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Lecture 8

PSYC 2440 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Matching LawPremium

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PSYC 2440

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PSYCH 2440 – Behavior Modification Principles – Lecture 8 - Chapter 8
Chapter 8 – Developing Behavioral Persistence with Schedules of Reinforcement
-Intermittent Reinforcement
oAn arrangement in which a behavior is positively reinforced only occasionally rather
than every time it occurs. Reinforcement can be given after a fixed number of
-Response Rate
oNumber of instances of a behavior that occur in a given period of time.
oSynonymous with the term Response Frequency
-Schedule of Reinforcement
oA rule specifying which occurrences of a given behavior, if any, will be reinforced.
oContinuous reinforcement” (CRF)  every instance of behavior is reinforced
oOperant Extinction opposite of CRF; no instance of a given behavior is
-Acquisition Phase
oWhen a behavior is being conditioned or learned
-Maintenance Phase
oAfter a behavior has been well-learned.
oIt is best to provide CRF during the Acquisition Phase then switch to Intermittent
reinforcement during Maintenance Phase.
-Advantages of Intermittent Reinforcement
1. The reinforcer remains effective longer because satiation takes place more
2. Behavior that has been reinforced intermittently tends to take longer to
3. Individuals work more consistently on certain intermittent schedules
4. Behavior that has been reinforced intermittently is more likely to persist after
being transferred to reinforcers in the natural environment.
Ratio Schedules
-“Fixed-Ratio (FR) Schedule”
oA reinforcer occurs each time a fixed number of responses for a particular type are

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oRatio strain the decrease/deterioration of responding from increasing an FR too
oFree-operant procedure
One in which the individual is ‘free’ to respond at various rates in the sense
that there are no constraints on successive responses.
Example: a child is given a math worksheet and she is free to work at a rate
of 1 per minute or 3 per minute.
oDiscrete-trials procedure
The individual is ‘not free’ to respond at whatever rate he chooses because
the environment places limits on the availability of response opportunities.
Example: You can use the family car after you have done the dishes for
three evening meals.(Cannot be three meals in an hour, but exactly once per
day for three days)
oLength or post-reinforcement pause depends on the value of the FR the higher
the value, the longer the pause.
-“Variable-Ratio (VR) Schedule”
oA reinforcer occurs after a certain number of a particular response, and the number
of responses required for each reinforcer changes unpredictably from one reinforcer
to the next.
oProduces no or little post-reinforcement pause the subject can never predict when
a reinforcer will occur and thus will always engage in the behavior
oCam be increased somewhat more abruptly without producing a ‘Ratio Strain’
oThe values of VR that can maintain responding are somewhat higher than FR
oHas a higher resistance to extinction that FR of the same value.
-“Progressive Ratio (PR) Schedule”
oLike an FR Schedule, but the ratio requirement increases by a specified amount
after each reinforcement.
oAt the beginning of each session, the ratio requirement starts back at its original
oBreak Point
The ratio requirement in which an individual stops reacting completely.
oThere is an increasingly longer pause after each successive reinforcement and an
indefinitely long pause after the break point.
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