What are the different schedules for reinforcement in operant conditioning?
If you are talking simply about the timing of reinforcement, there are two different types of schedule. One is called a fixed interval schedule and the other is called a variable interval schedule. There are also two other kinds of schedules. These are fixed ratio schedules and variable ratio schedules.
In fixed interval schedules, the reinforcement is given at a set time. For example, a rat could be reinforced once every minute. A variable interval schedul reinforces at random times.
A fixed ratio schedule reinforces a behavior every X number of times that it is done. For example, a rat might be reinforced every time it pushes a lever 10 times. For a variable ratio, the reinforcement is connected to the behavior, but it takes a more random number of behaviors to trigger the reinforcement.
Occurs when the reinforcement is given every time the behavior is down; reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
Extinction may occur; when we stop delivering food every time the rat presses the bar (the behavior soon stops)
Partial (intermittent) reinforcement
Reinforcing a response only part of the time; reinforcement is not given after every behavior; much greater resistance to extinction
Reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses (after a set numbers of behaviors; ratio)
Variable- Ratio Schedule
Reinforces a response after unpredictable number of responses, produces high-rate of responding; reinforcers increase as the responses increase
Reinforces a response only after a specified time elapsed
Reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals; slow steady responding