# Mean = 13.25 = 83% 14.75 12 14.5 13 13.75 12.5 13.5 12.75 14.

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Mean = = 83% 14.75 12 14.5 13 13.75 12.5 13.5 12.75 14

Schedules of Reinforcement Chapter 13

What’s a Schedule? A schedule of reinforcement is a rule specifying…
the arrangement and response requirements for reinforcement e.g., whether a reinforcer follows every behavior, every other behavior, etc. 2 Simple Schedules Continuous Reinforcement (CRF; FR1) The reinforcer follows every behavior CRF results in rapid acquisition (good for teaching) CRF produces little resistance to extinction Extinction (EXT) Discontinuation of a response-reinforcer contingency

Intermittent Reinforcement
Some rather than all responses are reinforced Two main categories Ratio schedules: the reinforcer is delivered after every X behaviors Interval schedules: the FIRST behavior after X amount of time is reinforced Produces better resistance to extinction than CRF Good for maintaining behavior

Ratio Schedules 2 Types: Fixed Ratio and Variable Ratio
Fixed Ratio: the reinforcer is delivered after a fixed number of behaviors Designation: FR 5 (every 5th target response is reinforced) Produces high-rate responding – why? Produces a post-reinforcement pause (PRP) PRPs are proportional to the size of the ratio e.g., piecework Number of responses required and the size of the SR

Fixed-Ratio Schedule of Reinforcement
PRP SR+ delivered

Variable Ratio The reinforcer is delivered after an average number of behaviors Designation: VR 5 5, 4, 7, 6, 4, 3, 6, 7, 3 Produces consistent, high rates with no PRPs e.g., starting a lawn mower Clinical applications… First 5 responses to get reinf, then 10, then 15.

Tic-Tac-Toe VR Procedure
27 5 23 11 15 9 3 20 10 Teacher picks maximum number of responses for an individual or group (e.g., 30) The smaller the #, the more likely it is that the learner(s) will meet the contingency Learners fill in each square of tic-tac-toe grid with a # no greater than the max Teacher fills box with numbers on slips of paper Each number several times Contingent on target behavior, student picks slip of paper If on tic-tac-toe, cross out number Deliver SR+ when 3 in a row Number of responses required and the size of the SR 5

Classroom Lottery VR Procedure
Students write their names on index cards after successfully completing assigned tasks Cards go in a box After a preset period of time (e.g., 1 week),… Teacher picks a card – that student is the winner The more cards earned, the more likely a student will be the winner Reggie Lottery Box!

Considerations with Ratio Schedules
Both FR and VR schedules have 2 major advantages Produce high rates of responding Easy to use Potential Disadvantage Ratio strain can result from abrupt increases in ratio requirements

Interval Schedules 2 Types: Fixed Interval and Variable Interval
Fixed Interval: the reinforcer is delivered for the first target response after a fixed period of time has elapsed Designation: FI 60s e.g., turning on the TV to watch your favorite show Characteristics Produces PRPs, resulting in scallop or break-and-run patterns Slow to moderate rate of responding

PRP SR delivered

Variable Interval Schedule
the reinforcer is delivered for the first behavior after an average period of time has elapsed Designation: VI 60s produces steady, moderate responding (no PRPs) e.g., checking Limited Hold: a feature that can be added to any interval schedule The behavior must occur after the interval has elapsed, but within a specific period of time Designation: FI 5 min LH 30 s

Considerations with Interval Schedules
Use if you want to produce low to moderate response rates Advantage FI schedules are relatively easy to use with a resetting timer Potential Disadvantage Off-task or other unwanted behavior may occur during the PRP

# responses FI scallop Post-reinforcement pause time

Thinning the Schedule of Reinforcement
Schedule thinning: Gradually increasing the response ratio or the extent of the time interval Benefits The student’s behavior becomes more durable (more resistant to extinction) More practical for caregivers to implement If you move too quickly, you can produce ratio strain Aggression Extinction of responding Not many guidelines are available to tell us how to do this

LeBlanc, Hagopian, Maglieri, & Poling (2002)
Determine a reasonable terminal goal that’s appropriate to the age and functioning level of the learner Establish a series of steps between the initial value and the terminal value 8-12 steps are recommended Increase 33% to 50% at each step Stay at one step at least 2 times If student is unsuccessful, go back a step Periodically probe a few steps ahead

LeBlanc et al.: Thinning from FR1
100% 2 FR4 3 FR6 50% 4 FR9 5 FR12 33% 6 FR16 7 FR21 8 FR28

Differential Reinforcement of Rates of Responding
DRH: Reinforcement of responses higher than a predetermined criterion (to produce a higher rate of responding) DRL: Reinforcement of responses lower than a predetermined criterion (to produce a lower rate of responding) 3 Types Spaced-responding: reinforcement is only available for responses separated by a given duration of time (IRT) Not used much b/c it’s difficult to calculate IRT Full session: reinforcement is delivered at the end of the session if the total number of responses during the session was less than or more than a criterion Interval: Total session is divided into equal intervals and reinforcement is delivered at the end of each interval in which the number of responses was less than or more than a criterion

Compound Schedules of Reinforcement
Combine different types of schedules Concurrent Schedules Discriminative Schedules Multiple Schedules Chained Schedules Nondiscriminative Schedules Mixed Schedules Tandem Schedules

Concurrent Schedules 2 or more contingencies of reinforcement operate independently and at the same time for 2 or more behaviors Used for Reinforcer Assessments Intervention Assessments Hanley et al. (2005) allowed individuals to choose which intervention they preferred FCT + Punishment was preferred to FCT + Extinction Interventions Hoch et al. (2002) – boys with autism could play alone or with sibling Sibling was chosen when SR magnitude and quality were increased Use this when you can’t or shouldn’t treat inappropriate behavior directly

Multiple Schedule A type of discriminative schedule
Two or more schedules are presented one after another Each is correlated with a discriminative stimulus Tiger and Hanley (2004) Different colored leis worn by the teacher were SDs correlated with schedules of reinforcement for attention

FR1 Component (SD)

EXT Component (S∆)

Minimum response criterion
15 s – 270 s 5s–1s 1 s – 60 s Minimum response criterion

Chained Schedule A type of discriminative schedule
Differs from multiple schedule: Schedules in the chain occur in the same order Behavior may be the same or different for each component of the chain Conditioned reinforcement for the first element of the chain is presentation of the second element The last response is reinforced with most powerful reinforcer

Nondiscriminative Schedules
Mixed (like multiple schedule without the SDs) Tiger and Hanley (2004) – conducted the same sessions without the teacher wearing leis Tandem (like chained with out the SDs)

Use Caution… When extrapolating information about schedules from basic research to applied settings Most applications of schedules only approximate lab schedules Many uncontrolled variables in applied settings will influence a person’s sensitivity and insensitivity to a schedule of reinforcement

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