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Created by Shreena Desai.
Video transcript
Voiceover: 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, that a 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 high school student is getting a scholarship reward to college. So studies have shown 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 gonna feel motivated to perform that behavior again. If someone feels like 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 a 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 positively stimulated in order to see that behavior occurring over and over. The removal of a punishment is not the given to encourage a certain behavioral response; this would be called negative reinforcement, and it's not what Incentive Theory is focused on. Incentive theory's focused on conditioning an incentive to make a person happier, not the other way around like in the Drive Reduction theory. Skinner, the most distinguished psychologist 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 a 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.