Ferster and Skinner’s (1957) Schedules of Reinforcement was a landmark book, introducing the scientific community to the different schedules and their effects on behavior. Since that time, the various schedules of reinforcement have been used in thousands of basic and applied research studies to examine issues as widely diverse as work performance, drug use, and legislative bill passing. While the importance of these consequential schedules on all behavior is unmistakable, how they relate to our day-to-day lives is not always clear.
This webinar focuses on some of the core principles involved in schedules of reinforcement, namely what they are and what are their effects on behavior. Throughout the webinar, we will detail (1) the history of these schedules, from Skinner to modern-day animal training procedures, (2) some of the past confusion of such schedules, including “variable” vs. intermittent reinforcement, and (3) how can we understand and apply schedules of reinforcement in the most effective manner. The goal will be to provide a general, empirical framework for schedules of reinforcement so that any person, trainer and scientist alike, can readily identify them and how they relate to all aspects of behavior.
- Understand how we operationally define a schedule of reinforcement.
- Identify the four basic types of schedules, as well as the difference between continuous, intermittent, and “variable” reinforcement.
- Recognize applied instances of schedules of reinforcement, including how different schedules might be effective for our applied animal behavior purposes.