positive reinforcement loop

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Senior Member
Two people have a six years old child who still wears diapers and they have tried everything to make him use the bathroom, which he refuses. His parents are fighting:

"I'm at my wits end. How long are we going to let this go on?"
"OK, I accept we're in a positive reinforcement loop. It gets him attention..."
"We're not in a loop but a war!"

What is a positive reinforcement loop? Can you explain or rephrase, please?

  • Mister Micawber

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A does something.
    B reacts in a way that makes A do the same thing more or again.
    A does more of that same something.
    B reacts again in the same way, so that A does even more of that same something.

    ... and around and around it spirals.
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