Reinforcement vs. Bribery: Is There a Difference?

We've already talked all about reinforcement, so we know how to define it and when to use it. But is it really that much different than bribery? In fact, yes. Yes it is.

I've had almost every parent and staff member I've ever work with confuse the two and interchange them in conversation. I've also had parents and staff tell me that "reinforcement doesn't work" and that they "don't want to bribe" their learner. These are concerning statements to me as a BCBA, as it is telling me they don't truly grasp reinforcement and how it differs from bribery. Let's fix that today.  
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Reinforcement: Dos and Don'ts

No doubt you use your fair share of reinforcement in your everyday life. For sure you use it with your kiddos, with your spouse, and with yourself. Reinforcement  is everywhere and whether or not you are trying to reinforce anyone's behavior, you definitely do throughout your daily life. So since this is such a big part of your existence, maybe we should break down what it is, and the dos and don'ts of reinforcing behaviors.

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