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Behavior Modification

Behavior modification means changing behavior through rewards or punishments that are contingent on performance. For managers, behavior modification boils down to following two main principles: (1) That behavior that appears to lead to a positive consequence (reward) tends to be repeated, while behavior that appears to lead to a negative consequence (punishment) tends not to be repeated; and (2) that, therefore, managers can get someone to change his or her behavior by providing the properly scheduled rewards (or punishment).


Behavior modification is the application of a set of learning principles, called operant conditioning, developed by psychologist B.F. Skinner; based on its consequences; if consequences are favorable, the behavior will probable be repeated.

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