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Social reinforcement is reinforcement whose reward value depends for on the social context in which it is delivered and the significance it has for the recipient.
Verbal feeback such as praise or words of encouragement may be seen as providing social reinforcement. However it is important to understand the role of context. Praise from a teacher may be a reward to an interested student but the same words given to the class clown who wants to impress his friends with his anti education stance may have the opposite effect.
Positive feedback can be provided through gesture and other means of nonverbal communication such as thumbs up signs, smiles, pats on the back etc.
- Eye contact
- Social approval
- Social control theory
- Social influences
- Social learning
- Social learning theory
- Social punishment
- Vollmer, T. R., & Hackenberg, T. D. (2001). Reinforcement contingencies and social reinforcement: Some reciprocal relations between basic and applied research. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 241-253.pdf