Secondary reinforcers refer to stimuli which become rewarding when paired with other reinforcing stimuli. These reinforcers aren’t important for survival like the primary reinforcers, but are still vital for daily living. These reinforcers are also known as Conditioned Reinforcers. For example: money, grades and praise are conditioned reinforcers.
The reinforcers which are biologically important are called Primary Reinforcers. It is also referred as unconditional reinforcement. These reinforcers occur naturally without having to make any effort and do not require any form of learning. For example: food, sleep, water, air and sex.
If any reinforcer is presented immediately, such reinforcers are called Immediate reinforcers. For example, a student is given a treat immediately for completing his homework. Because the response is immediate, he is more likely to repeat the behavior again.
To understand immediate reinforcement in detail, let’s go back to the foundation of the establishment of the process, that is called reinforcement.
Reinforcement is a fundamental concept of Operant conditioning, whose main purpose is to strengthen or increase the rate of behavior. Reinforcement helps increase certain behavior with the use of stimulus, which is called reinforcer.
Drive Reduction Theory was developed by the psychologist Clark Hull in 1943, as the first theory for motivation. It was one of the popular theories of motivation during the 1940s and the 50s, not only as a theory to explain motivation, but also learning and behavior. Hull’s attempt to explain all behavior was assisted by his collaborator Kenneth Spence.