Premack's Principle

More desirable behaviors can be used to reinforce less desirable behaviors.


Premack's Principle, often used in psychology, suggests that more desirable activities can motivate and reinforce less desirable ones. It's based on the idea that if a person wants to do a particular activity, they can use that desire as a reward for completing a less appealing task first. This principle is especially useful in behavior modification, education, and self-discipline strategies, helping individuals or educators to encourage the completion of necessary but less appealing tasks by following them with more enjoyable activities.


  • A child who enjoys playing video games can be encouraged to finish homework first, using game time as a reward.

  • An employee who loves coffee breaks can use the break as a motivation to complete a challenging report.