After stumbling on the article Bribing Kids to Eat Their Greens Really Does Work, I have added a new subscription to my blog reader. I really like what Christian Jarrett had to say about using positive reinforcement to encourage children to eat vegetables, learn to like them, and even eat more vegetables when no reward would be given. Rewarding children with stickers or praise for eating healthy food can do more than get them to clean their plates one evening.
After being encouraged to eat a vegetable 12 times in two weeks, children ranked the vegetable higher in preference to other vegetables than they had previously ranked it, and these results remained consistent in follow ups one and three months later. After the two week experimental period, those children that had been rewarded with stickers during the experimental period chose to eat more of the target vegetable when they knew there would be no reward than those children that received no positive reinforcement during the experimental period. In the one and three month reviews, the children praised and the children given stickers maintained their increased voluntary consumption, but the children simply exposed to the vegetable did not.
Richard Simmons celebrated his 62nd birthday this year. Most people are ready to retire by that age, and Richard Simmons is one of the few who could easily afford to. What keeps him working is his flamboyant energy and love for his fans. I realize why he’s the butt of so many jokes, but let’s be realistic. A man of that caliber deserves a little bit of respect. I personally find his enthusiasm to be over the top, but for the millions of people he has inspired to lose weight, he is the perfect motivator. Although he’s not often seen in the spotlight anymore, he’s still a big presence in the industry today running his empire behind the scenes.
On our journey to fitness, we all must take slightly different paths. Personality type, age, lifestyle and genetics will inevitably affect which path you take. Not everyone responds well to the kick-ass persona of fitness gurus like Jillian Michaels. Some people just want to be told that they are beautiful and that they can do it. Lots of smiling and positive reinforcement works wonders for motivating the masses. (more…)
When explaining the formation of a habit, I mentioned reinforcing behavior that you want to encourage. Our behavior is shaped by the consequences of our choices. Behaviorism discusses positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment as the major ways to shape behavior. In this theory, positive means adding something to a situation, negative means removing something from a situation, reinforcement is used to encourage a behavior, and punishment is used to discourage a behavior. (more…)