Schedules of reinforcement can affect the results of operant conditioning, which is frequently used in everyday life such as in the classroom and in parenting. Let’s examine the common types of schedule and their applications.
Operant conditioning is the procedure of learning through association to increase or decrease voluntary behavior using punishment and reinforcement.
Schedules of reinforcement are the rules that control the timing and frequency of reinforcer delivery to increase the likelihood a target behavior will happen again, strengthen or continue.
A schedule of reinforcement is a contingency schedule. The reinforcers are only applied when the target behavior has occurred, and therefore, the reinforcement is contingent on the desired behavior1 .
Non-intermittent schedules apply reinforcement, or no reinforcement at all, after each correct response while intermittent schedules apply reinforcers after some, but not all, correct responses.