At Psychology Today Blogs, Edward A. Wasserman considers how positive and negative reinforcement affect Donald Trump’s tweeting behavior. In the course of the article, he muses why negative reactions to Trump’s more outlandish tweets has not resulted in their having been moderated. Then he posits an answer:
Wait, you exclaim! Shouldn’t all that negative coverage punish Trump’s making such flagrantly false statements? Yes, it should—if Trump found those negative appraisals to be aversive. However, to someone who finds the limelight intoxicating, any coverage—positive or negative—can be positively reinforcing. That means that assiduously checking every one of his claims and excoriating Trump for these falsehoods—both large and small—are actually counterproductive! If that’s so, then we’re stuck in a feedback loop that’s only making the matter worse, not better.
I commend the complete article to your attention.