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Rate and Frequency

Description

In their early free operant conditioning experiments, B. F. Skinner and his students used “rate of response” to describe the number of bar presses or key pecks performed by rats and pigeons per minute. In his free operant human laboratory experiments and in precision teaching, Skinner's student Ogden R. Lindsley has used “frequency” to describe the number of movement cycles per unit time (minute, day, week, month, or year) charted on standard celeration charts. Lindsley chose frequency over rate because of its greater precision and because it is used to describe counts per unit time throughout the physical and natural sciences.

Frequency is described as being universal, absolute, standard, informative, sensitive, direct, dimensional, spectral, continuous, promising, productive, and practical measurement. Frequency is ...

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