Classic Learning



Behaviors that are steps toward a final goal need to be established and reinforced, with rewards given for partial accomplishment if necessary. Incremental increases are then made as the pattern of behavior is shaped toward a specific goal. Reinforcement motivates individuals to either continue or discontinue.  Classic Learning makes use of extrinsic, or external factors for reinforcement.  While extrinsic factors are successful in initial behavior adoption it is intrinsic, or internal factors that have been more effective in long-term adherence.   The following extrinsic rewards are often utilized for initial healthy behavior adoption:

  1. praise and encouragement from others
  2. gifts
  3. favors

The following intrinsic rewards are often utilized for long-term healthy behavior adoption:

  1. feeling of accomplishment
  2. change in personal health status

Key Concepts: Reinforcement, cues, shaping

Key Authors: Skinner, 1953, Glanz & Rimer, 1995


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