… When a long period elapses between the behavior and the reinforcer, the response is likely to be weaker. Negative reinforcement is often a misunderstood psychological and behavioral-science term. Experimental tests of both reward and punishment in romantic relationships have a fairly long history. Positive and negative reinforcement each have their merits, so it’s imperative to know when to employ them. We see the word negative and feel that it has to do with an outcome, something bad happened, or resulted. For example, if your dog barks, smacking it on the backside is punishment for excessive barking. Worryingly, if you get positive and negative reinforcement wrong, you can risk y our career, y our business, y our relationships, y our reputation, and y our brand. Negative reinforcement is an often misunderstood concept. However, it is most effective when reinforcers are presented immediately following a behavior. Reinforcement in Romantic Relationships. Many people think that negative reinforcement is a punishment for an undesired behavior from another. Negative reinforcement can be an effective way to strengthen the desired behavior.