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    which of the following is the most appropriate reinforcement?

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    Reinforcement Schedules

    Reinforcement Schedules

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    Distinguish between reinforcement schedules

    Remember, the best way to teach a person or animal a behavior is to use positive reinforcement. For example, Skinner used positive reinforcement to teach rats to press a lever in a Skinner box. At first, the rat might randomly hit the lever while exploring the box, and out would come a pellet of food. After eating the pellet, what do you think the hungry rat did next? It hit the lever again, and received another pellet of food. Each time the rat hit the lever, a pellet of food came out. When an organism receives a reinforcer each time it displays a behavior, it is called continuous reinforcement. This reinforcement schedule is the quickest way to teach someone a behavior, and it is especially effective in training a new behavior. Let’s look back at the dog that was learning to sit earlier in the module. Now, each time he sits, you give him a treat. Timing is important here: you will be most successful if you present the reinforcer immediately after he sits, so that he can make an association between the target behavior (sitting) and the consequence (getting a treat).

    Once a behavior is trained, researchers and trainers often turn to another type of reinforcement schedule—partial reinforcement. In partial reinforcement, also referred to as intermittent reinforcement, the person or animal does not get reinforced every time they perform the desired behavior. There are several different types of partial reinforcement schedules (Table 1). These schedules are described as either fixed or variable, and as either interval or ratio. Fixed refers to the number of responses between reinforcements, or the amount of time between reinforcements, which is set and unchanging. Variable refers to the number of responses or amount of time between reinforcements, which varies or changes. Interval means the schedule is based on the time between reinforcements, and ratio means the schedule is based on the number of responses between reinforcements.

    Table 1. Reinforcement Schedules

    Reinforcement Schedule Description Result Example

    Fixed interval Reinforcement is delivered at predictable time intervals (e.g., after 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes). Moderate response rate with significant pauses after reinforcement Hospital patient uses patient-controlled, doctor-timed pain relief

    Variable interval Reinforcement is delivered at unpredictable time intervals (e.g., after 5, 7, 10, and 20 minutes). Moderate yet steady response rate Checking Facebook

    Fixed ratio Reinforcement is delivered after a predictable number of responses (e.g., after 2, 4, 6, and 8 responses). High response rate with pauses after reinforcement Piecework—factory worker getting paid for every x number of items manufactured

    Variable ratio Reinforcement is delivered after an unpredictable number of responses (e.g., after 1, 4, 5, and 9 responses). High and steady response rate Gambling

    Now let’s combine these four terms. A fixed interval reinforcement schedule is when behavior is rewarded after a set amount of time. For example, June undergoes major surgery in a hospital. During recovery, she is expected to experience pain and will require prescription medications for pain relief. June is given an IV drip with a patient-controlled painkiller. Her doctor sets a limit: one dose per hour. June pushes a button when pain becomes difficult, and she receives a dose of medication. Since the reward (pain relief) only occurs on a fixed interval, there is no point in exhibiting the behavior when it will not be rewarded.

    With a variable interval reinforcement schedule, the person or animal gets the reinforcement based on varying amounts of time, which are unpredictable. Say that Manuel is the manager at a fast-food restaurant. Every once in a while someone from the quality control division comes to Manuel’s restaurant. If the restaurant is clean and the service is fast, everyone on that shift earns a $20 bonus. Manuel never knows when the quality control person will show up, so he always tries to keep the restaurant clean and ensures that his employees provide prompt and courteous service. His productivity regarding prompt service and keeping a clean restaurant are steady because he wants his crew to earn the bonus.

    With a fixed ratio reinforcement schedule, there are a set number of responses that must occur before the behavior is rewarded. Carla sells glasses at an eyeglass store, and she earns a commission every time she sells a pair of glasses. She always tries to sell people more pairs of glasses, including prescription sunglasses or a backup pair, so she can increase her commission. She does not care if the person really needs the prescription sunglasses, Carla just wants her bonus. The quality of what Carla sells does not matter because her commission is not based on quality; it’s only based on the number of pairs sold. This distinction in the quality of performance can help determine which reinforcement method is most appropriate for a particular situation. Fixed ratios are better suited to optimize the quantity of output, whereas a fixed interval, in which the reward is not quantity based, can lead to a higher quality of output.

    In a variable ratio reinforcement schedule, the number of responses needed for a reward varies. This is the most powerful partial reinforcement schedule. An example of the variable ratio reinforcement schedule is gambling. Imagine that Sarah—generally a smart, thrifty woman—visits Las Vegas for the first time. She is not a gambler, but out of curiosity she puts a quarter into the slot machine, and then another, and another. Nothing happens. Two dollars in quarters later, her curiosity is fading, and she is just about to quit. But then, the machine lights up, bells go off, and Sarah gets 50 quarters back. That’s more like it! Sarah gets back to inserting quarters with renewed interest, and a few minutes later she has used up all her gains and is $10 in the hole. Now might be a sensible time to quit. And yet, she keeps putting money into the slot machine because she never knows when the next reinforcement is coming. She keeps thinking that with the next quarter she could win $50, or $100, or even more. Because the reinforcement schedule in most types of gambling has a variable ratio schedule, people keep trying and hoping that the next time they will win big. This is one of the reasons that gambling is so addictive—and so resistant to extinction.

    Source : courses.lumenlearning.com

    [Solved] Which schedule of reinforcement is most effective?

    Schedules of Reinforcement- The schedules of reinforcement are used in operant conditioning. The effects of reinforcement depend heavily on the schedule acc

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    Which schedule of reinforcement is most effective?

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    Variable ratio

    Continuous reinforcement

    Fixed-interval Fixed-ratio

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    Option 2 : Continuous reinforcement

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    Schedules of Reinforcement-

    The schedules of reinforcement are used in operant conditioning.

    The effects of reinforcement depend heavily on the schedule according to which reinforcers are delivered.

    Key PointsThe two major types of reinforcement schedules are-Continuous-

    In continuous reinforcement(CRF) every response being learnt is reinforced so that it becomes more likely to occur again

    produces rapid learning for newly emitted, unstable or low-frequency responses.

    continuously reinforced responses extinguish more rapidly because the shift to no reinforcement is sudden and easier to perceive

    Intermittent or Partial- 

    Partial reinforcement or intermittent reinforcement takes place when reinforcement is not given on every desired behaviour. 

    produces behaviour that is learned more slowly but is more resistant to extinction

    Thus the best way to promote fast learning and high resistance to extinction is to begin reinforcing the desired behaviour on a continuous schedule until the behaviour is well established and then shift to a variable intermittent schedule that is gradually made more demanding.

    Thus from above-mentioned points, it is clear that Continuous reinforcement is most effective. 

    Additional Information

    Variable ratio In this schedule, the reinforcement is given after a varied number of responsesFixed-interval The reinforcement is given after a fixed interval of time, irrespective of the number of responses delivered.Fixed-ratio This depends upon a particular number of responses that must be made before the reinforcement is given.

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    Reinforcement Schedules Flashcards

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    Reinforcement Schedules

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    Interval schedules of reinforcement are delivered:

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    After a specified amount of time has elapsed

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    Which of the following illustrates an FR3 schedule of reinforcement?

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    Reinforced after the 3rd correct response

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    1/19 Created by Ashmatt96

    Terms in this set (19)

    Interval schedules of reinforcement are delivered:

    After a specified amount of time has elapsed

    Which of the following illustrates an FR3 schedule of reinforcement?

    Reinforced after the 3rd correct response

    Which of the following increases the value of a reinforcer for an individual?

    If it is delivered immediately and only available for the display of the target behavior

    A concurrent schedule of reinforcement is operating when:

    When 2 schedules of reinforcement are simultaneously available

    Why are intermittent reinforcement schedules used?

    To maintain previously acquired behaviors

    Fixed interval schedules often result in:

    An increased rate of responding at the end of the interval

    Fixed ratio schedules:

    Produce high and steady rates of behavior

    Which of the following is the best way to thin reinforcement?

    Slowly and gradually

    The purpose of using a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement is to:

    Eliminate the predictability of reinforcement

    Differential reinforcement of high rates of behavior are used to:

    Decrease the time from the display of one behavior to the next

    Which of the following is an example of a progressive schedule of reinforcement?

    Reinforcement after the 2nd behavior, then after the 4th, then after the 5th

    Which of the following is an example of a continuous schedule of reinforcement (CRF)?

    Mike gets a point each time he raises his hand.

    Which of the following is the best reason for thinning reinforcement?

    To decrease dependence on the reinforcer in order to demonstrate the behavior

    What is ratio strain?

    The disruption in the display of the behavior when reinforcement is thinned too quickly

    What is the difference between a primary and secondary reinforcer?

    A primary reinforcer is one that an individual does not have to learn to value

    Variable interval schedules of reinforcement occur:

    After an unpredictable amount of time has passed

    A limited hold is sometimes added to interval reinforcement in order to:

    Speed up the display of the target behavior

    Differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior is used to:

    Increase the amount of time between the display of one behavior to the next

    Variable ratio schedules of reinforcement:

    Provide high and steady rates of the behavior targeted for reinforcement

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