Chata Dickson, Jason C. Bourret
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
psychology, behavioral, conditioned reinforcement, schedules of reinforcement, token economy
Token economy (Psychology)
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms
Previous research has shown the effects that different schedules of reinforcement have on behavior. Much of this research was applied to production schedules of token reinforcement, meaning how many responses an individual needs to emit before receiving a token, which can later be exchanged for preferred items. Little research has focused on behavior changes under different schedules of token exchange, that is, how many tokens need to be earned before the opportunity to exchange is presented. The present study sought to examine whether behavior change under different schedules of token exchange is similar to that under simple schedules of reinforcement. Two individuals with developmental disabilities participated in the study. In the fixed ratio (FR) condition, the participant received a token for every instance of target touching, and was presented with the opportunity to exchange those tokens for a preferred edible after receiving 10 tokens. In the variable ratio (VR) condition, the participant received a token for every instance of target touching, but the opportunity to exchange the tokens varied from 1-18 tokens, averaging 10 tokens across the session. The schedules produced show a lower response rate during the VR condition for one individual, and no difference in responding between the two conditions for another individual. The practical implications of this study suggest that a fixed ratio token schedule may be more beneficial for both practitioners and students.
Moskowitz, Rachel, "A comparison of variable ratio and fixed ratio schedules of token reinforcement" (2011). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 48. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000986
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