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Chapter 8

PSYB45H3 Chapter 8: Chapter 8

Course Code
Jessica Dere

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Chapter 8: Developing Behavioural Persistence with Schedules of
Some Definitions !
-intermittent reinforcement — arrangement in which a behaviour is positively reinforced only
occasionally rather than every single time it happens !
-response rate — the number of instances of a behaviour that occur in a given period of time;
also means the same as response frequency!
-schedule of reinforcement — rule that specifies which occurrences of a given behaviour, if
any, will be reinforced !
-continuous reinforcement (CRF) — each instance of a particular response is reinforced !
-operant extinction — opposite of CRF; no instance of a behaviour is reinforced so the
behaviour will eventually decrease a lot or just be gone !
-intermittent reinforcement is in between CRF and operant extinction — lots of things in
nature aren’t reinforced all the time; number of schedules is unlimited !
-acquisition phase — behaviour is being conditioned or learned; good to give CRF !
-maintenance phase — after it’s well learned, it is in this phase; good to give intermittent
reinforcement !
-intermittent schedules are good for specific reasons !
reinforcer stays eective longer because satiation happens slowly !
behaviour that’s reinforced this way takes longer to extinguish !
individuals work more consistently on certain intermittent schedules !
behaviour that’s reinforced intermittently is more likely to persist when transferred to
reinforcers in natural environment !
4 schedules — ratio, simple interval, schedules with limited hold, duration !
Ratio Schedules !
-fixed-ratio (FR) schedule — reinforcer occurs each time a fixed number of responses are
emitted; e.g. get reward after every 2 math problems done; can be increased in steps so first
you need to do 2 but then you need to do 4, 6, 8, etc. because if you don’t, the behaviour
might go away !
-ratio strain — when you increase the FR schedule too fast so responses deteriorate !
-the higher the final level you want to reach, the more slowly you should approach it !
-free-operant procedure — person is free to respond at various rates so there aren’t any
constraints on successive responses; e.g. you can work at rate of 1 problem per minute or 3 !
-discrete-trials procedure — not free to respond at your own rate; e.g. if you get reward after
doing dishes for 3 meals, you can only do one meal a day, not all 3 at once !
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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