Notes from an Introspective Behaviorist: Achieving the Positive Life Through Negative Reinforcement.

  • Malott R
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Based on the three-contingency model of performance management, I make the following argument: (1) Often, we fail to behave as we should because the natural contingencies supporting appropriate behavior are ineffective; the natural contingencies involve outcomes for each individual response that are either too small, though of cumulative significance, or outcomes that are too improbable. The delay of the outcome is essentially irrelevant. The psychodynamic model of the cognitive motivational theorists provides a poor explanation for why we fail to behave as we should. (2) The performance-management contingencies in organizational behavior management (OBM) must usually involve deadline-induced aversive control, even when they are based on powerful reinforcers. Furthermore, such performance management succeeds only to the extent that the person's behavioral history, "Jewish mother," has inculcated an appropriate value system. D. M. Wiegand and E. Scott Geller's critique of the necessity of the use of aversive control (see record 2005-11984-002) fails to take into account the necessity of deadlines and the difference between instrumental and hedonic reinforcers; furthermore, it greatly over values the power of intrinsic reinforcement contingencies in OBM. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Achievement Motivation
  • Management
  • Models
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Positive Reinforcement
  • Self Esteem
  • Theories
  • achievement-motivation theory
  • negative reinforcement
  • organizational behavior management
  • positive psychology
  • self-worth theory
  • three-contingency model of performance management

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  • Richard W Malott

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