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Schedules of Reinforcement

Description of the Strategy

The rate at which learning occurs varies according to the consequences that follow a behavior, and such consequences can occur on various “schedules.” Consequences that follow a behavior and strengthen the likelihood that the behavior will be performed again in the future are referred to as reinforcers. Reinforcers, ideally, are delivered following an appropriate, or desirable, behavior, and the frequency and conditions by which they occur will yield changes in the behaviors performed by a child. Indeed, much of the variability observed in children's behavior can be explained by differences in schedules of reinforcement.

Schedules of reinforcement can be defined according to two basic parameters: (1) ratio versus interval and (2) fixed versus variable. Ratio schedules provide reinforcement based ...

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