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February 11, 2008

Do I Get A Sticker?

I_voted_2 DC Metro Moms and it's sister sites is once again having Topic Day (Thanks Lawyer Mama!).

This topic is one that is hot topic: about to get hotter with the primary's being held in our area this week.

Will you be heading out to vote? Will you be wearing your I VOTED sticker? And why do we get these stickers?

Is it an insult to us as adults to give us a sticker like we were a child to reward us for our good behavior? Is it marketing to get more people to vote because they see you wearing the sticker and they want one too?

Classic behavior management says reinforcement works best if given within 30 seconds of a behavior. OK, it takes more than 30 seconds to get the sticker from when we voted, but it's fairly close. This becomes the conditioned reinforcer to the backup reinforcer. The back up reinforcer being your vote. Although you have already voted, you won't see the result of your vote until later in the evening when they are all tallied. And even then, some people question if your one vote really matter? (YES!) So the sticker is a quick positive reward. Something tangible to show the world you did something good.

Do we vote to get that sticker? No, well I don't think most people do at least. We vote because in this country we can. And even though our vote is only one in millions, it does count. That is a pretty reinforcing factor for me to get out there and vote. And to lead by example for my son. And maybe to get that sticker to wear proudly too.

Will you be wearing your sticker proudly?

When not placing stickers on her shirts, Robin can be found blogging at MyLifeAsItIs.

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