By Jon Sternoff
FROM A SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL STAND POINT ON BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
Certain actions can be taken to increase certain behaviors. This is what sociologists commonly refer to as “reinforcement”. Reinforcing a particular behavior in someone requires something that the other person would value either positively or negatively in their life. Since we are focusing on fostering positive romantic behaviors we will focus only on positive reinforcers. For a reinforcer to work, four categories must be fulfilled.
The ‘Principles of Effective Reinforcement’:
- Contingency: The reinforcer is applied only when the desired behavior is active. If you use the reinforcer during times when the desired behavior is not being committed, then the effect of the reinforcer will be drastically reduced.
- Immediacy: The reinforcer is applied as soon as possible after the behavior is committed. Wait too long and the reinforcer will not be associated with that desired behavior.
- Size: The amount of the reinforcer must be enough to make the behavior worthwhile. Yet it can not be too much or saturation will occur (the person will be tired of it).
- Deprivation: The reinforcer needs to be something that is lacking or desired in the subjects life.
Now that you’ve read all of this scientific jargon, you might be wondering how you can apply it. Bellow are is an example of a way you can use this method to increase a desired behavior.
Getting Someone To Take You Out More Often…
- Behavior to Increase/Reinforce: You wish to be taken out more often my the subject.
- Reinforcer to Be Used: Chocolates
1) First find out something that the person really enjoys. We’ll use chocolate for our example.
2) Next apply the ‘Principles of Effective Reinforcement’
- Contingency: Only give the subject some chocolates after they take you out.
- Immediacy: Try to give them the chocolates as soon as possible upon returning form your night out.
- Size: Give them enough chocolate that they will have enough to feel rewarded, but not to much that they get sick of it or do not need to call you again.
- Deprivation: Make sure they could use some chocolates. If the subject has a hidden stash of chocolates than the chocolates won’t be seen as a reward.
3) Make sure you do not tell them you are giving them the chocolates as a reward. Let them make the association on their own. It will have a greater impact if they make the connection subconciously.
This, If Used Correctly, Should Help To Increase Behaviors Such As:
- Receiving Compliments
- Being Asked Out More Often By A Particular Person
- Getting That Special Someone To Do More Romantic Things
- and so on…
This method may not always work and may take a while to go into effect. Patience is important in every relationship, and that will come into play here most definitely. Also remember you can accidentally reinforce negative behaviors by this method, so be careful.