Its a single word that essentially means something like motivation.

There are both positive and negative versions of it like positive something - motivate by giving reward when someone does a good thing, or negative something - motivate by punishing when someone does a bad thing.

I knew that word a long time ago, but presently beats my memory! Can you help me out?

  • 1
    Reward and motivation seem to me more scientific than deterrent and incitement, otherwise I'd suggest them.
    – Hugh
    May 20 '15 at 4:09
  • Not deterrent or incitement. The word was something else. May 20 '15 at 4:11
  • Thanks, but I got it. Its Reinforcement! May 20 '15 at 4:13
  • I knew that you were thinking of "reinforcement", but be careful... it doesn't mean "motivation,"
    – Oldbag
    May 20 '15 at 8:41
  • Right. It means, respectively, reward (positive) or punishment (negative). May 20 '15 at 9:19

You're talking about positive/negative reinforcement/punishment. But, be careful how you're using those terms! Quick breakdown:

  • positive - add something
  • negative - take something away
  • reinforcement - encourage behavior
  • punishment - discourage behavior

So, to combine those two axes:

  • positive reinforcement - give something to encourage behavior, e.g., "Here's this candy for raking the yard."
  • negative reinforcement - take something to encourage behavior, e.g., "I'll stop screaming in your ear if you sweep the floors."
  • positive punishment - give something to discourage behavior, e.g., "You get a spanking for breaking the TV."
  • negative punishment - take something to discourage behavior, e.g., "I'm taking your XBox away for a month because you hit your brother."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.