- 1. An increase of force or strength; denoting specifically the increased sharpness of the patellar reflex when the patient at the same time closes the fist tightly or pulls against the flexed fingers or contracts some other set of muscles. SEE ALSO: Jendrassik maneuver. 2. In dentistry, a structural addition or inclusion used to give additional strength in function; e.g., bars in plastic denture base. 3. In conditioning, the totality of the process in which the conditioned stimulus is followed by presentation of the unconditioned stimulus, which itself elicits the response to be conditioned. SEE ALSO: reinforcer, schedules of r., under schedule, classical conditioning, operant conditioning.- secondary r. r. through something which, while it does not satisfy the need directly, has been associated with direct satisfaction of the need, such as the effect on behavior of a food or beer commercial on television.
* * *re·in·force·ment .rē-ən-'fōr-smənt, -'fȯr- n the action of causing a subject (as a student or an experimental animal) to learn to give or to increase the frequency of a desired response that in classical conditioning involves the repeated presentation of an unconditioned stimulus (as the sight of food) paired with a conditioned stimulus (as the sound of a bell) and that in operant conditioning involves the use of a reward following a correct response or a punishment following an incorrect response also the reward, punishment, or unconditioned stimulus used in reinforcement compare RECRUITMENT (1)
* * *n.(in psychology) the strengthening of a conditioned reflex (see conditioning). In classical conditioning this takes place when a conditioned stimulus is presented at the same time as - or just before - the unconditioned stimulus. In operant conditioning it takes place when a pleasurable event (or reinforcer), such as a reward, follows immediately after some behaviour. The reinforcement schedule governs how often and when such behaviour is rewarded. Different schedules produce different effects on behaviour.
* * *re·in·force·ment (re″in-forsґmənt) in behavioral science, the presentation of a stimulus following a response that increases the frequency of subsequent responses; see positive r. and negative r.
Medical dictionary. 2011.