Why Positive Reinforcement ALWAYS Works — The Cognitive Canine

“…positive reinforcement is defined by its function. By definition if behavior isn’t increasing positive reinforcement is not at play.”

“…all quadrants of operant conditioning (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment) are defined by their effect on behavior; their function.”

“Positive reinforcement doesn’t work for all dogs” is something I have heard so, so many times. This irks me, because the truth is that all of the parts of operant conditioning work. If the behavior doesn’t increase, it’s not reinforcement. If the behavior doesn’t decrease, it’s not punishment. Sarah Stremming gives a nice explanation here.

There is a parenting article circulating right now that aims to outline the shortcomings of positive reinforcement. It’s titled something like “Positive Reinforcement Doesn’t Work Long Term” (I am not going to link it here because I really don’t need five thousand angry parents emailing me about how, as a non-parent, I shouldn’t be talking […]

via Why Positive Reinforcement ALWAYS Works — The Cognitive Canine


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