Schedule of Reinforcement

A Schedule of Reinforcement refers to a systematic arrangement of delivering reinforcement in response to desired behavior in operant conditioning. It outlines the rules or patterns that determine when and how frequently reinforcement is administered, depending on the timing, number, or combination of responses required.

Types of Schedules of Reinforcement

There are several different types of schedules of reinforcement:

  • Continuous Reinforcement: In this schedule, reinforcement is administered every time the desired behavior occurs.
  • Fixed Ratio Reinforcement: This schedule involves reinforcing the behavior after a fixed number of responses.
  • Variable Ratio Reinforcement: In this schedule, the behavior is reinforced after an average, but unpredictable, number of responses.
  • Fixed Interval Reinforcement: Here, reinforcement is provided for the first desired response following a fixed time interval.
  • Variable Interval Reinforcement: This schedule rewards the behavior after varying time intervals, but with an unpredictable average.
  • Fixed Duration Reinforcement: In this schedule, reinforcement is given when the desired behavior is maintained for a specified continuous period.
  • Variable Duration Reinforcement: This schedule provides reinforcement after the behavior is maintained for varying time periods.