The four different types of operant conditioning reinforcement schedules are used to enhance behaviors based on different situations. The paper will explain each reinforcement schedule, how they work to evoke a reaction, and how to choose a particular reinforcement schedule for an appropriate response.
This is a reinforcement schedule that requires the reinforced to be given after a specific constant response. A fixed-ratio schedule develops after the completion of several reactions; this is because the required number of responses does not change. The fixed ratio shows a “run and pause” pattern because the reaction usually occurs in bursts. A fixed ratio evokes behaviors by withholding the reinforcement until an appropriate number of responses are given (Miltenberger, 2016). There are often quick response rates with this reinforcement schedule because it helps maximize the delivery of the reinforcement (Cooper at al., 2020).
The reinforcement schedule is mainly utilized in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) field. I will use this in a professional life where the token board is used in the clinic setup. Patient with a token board on an FRI who struggles a lot with non-compliance and have a hard time wanting to work will be suitable in fixed ratio reinforcement schedule. I will make a token board for the patient. Every time the client independently correctly answers the therapist, they get a token for their board. After the token board is completed the token board is exchanged for a highly preferred reinforce. This will help tremendously with helping decrease his non-compliance and resistance to doing work at the table.
Variable ratio involves the reinforcement to be given after unpredictable number of responses (Cooper at al., 2020). The variable number is obtained from the average number of responses. A variable ratio involves a high response rate that stays constant and steady over time, unlike FR schedule it does not cultivate a post-reinforcement pause. It is also similar to fixed ratio in the sense that they both produce a quick response rate. The way variable ratio works to evoke a behavior is by keeping it a surprise when you get the reinforcement, it comes at random times.
I can use this information on responses and rates and reinforcement in my personal life when playing casino I already I already have the knowledge that the slot machine is on a variable ratio schedule. It is at random when you win. One person can win two times in a row and then others may not win again until your 10th try. Since one never knows when they’re going to win, it motivates people to keep gambling.
A fixed interval schedule requires the reinforcement to be given following the response after a fixed duration of time elapses (Cooper at al., 2020). For this schedule of reinforcement is in known to have a slow response rate after reinforcement is presented but a high response rate near the end of an interval. The fixed interval schedule evokes behavior by not giving the reinforcement until a fixed duration of time has elapsed and the right response was emitted. Just because the fixed interval of time passed, does not mean that reinforcement will be given, the correct response must be present.
The fixed interval schedule is evident in my personal life, after every two weeks when I get my paycheck. Once I am paid and given that reinforcement, I become a little lazy at work, but once I start to run out of money, I am more prone to ask to pick up extra shifts at work. In order to get my paycheck, I have to actually go into work and do my job. The reason why I choose this type of reinforcement is because the behavior it evokes is suitable for this fixed interval schedule.
The variable interval involves two variables and reinforcement is allocated to a response after unpredictable amount of time has elapsed, but the amount of time is on changing schedule. The reinforcement is withheld until the correct response is given. Similar to a variable ratio schedule, it uses the average interval of time before reinforcement is given. This produces a constant and stable response rate (Miltenberger, 2016). Variable interval reinforcement evokes behavior by setting the intervals to be at such random times it causes the people to produce the behavior independently.
The best example on how I will apply this schedule of reinforcement would be a pop quiz. A student never knows when they will receive a pop quiz. Weeks can go by without a quiz or maybe they can have two quizzes back to back. It is by random and a particular interval of time passes between them. This causes and forces students to always be prepared since they never know when a quiz is going to happen.
The four schedules of reinforcement differ but produce similar results. The main reason for having different types of operant conditioning reinforcement schedule is to try to evoke behavior and to see an increase in appropriate behaviors. A particular reinforcement will be selected based on the behavior that is being manipulated.
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