Q:

What is a variable interval schedule?

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Quick Answer

A variable interval schedule is a principle in operant conditioning where the reinforcement for a certain behavior comes at random times, or variable intervals. This is an example of intermittent reinforcement, which occurs when only some instances of a certain behavior are rewarded (and not all of them).

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Full Answer

For a variable interval schedule, the director of the experiment would choose a certain time frame and reward the behavior only when it occurs after that time has lapsed, changing the time frame every time. This means that the reinforcement schedule is unpredictable to the subject of the experiment and the behavior that is reinforced is more likely to continue for a longer period after reinforcement has stopped.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is intrinsic reinforcement?

    A:

    Intrinsic reinforcement is a reward-driven behavior that comes from within an individual. With intrinsic reinforcement, an individual continues with a behavior because they find it personally rewarding, not out of fear of punishment or for an external reward.

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  • Q:

    What is negative reinforcement?

    A:

    Negative reinforcement is a concept in psychology's theory of operant conditioning that suggests a behavior is strengthened when a negative outcome is stopped, removed, avoided or prevented. Negative reinforcement is an effective method of strengthening a desired behavior. Unlike punishment, negative reinforcement attempts to increase a specific behavior.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of continuous reinforcement?

    A:

    An example of continuous reinforcement is to put children in timeout every time they misbehave. Continuous reinforcement is simply a continuation of the same response to misbehavior every time it occurs.

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  • Q:

    What are some behavior modification techniques?

    A:

    Behavior modification techniques typically include positive and negative reinforcement, as well as removal of all reinforcement, or extinction. Positive reinforcement provides a reward for a desired behavior, while negative reinforcement provides punishment, or other unwanted response, for an undesired behavior. Removing all reinforcement can modify behavior by taking away an expected response. In 1938, behaviorist B. F. Skinner developed his principles of operant conditioning, in which reinforcement, or the lack of it, modifies or shapes behavior.

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