What powerful idea should all students encounter in the concept of positive reinforcement?

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Positive reinforcement (the addition of praise and reward as a reinforcer and motivator) acknowledges that people, and non-human animals alike, can much more affectively learn and develop strong neural pathways and connections through praise and support rather than applying positive punishment (the addition of punishment as the reinforcer or motivator) or negative reinforcement (the removal of a stressor, pressure, or pain as the reinforcer or motivator). Students who are studying positive reinforcement may look at the positive reinforcement training style of dogs as an example of the long-lasting effectiveness of positive reinforcement training. When a trainer uses positive reinforcement to train a dog, she will use praise, play, toys, and/or food as motivators and rewards for desired behaviors. Through this training, the dog typically is excited to participate in learning and training, and he will often choose to interact with the trainer and training exercise in order to receive the reward. The dog will often show a strong desire to understand what he is being asked to do. Positive reinforcement creates positive associations. This is incredibly important for reframing the way a dog feels about something. For instance, if a dog is fearful of other dogs, using positive reinforcement training can lead to the dog creating new neural pathways and positive associations when he sees another dog. Positive reinforcement-based teaching/training can be just as easily and effectively applied to humans.

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