Schedules of Reinforcement

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  • The delivery of reinforcement according to different specifications, specifying the contingencies of reinforcement. Delivery of reinforcers based on the passage of time is an interval schedule. Delivery of reinforcers based on the number of responses emitted by an organism is a ratio schedule. Furthermore, reinforcement can occur consistently (i.e., a fixed schedule) or intermittently (i.e., a variable schedule). As such, there are four possible schedules: fixed ratio (e.g., pay on a piecework basis), variable ratio (e.g., payoffs from slot machines), fixed interval (e.g., weekly quizzes), and variable interval (e.g., spot-checking quizzes).

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