. 2. Formulation of hypotheses. Hypotheses are possible answers. They are invented generalizations which to be used most successfully must be verified by human experience. In a relativistic sense, all scientific generalizations are hypotheses in which greater or lesser degrees of assurance can be placed.