The Uses of Reinforcement Schedules

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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...

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...iscourage some responses through the process of shaping and results in new behaviours.


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Mataruse K. S., and Mwatengahama N, (2006), Some Famous Psychologists and their Work, Zimbabwe Open University

Salkind, N. and Rasmussen, K. (2008), Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology Volume 1 & 2, Sage Publications.

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