Intermittent Reinforcment

Psychologists tell us that the most addictive reward pattern is called “intermittent reinforcement”. Video games and gambling use this approach. We win just enough to keep us playing. When we do win, we’re desperate to win again; when we lose, we are even more desperate to play until we win. Winning love and approval may be the reward we crave most. This is one important reason why someone might stay with a damaging partner, coach, boss, or family member. They hate the hate, but it makes their need for the love more intense. Feedback giver and receiver are both caught up in a powerful dynamic that is not healthy for either and is particularly damaging to the receiver. ~ Stone and Heen, 2014


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