The Uses Of Reinforcement Schedules Essay

1442 words - 6 pages

QUESTION: With the aid of everyday examples show the uses of reinforcement schedules

Salkind and Neil (2008) defined reinforcers as the first class of consequences, which, consists of events that increase the future probability of a behavior they immediately follow. These include events that strengthen behaviors when they are presented following the behavior, such as food, attention, or social praise. Reinforcement encourages some responses, discourages others and even creates new responses. According to Gross (2010) reinforcement schedules are an important aspect of B. F. Skinner’s work which is concerned with the effects on behaviour of how frequently and how regularly reinforcements are presented. This paper will seek to outline the reinforcement schedules and how they are applied in everyday life.

Reinforcement schedules are used on a daily basis at different intervals. We use reinforcements for example when we work for money, act in a way that we believe bring us praise and when we hope to win lotto. According to Gleitman, Gross and Reisberg (2011) the pattern in which we are reinforced for our behaviours is known as partial reinforcement. This is then provided according to different schedules of reinforcement with rules about how often and under what conditions a response will be reinforced. Gleitman, Gross and Reisburg (2011) posits that learning is best understood as a change in behaviour, in which responses are either being strengthened or weakened by the mechanical effects of reinforcement.

Gross (2010) exhumes that continuous reinforcement (CRF) is when every single desired response is reinforced by a low but steady response rate. For example when a till operator receives a tip for every customer he/she serves. The customer is reinforcing a courteous behaviour in the till operator. However because the rate at which the behaviour is reinforced is low this often results in extinction.

Interval reinforcement schedules are used when the intended behaviour is reinforced after a period of time. The behaviour can be measured in terms of time taken. They are two types of interval reinforcement schedules which are fixed interval schedules and variable interval schedules, (Gleitman, Gross and Reisberg (2011).

Fixed interval schedules (FI) is when reinforcement is given every 30 seconds provided the response occurs at least once (Mataruse and Mwatengahama, 2006). The response rate speeds up as the next reinforcement becomes available with a pause after each reinforcement. An example of fixed interval reinforcement schedule is when picking up the newspaper in the morning after it has been delivered at the same time every day. It is also applied in the workplace, when employees are paid their salaries at the end of the month. While the response rate of reinforcement is very low resistance is fairly low and extinction occurs quite quickly.

Tawanda is owed money by a friend, Connie. He goes to look for Connie at...

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