In operant conditioning, a particular arrangement of the contingency of reinforcement (1), relating an organism's responses to the frequency and timing of the reinforcement. In continuous reinforcement, the organism is rewarded after every response, whereas in partial reinforcement or intermittent reinforcement the organism is rewarded after a certain amount of time has elapsed or a certain number of responses have been made. The most important simple reinforcement schedules are the fixed-interval schedule, fixed-ratio schedule, variable-interval schedule, and variable-ratio schedule. See also compound reinforcement schedule, differential reinforcement of high response rates, differential reinforcement of low response rates, differential reinforcement of other responses, differential reinforcement of paced responses.
Subjects: Psychology — Zoology and Animal Sciences.