Psychology -> Learning: schedules of reinforcement
Schedules of reinforcement
This refers to the frequency in which a response is reinforced in operant conditioning. There are different schedules of reinforcement within this type of learning.
Continuous reinforcement - when a satisfying response is reinforced every time.
Partial reinforcement - reinforcement which does not occur continuously. The reinforcement may be administered in the following ways:
Fixed ratio schedule - a satisfying response is reinforced after a set number of responses have been made, e.g. every fifth response.
Fixed interval schedule - a satisfying response is reinforced at regular time intervals e.g. every five minutes.
Variable ratio schedule - a satisfying response is reinforced at irregular intervals, but the average number of responses is fixed, e.g. poker machines.
Variable interval schedule - a satisfying response is reinforced at random intervals within a fixed length of time e.g. catching four fish within a two-hour period.