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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3150
Michelle Preyde

Chapter 6 Schedule of reinforcement: is a rule specifying which occurrences of a given behavior, if any, will be reinforced. The simplest schedule of reinforcement is continuous reinforcement, The opposite of continuous reinforcement is extinction on an extinction schedule, no instance of a given behavior is reinforced. Between these two extremes lies intermittent reinforcement. Acquisition phase: While a behavior is being conditioned or learned Maintenance phase: After it has become well learned. It is best to provide continuous reinforcement during acquisition and then switch to intermittent reinforcement during maintenance. Intermittent schedules have several advantages over continuous reinforcement for maintaining behavior: (a) The reinforcer remains effective longer because satiation takes place more slowly; (b)behavior that has been reinforced intermittently tends to take longer to extinguish; (c) individuals work more consistently on certain intermittent schedules (d) behavior that has been reinforced intermittently is more likely to persist after being transferred to reinforcers in the natural environment. Free-operant procedure: is one in which the individual is "free" to respond repeatedly in the sense that there are no constraints on successive responses. Discrete trials procedure: a distinct stimulus is presented prior to an opportunity for a response to occur and be followed by reinforcement, and the next response cannot occur until another stimulus is presented, and so on. limits the rate of responding to the rate at which successive stimuli are presented at the beginning of each trial, which is determined by the wait time for a response to occur. RATIO SCHEDULES Fixed-ratio (FR) schedule: a reinforcer occurs each time a fixed number of responses of a particular type are emitted. Ratio strain: deterioration of responding from increasing an FR schedule too rapidly The optimal response requirement differs for different individuals and for different tasks. In general, the higher the ratio at which an individual is expected to perform, the more important it is to approach it gradually through exposure to lower ratios. When introduced gradually, produce a high steady rate until reinforcement, followed by a postreinforcement pause. The length of the postreinforcement pause depends on the value of the FR--the higher the value, the longer the pause produce high resistance to extinction FR is more commonly used than VR in behavioral programs because it is simpler to administer. Variable-ratio (VR) schedule: a reinforcer occurs after a certain number of a particular responses, and the number of responses required for each reinforcer changes unpredictably from one reinforcer to the next. produces a high steady rate of responding produces no or a minimal postreinforcement pause differences between the effects of VR and FR schedules are VR produces no or a minimal postreinforcement pause VR schedule can be increased somewhat more abruptly than an FR schedule without producing ratio strain the values of VR that can maintain responding are somewhat higher than FR VR produces a higher resistance to extinction than FR schedules of the same value. Progressive ratio (PR) schedule is like an FR schedule, but the ratio requirement increases by a specified amount after each reinforcer. Break point: After a number of sessions, the ratio requirement reaches a level at which the individual stops responding completely. The typical effect is an increasingly longer pause after each successive reinforcer and an indefinitely long pause at the break point. The main application of PR is to determine how potent or powerful a particular reinforcer is for a particular individual. The higher the reinforcer's break point is for the individual, the more effective the reinforcer is likely to be in a treatment program SIMPLE INTERVAL SCHEDULES Fixed-interval (FI) schedule: a reinforcer is presented following the first instance of a specific response after a fixed period of time The only requirement for a reinforcer to occur is that the individual engage in the behavior after reinforcement has become available be
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