Thursday 9 February 2012

Rewards and Sanctions

Ever wondered why we encourage children to work for stickers? Urge them to display acceptable behaviour for extra golden time? Or show caring and supportive attitudes for certificates?

 B. F Skinner developed the system of "token economy," originally designed for use in prisons and mental institutes. The inmates were required to display appropriate behaviours and complete necessary chores, in return they would receive tokens that could be traded in for luxury items, such as cigerettes or playing cards.

 This system relied heavily on Skinner's operant conditioning theory, he believed we are more likely to repeat a behaviour when there is in a place a positive reinforcement, the tokens. Fast forward to today and you will see heavy similarities to the methods practiced by Super Nanny... Positive reinforcement being plenty of praise, and punishment being the naughty step.

 The psychology of behaviour is fascinating stuff and a brilliant way to understand the behaviour, of not only your SEN children but all children.

No comments:

Post a Comment