If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:3:37

Video transcript

in this video I'm going to talk about the incentive theory and hopefully clarify a few points that may be confusing so the incentive theory states the reward tangible or intangible is presented after the occurrence of an action with the intention of causing the behavior to occur again and this is done by associating a positive meaning to the behavior now remember that's the key point positive meaning to the behavior for example the incentive for performing well at work is getting a promotion or an added benefit as a reward or maybe even something intangible like job satisfaction and pride of accomplishment the incentive for an NFL player or even a team to practice hard and win games during the season is winning the Super Bowl and being recognized as champions in the end an incentive for getting good grades and being a well-rounded highschool student is getting a scholarship reward to college so studies have shown that if the reward is given immediately then the effect of behavior occurring again is greater these rewards have to be obtainable in order to be motivating so they can't be impossible to reach or that person isn't going to feel motivated to perform that behavior again if someone feels that the reward is impossible to get then they're going to be less motivated to strive for it the incentive Theory focuses on positive reinforcement remember I said the key is positive meaning to the behavior so it focuses on positive reinforcement as opposed to negative reinforcement positive reinforcement is given after response and it's to increase the future frequency or magnitude of the behavioral response and this is only done through continuous positive stimulation so the person has to be continually motivated or positive is positive least in order to see that behavior occurring over and over the removal of a punishment is not given to encourage a certain behavioral response this would be called negative reinforcement and it's not what the incentive theory is focused on then Center theories focused on conditioning and incentive to make a person happier not the other way around like in the drive reduction theory Skinner the most distinguished psychologists of the incentive Theory said that a person will more likely do an action that is positively received while he will more likely avoid an action that is negatively received this theory views the stimulus as something that attracts the person towards it rather than something that prompts a person to reduce it or totally eradicate it as children we were continuously given incentives from our parents as a way to learn right from wrong and strive higher in whatever task was at hand so there you have it that's the incentive theory in a nutshell and hopefully I was able to clarify a few points that may be confused with the drive reduction theory