A certain amount of time must elapse between reinforcements, regardless of how many correct responses have occurred o Based on the passage of time Fixed schedule: Reinforcement always occurs after a specific (fixed) number of responses or time interval Variable schedule: The required number of responses or the time interval varies at random around an average Fixed-Ratio Schedule Fixed-ratio (FR) Schedule: Reinforcement is given after a fixed number of responses o FR-3 reinforcement occurs every third response, regardless of how long it takes for those responses to occur o Produces high rates of responding o Result in greater work output than hourly wages Variable-Ratio Schedule: Reinforcement is given after a variable number of correct responses, based on an average o A VR-3 schedule on average three responses are required for reinforcement, but the number of responses required will vary from trial to trial o Produce a high rate of responding, less pausing after reinforcement (because it’s less predictable) o Produces steadier and lasting response rate, but a lot slower learning
Fixed-Interval Schedule On a fixed-interval (FI) schedule, the first correct response that occurs after a fixed time interval is reinforced o After each reinforcement, there is a pause, followed by increased responding as the time interval passes and the next reinforcement nears Variable-Interval Schedule On a variable-interval (IV) schedule, reinforcement is given for the first response that occurs after a variable time interval o VI-3 schedule on average , there is a 3-minute interval between opportunities to obtain reinforcement o Sometimes, responses only a few seconds apart may be reinforced; at other times the interval may be many minutes o Less predictable VI schedule produces a steadier response rate Partial Reinforcement, Learning, and Extinction Reinforcement schedules influence the rate of learning and extinction Continuous reinforcement: o Produces more rapid learning than partial reinforcement o Extinguish more rapidly because the shift to no reinforcement is sudden and obvious Partial reinforcement: o Produces behaviour that is learned more slowly o Is more resistant to extinction, especially if the behaviour is reinforced on a variable schedule If reinforcement has been unpredictable in the past it takes longer to learn that it is gone forever Escape and Avoidance Conditioning Escape conditioning: Where organisms learn a response to terminate an aversive stimulus o i.e. putting on a sweater to escape the aversive state of being cold Negatively reinforced Avoidance Conditioning: Where an organism learns a response to completely avoid an aversive stimulus o Learn to response before the aversive stimulus begins o i.e., putting on a sweater before you go outside
Two-factor theory of avoidance learning: Classical and operant conditioning are involved in avoidance learning o Helps us understand how many avoidance behaviours develops o Has trouble explaining some aspects of avoidance
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