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(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.

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