(in animal behaviour)
Increasing (or decreasing) the frequency of a particular behaviour through conditioning, by arranging for some biologically important event (the reinforcer) always to follow another event. In instrumental conditioning an appetitive reinforcer, or reward (e.g. food), given after a response made by the animal, increases that response; an aversive reinforcer, or punishment (e.g. an electric shock) decreases the response.
Subjects: Medicine and Health — Biological Sciences.