An important technique in cognitive behavioral psychology. A behavior may be created by artificial reinforcement, such as giving a child a piece of candy every time she finishes her homework. However, since exercising one's skills and achieving success are inherently rewarding, at some point the extrinsic reward can be faded out, and the rewarding properties of the activity will take over. A more clinically useful example might involve a person with social phobia learning to make friends -- at first, he'll have to force himself through it, and perhaps give himself a reward when he talks to a new person or spends time in public. But being close to people you can trust, and who share important parts of your memeome, or just want to give you hugs, is one of the happiest things that can happen to a person. So once he becomes more socially skilled and familiar with his new people, he should be able to stop giving himself gold stars and just revel in their closeness.

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