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A reward is a subjectively pleasurable or satisfying event or experience that follows the completion of a task. The attainment of reward is reinforcement for the preceding action in conditioning paradigms. The rat receives a food pellet as a reward for pressing the bar and this serves as a reinforcement for its actions.From this one can see that the two terms are not completely synonymous.
Types of reward
- Primary rewards include those that are necessary for the survival of the species, such as food, water, and sex. Some people include shelter in primary reward.
- Secondary rewards derive their value from the primary reward and include money, pleasant touch, beautiful faces, music etc. The functions of rewards are based directly on the modification of behavior and less directly on the physical and sensory properties of rewards. For instance, altruism may induce a larger psychological reward, although it doesn't cause physical or sensory sensations, thus favouring such behaviour, also known as psychological egoism.