What Is Variable Ratio In Psychology?

Variable Ratio Schedule – A variable ratio schedule is a schedule of reinforcement where a behavior is reinforced after a random number of responses. This kind of schedule results in high, steady rates of response. Organisms are persistent in responding because of the hope that the next response might be one needed to receive reinforcement. This schedule is utilized in lottery games.

What is variable ratio in psychology examples?

Variable-ratio schedules provide partial, unpredictable reinforcement In operant conditioning, a variable-ratio schedule is a partial schedule of reinforcement in which a response is reinforced after an unpredictable number of responses. This schedule creates a steady, high rate of response.

• Gambling and lottery games are good examples of a reward based on a variable-ratio schedule.
• Schedules of reinforcement play a central role in the operant conditioning process.
• The frequency with which a behavior is reinforced can help determine how quickly a response is learned as well as how strong the response might be.

Each schedule of reinforcement has its own unique set of characteristics. Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

What is a variable ratio?

A schedule of reinforcement in which a reinforcer is delivered after an average number of responses has occurred.

What is variable ratio and variable interval?

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge. Continuous Reinforcement Schedule The continuous schedule of reinforcement involves the occurrence of a reinforcer every single time that a desired behavior is emitted. Behaviors are learned quickly with a continuous schedule of reinforcement and the schedule is simple to use. As a rule of thumb, it usually helps to reinforce the animal every time it does the behavior when it is learning the behavior. n With a partial (intermittent) schedule, only some of the instances of behavior are reinforced, not every instance. Behaviors are shaped and learned more slowly with a partial schedule of reinforcement (compared to a continuous schedule). However, behavior reinforced under a partial schedule is more resistant to extinction.

Partial schedules of reinforcement are based on either a time interval passing before the next availability of a reinforcer or it is based on how many target behaviors have occurred before the next instance of the behavior is reinforced. Schedules based on how many responses have occurred are referred to as ratio schedules and can be either fixed-ratio or variable-ratio schedules.

Schedules based on elapsed time are referred to as interval schedules and can be either fixed-interval or variable-interval schedules. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge. Fixed Ratio (FR) Schedule Ratio schedules involve reinforcement after a certain number of responses have been emitted. The fixed ratio schedule involves using a constant number of responses. For example, in the Buck Bunny commercial, if the bunny is always reinforced after moving exactly five coins into the bank, this would be an FR 5 schedule. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge. Variable Ratio (VR) Schedule Ratio schedules involve reinforcement after an average number of responses have occurred. For example, the Fire Chief Rabbit’s lever pulling, which made it appear that it was operating the fire truck, was reinforced on a variable-ratio schedule. Reinforcement occurred after an average of 3 pulls on the lever. Sometimes the reinforcer was delivered after 2 pulls, sometimes after 4 pulls, sometimes after 3 pulls, etc. If the “average” was about every 3 pulls, this would be a VR 3 schedule. Variable ratio schedules maintain high and steady rates of the desired behavior, and the behavior is very resistant to extinction. Fixed Interval (FI) Schedule Interval schedules involve reinforcement of a desired behavior after an interval of time has passed. In a fixed interval schedule, the interval of time is always the same. The Brelands and the Baileys did not use this type of schedule in their work. However, if Buck Bunny had been on an FI 30-second schedule, then the bunny would be reinforced the first time that a coin was placed in the bank after a 30-second interval had passed. Variable Interval (VI) Schedule Interval schedules involve reinforcement of a target behavior after an interval of time has passed. In a variable interval schedule, the interval of time is not always the same but centers around some average. If Buck Bunny is on a VI 30 seconds schedule, then the bunny would be reinforced the first time that a coin is placed in the bank after, on average, a 30-second interval has passed. Sometimes the bunny would be reinforced after the first coin drop after 25 seconds, sometimes after 35 seconds, etc. After an animal learns the schedule, the rate of behavior tends to be more steady than with a fixed interval schedule. Once again, the Brelands and the Baileys did not use this type of schedule.

What is an example of variable ratio in daily life?

Variable Ratio Example – Gambling at a slot machine is an example of a variable ratio reinforcement schedule ​5​, Gambling or lottery game rewards unpredictably. Each winning requires a different number of lever pulls. Gamblers keep pulling the lever many times in hopes of winning. Therefore, for some people, gambling is not only habit-forming but is also very addictive and hard to stop ​6​,

 Partial Reinforcement Schedule s When are reinforcers delivered? Response Rate Fixed interval After fixed time has elapsed Slow right after reinforcement and then speed up until the next reinforcement, forming a scalloped pattern. Variable interval After variable time has elapsed Higher than fixed interval schedule at a steady rate. Fixed ratio After a fixed number of responses Small pause right after reinforcement and then at a steady rate higher than variable interval schedule. Variable ratio After variable number of reponses Highest and steady

What are the best examples of ratio variables *?

Ratio – A ratio variable, has all the properties of an interval variable, and also has a clear definition of 0.0. When the variable equals 0.0, there is none of that variable. Examples of ratio variables include:

enzyme activity, dose amount, reaction rate, flow rate, concentration, pulse, weight, length, temperature in Kelvin (0.0 Kelvin really does mean “no heat”), survival time.

When working with ratio variables, but not interval variables, the ratio of two measurements has a meaningful interpretation. For example, because weight is a ratio variable, a weight of 4 grams is twice as heavy as a weight of 2 grams. However, a temperature of 10 degrees C should not be considered twice as hot as 5 degrees C.

 OK to compute. Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio Frequency distribution Yes Yes Yes Yes Median and percentiles No Yes Yes Yes Add or subtract No No Yes Yes Mean, standard deviation, standard error of the mean No No Yes Yes Ratios, coefficient of variation No No No Yes

What is the difference between variable ratio and interval psychology?

 Click on hyperlink for learning activities. Schedules 1. Definitions 2. Provide your own examples 3. Crossword puzzle 4. Word search Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Schedules of Reinforcement Schedules of reinforcement are the rules that determine how often an organism is reinforced for a particular behavior. The particular pattern of reinforcement has an impact on the pattern of responding by the animal. A schedule of reinforcement is either continuous or partial. The behavior of the Fire Chief Rabbit to the left was not reinforced every time it pulled the lever that “operated” the fire truck. In other words, the rabbit’s lever pulling was reinforced on a partial or intermittent schedule. There are four basic partial schedules of reinforcement. These different schedules are based on reinforcing the behavior as a function of (a) the number of responses that have occurred or (b) the length of time since the last reinforcer was available. The basic four partial schedules are: Fixed Ratio, Variable Ratio, Fixed Interval, and Variable Interval Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Continuous Schedule The continuous schedule of reinforcement involves the delivery of a reinforcer every single time that a desired behavior is emitted. Behaviors are learned quickly with a continuous schedule of reinforcement and the schedule is simple to use. As a rule of thumb, it usually helps to reinforce the animal every time it does the behavior when it is learning the behavior. Later, when the behavior is well established, the trainer can switch to a partial or intermittent schedule. If Keller Breland (left) reinforces the behavior (touching the ring with nose) every time the behavior occurs, then Keller is using a continuous schedule. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Partial (Intermittent) Schedu le With a partial (intermittent) schedule, only some of the instances of behavior are reinforced, not every instance. Behaviors are shaped and learned more slowly with a partial schedule of reinforcement (compared to a continuous schedule). However, behavior reinforced under a partial schedule is more resistant to extinction. Partial schedules of reinforcement are based on either a time interval passing before the next available reinforcer or it is based on how many behaviors have occurred before the next instance of the behavior is reinforced. Schedules based on how many responses have occurred are referred to as ratio schedules and can be either fixed-ratio or variable-ratio schedules. Schedules based on elapsed time are referred to as interval schedules and can be either fixed-interval or variable-interval schedules. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Fixed Ratio Schedule Ratio schedules involve reinforcement after a certain number of responses have been emitted. The fixed ratio schedule involves using a constant number of responses. For example, if the rabbit is reinforced every time it pulls the lever exactly five times, it would be reinforced on an FR 5 schedule, Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Variable Ratio Schedule Ratio schedules involve reinforcement after an average number of responses have occurred. For example, the Fire Chief Rabbit’s lever pulling, which made it appear that it was operating the fire truck, was reinforced on a variable-ratio schedule. Reinforcement occurred after an average of 3 pulls on the lever. Sometimes the reinforcer was delivered after 2 pulls, sometimes after 4 pulls, sometimes after 3 pulls, etc. If the average was about every 3 pulls, this would be a VR 3 schedule. Variable ratio schedules maintain high and steady rates of the desired behavior, and the behavior is very resistant to extinction. Fixed Interval Schedule Interval schedules involve reinforcing a behavior after an interval of time has passed. In a fixed interval schedule, the interval of time is always the same. In an FI 3-second schedule, the first response after three seconds have passed will be reinforced, but no response made before the three seconds have passed will be reinforced. ABE did not use this type of schedule very often. Variable Interval Schedule Interval schedules involve reinforcing a behavior after an variable interval of time has passed. In a variable interval schedule, the interval of time is not always the same but centers around some average length of time. In a VI 3-second schedule, the first response after three seconds (on average) have passed will be reinforced, but no responses made before the three seconds (on average) have passed will be reinforced. After an animal learns the schedule, the rate of behavior tends to be steadier than with a fixed interval schedule. ABE did not use this type of schedule very often.

What is interval vs ratio data in psychology?

The interval scale and ratio scale are variable measurement scales, They offer a quantitative definition of the variable attributes. The difference between interval vs ratio scale comes from their ability to dip below zero. Interval scales hold no true zero and can represent values below zero.

For example, you can measure temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius, such as -10 degrees. Ratio variables, on the other hand, never fall below zero. Height and weight measure from 0 and above, but never fall below it. An interval scale allows you to measure all quantitative attributes. Any measurement of interval scale can be ranked, counted, subtracted, or added, and equal intervals separate each number on the scale.

However, these measurements don’t provide any sense of ratio between one another. A ratio scale has the same properties as interval scales. You can use it to add, subtract, or count measurements. Ratio scales differ by having a character of origin, which is the starting or zero-point of the scale.

Interval-ratio scales comparison Measuring temperature is an excellent example of interval scales. The temperature in an air-conditioned room is 16 degrees Celsius, while the temperature outside the room is 32 degrees Celsius. You can conclude the temperature outside is 16 degrees higher than inside the room.

But if you said, “It is twice as hot outside than inside,” you would be incorrect. By stating the temperature is twice that outside as inside, you’re using 0 degrees as the reference point to compare the two temperatures. Since it’s possible to measure temperature below 0 degrees, you can’t use it as a reference point for comparison.

1. You must use an actual number (such as 16 degrees) instead.
2. Interval variables are commonly known as scaled variables.
3. They’re often expressed as a unit, such as degrees.
4. In statistics, mean, mode, and median can also define interval variables.
5. A ratio scale displays the order and number of objects between the values of the scale.

Zero is an option. This scale allows a researcher to apply statistical techniques like geometric and harmonic mean. Where you cannot imply that the temperature is twice as warm outside because it’s an interval scale, you can say you are twice another’s age because it’s a ratio variable.

1. Age, money, and weight are common ratio scale variables.
2. For example, if you are 50 years old and your child is 25 years old, you can accurately claim you are twice their age.
3. Interval ratio scale measurements Understanding the different scales of measurement allows you to see the different types of data you can gather.

These differences help you determine the kind of statistical analysis required for your research. Here is a brief description of the difference in interval and ratio levels of measurement: The interval level of measurement classifies and orders a measurement.

• It specifies a distance between each interval on a scale is equivalent, from low interval to high interval.
• For example, the difference between 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit is the same as 110 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
• In addition to having the same qualities as interval levels, ratio levels can have a value of zero.

The cost difference between two pairs of shoes that are \$10 and \$20, respectively, is the same as the cost between two pairs that are \$20 and \$30. However, you won’t find shoes that cost less than \$0. Interval scale Vs Ratio scale: Points of difference

 Features Interval scale Ratio scale Variable property All variables measured in an interval scale can be added, subtracted, and multiplied. You cannot calculate a ratio between them. Ratio scale has all the characteristics of an interval scale, in addition, to be able to calculate ratios. That is, you can leverage numbers on the scale against 0. Absolute Point Zero Zero-point in an interval scale is arbitrary. For example, the temperature can be below 0 degrees Celsius and into negative temperatures. The ratio scale has an absolute zero or character of origin. Height and weight cannot be zero or below zero. Calculation Statistically, in an interval scale, the arithmetic mean is calculated. Statistically, in a ratio scale, the geometric or harmonic mean is calculated. Measurement Interval scale can measure size and magnitude as multiple factors of a defined unit. Ratio scale can measure size and magnitude as a factor of one defined unit in terms of another. Example A classic example of an interval scale is the temperature in Celsius. The difference in temperature between 50 degrees and 60 degrees is 10 degrees; this is the same difference between 70 degrees and 80 degrees. Classic examples of a ratio scale are any variable that possesses an absolute zero characteristic, like age, weight, height, or sales figures.
You might be interested:  What Can You Do With A Minor In Psychology?

Create a free account The primary difference between interval and ratio scales is that, while interval scales are void of absolute or true zero, ratio scales have an absolute zero point. Understanding these differences is the key to getting the most appropriate research data.

Is variable ratio or interval better?

Learning Objectives –

Distinguish between reinforcement schedules

Remember, the best way to teach a person or animal a behavior is to use positive reinforcement. For example, Skinner used positive reinforcement to teach rats to press a lever in a Skinner box. At first, the rat might randomly hit the lever while exploring the box, and out would come a pellet of food.

After eating the pellet, what do you think the hungry rat did next? It hit the lever again, and received another pellet of food. Each time the rat hit the lever, a pellet of food came out. When an organism receives a reinforcer each time it displays a behavior, it is called continuous reinforcement, This reinforcement schedule is the quickest way to teach someone a behavior, and it is especially effective in training a new behavior.

Let’s look back at the dog that was learning to sit earlier in the module. Now, each time he sits, you give him a treat. Timing is important here: you will be most successful if you present the reinforcer immediately after he sits, so that he can make an association between the target behavior (sitting) and the consequence (getting a treat).

1. Once a behavior is trained, researchers and trainers often turn to another type of reinforcement schedule—partial reinforcement.
2. In partial reinforcement, also referred to as intermittent reinforcement, the person or animal does not get reinforced every time they perform the desired behavior.
3. There are several different types of partial reinforcement schedules (Table 1).

These schedules are described as either fixed or variable, and as either interval or ratio. Fixed refers to the number of responses between reinforcements, or the amount of time between reinforcements, which is set and unchanging. Variable refers to the number of responses or amount of time between reinforcements, which varies or changes.

Table 1. Reinforcement Schedules

Reinforcement Schedule Description Result Example
Fixed interval Reinforcement is delivered at predictable time intervals (e.g., after 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes). Moderate response rate with significant pauses after reinforcement Hospital patient uses patient-controlled, doctor-timed pain relief
Variable interval Reinforcement is delivered at unpredictable time intervals (e.g., after 5, 7, 10, and 20 minutes). Moderate yet steady response rate Checking Facebook
Fixed ratio Reinforcement is delivered after a predictable number of responses (e.g., after 2, 4, 6, and 8 responses). High response rate with pauses after reinforcement Piecework—factory worker getting paid for every x number of items manufactured
Variable ratio Reinforcement is delivered after an unpredictable number of responses (e.g., after 1, 4, 5, and 9 responses). High and steady response rate Gambling

Now let’s combine these four terms. A fixed interval reinforcement schedule is when behavior is rewarded after a set amount of time. For example, June undergoes major surgery in a hospital. During recovery, she is expected to experience pain and will require prescription medications for pain relief.

June is given an IV drip with a patient-controlled painkiller. Her doctor sets a limit: one dose per hour. June pushes a button when pain becomes difficult, and she receives a dose of medication. Since the reward (pain relief) only occurs on a fixed interval, there is no point in exhibiting the behavior when it will not be rewarded.

With a variable interval reinforcement schedule, the person or animal gets the reinforcement based on varying amounts of time, which are unpredictable. Say that Manuel is the manager at a fast-food restaurant. Every once in a while someone from the quality control division comes to Manuel’s restaurant.

If the restaurant is clean and the service is fast, everyone on that shift earns a \$20 bonus. Manuel never knows when the quality control person will show up, so he always tries to keep the restaurant clean and ensures that his employees provide prompt and courteous service. His productivity regarding prompt service and keeping a clean restaurant are steady because he wants his crew to earn the bonus.

With a fixed ratio reinforcement schedule, there are a set number of responses that must occur before the behavior is rewarded. Carla sells glasses at an eyeglass store, and she earns a commission every time she sells a pair of glasses. She always tries to sell people more pairs of glasses, including prescription sunglasses or a backup pair, so she can increase her commission.

She does not care if the person really needs the prescription sunglasses, Carla just wants her bonus. The quality of what Carla sells does not matter because her commission is not based on quality; it’s only based on the number of pairs sold. This distinction in the quality of performance can help determine which reinforcement method is most appropriate for a particular situation.

Fixed ratios are better suited to optimize the quantity of output, whereas a fixed interval, in which the reward is not quantity based, can lead to a higher quality of output. In a variable ratio reinforcement schedule, the number of responses needed for a reward varies.

This is the most powerful partial reinforcement schedule. An example of the variable ratio reinforcement schedule is gambling. Imagine that Sarah—generally a smart, thrifty woman—visits Las Vegas for the first time. She is not a gambler, but out of curiosity she puts a quarter into the slot machine, and then another, and another.

Nothing happens. Two dollars in quarters later, her curiosity is fading, and she is just about to quit. But then, the machine lights up, bells go off, and Sarah gets 50 quarters back. That’s more like it! Sarah gets back to inserting quarters with renewed interest, and a few minutes later she has used up all her gains and is \$10 in the hole.

• Now might be a sensible time to quit.
• And yet, she keeps putting money into the slot machine because she never knows when the next reinforcement is coming.
• She keeps thinking that with the next quarter she could win \$50, or \$100, or even more.
• Because the reinforcement schedule in most types of gambling has a variable ratio schedule, people keep trying and hoping that the next time they will win big.

This is one of the reasons that gambling is so addictive—and so resistant to extinction. In operant conditioning, extinction of a reinforced behavior occurs at some point after reinforcement stops, and the speed at which this happens depends on the reinforcement schedule.

• In a variable ratio schedule, the point of extinction comes very slowly, as described above.
• But in the other reinforcement schedules, extinction may come quickly.
• For example, if June presses the button for the pain relief medication before the allotted time her doctor has approved, no medication is administered.

She is on a fixed interval reinforcement schedule (dosed hourly), so extinction occurs quickly when reinforcement doesn’t come at the expected time. Among the reinforcement schedules, variable ratio is the most productive and the most resistant to extinction. Figure 1, The four reinforcement schedules yield different response patterns. The variable ratio schedule is unpredictable and yields high and steady response rates, with little if any pause after reinforcement (e.g., gambler). A fixed ratio schedule is predictable and produces a high response rate, with a short pause after reinforcement (e.g., eyeglass saleswoman).

What are the benefits of variable ratio?

15 Variable Ratio Schedule Examples A variable ratio schedule of reinforcement applies an award after varying numbers of times a goal behavior has occurred. It is one of four types of, The variable schedule causes a randomness effect where people don’t know when they will be rewarded (or punished) for their behavior but they know there is a chance each time.

For example, the reward may be given after the 5 th, then 3 rd, then 11 th occurrence of the goal behavior. The variable ratio schedule is one of four schedules of reinforcement identified by B.F. Skinner. The other three schedules are:,, and variable interval. Each reinforcement schedule produces a unique set of behavioral patterns and contain different strengths and weaknesses.

The variable ratio schedule produces a very high and steady frequency of the goal behavior. In addition, there is very little post-reinforcement pause. Because the number of behaviors required for reward changes, the subject of experimentation keeps a steady rate of response.

Mrs. Linwood loves to play the scratch-offs at the convenience store near her home. Ben checks his Facebook account frequently to see how many likes his most recent post received. Mrs. Jones likes to give pop quizzes to her students. This rewards students who study frequently. Jasmine and her sister like going door-to-door selling girl scout cookies. Sometimes they get a sale, sometimes they don’t. Professor Jenkins likes to call on students at random to see if they read that week’s assignment. Coach Jacobs likes to praise his players for trying hard during drills. But he doesn’t give them praise each and every time; sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn’t. Mrs. Singh checks on her teenagers’ homework every night. Sometimes she gives them a reward for doing well, but not always. Mitchell lives in Las Vegas and likes to play slot machines the most. One time he won twice in one day; but then didn’t win again for months. Jenna likes to bake cookies for her boyfriend when they get along really well. But, she doesn’t want to spoil him so she doesn’t do it every time he is nice. Mr. Jones likes to distribute small bonuses randomly to his employees for working hard. The police are sometimes at a speed trap and sometimes aren’t. Because they know there’s a chance the police will be there, drivers tend to drive at the correct speed past that speed trap every time.

There are many features of slot machines that make them so enjoyable to play for so many people. There are the bright colors, the flashing lights, and the high-pitched exciting sounds. And then, there’s the payoffor at least the possibility of a payoff.

1. Each slot machine can be independently programmed to produce a very specific schedule of payoff.
2. Casinos apply a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement, so that the payoff is highly unpredictable.
3. For example, one machine may have a VR-120 schedule.
4. That means that on average, it will produce one payoff for every 120 times played.

However, it’s not always 120. The number of times required to be played before a payoff varies each and every time. So, one time it might be 90, one time it might be 55, and another time it might be 155. But, the average of all of those will equal 120. The above video describes other features that make slot machines so compelling.

A “loot box” refers to a container in a video game that holds various kinds of rewards. The rewards in the box could alter the game in some exciting and meaningful way; they could change the player’s avatar or improve their game play. Like other aspects of video game-play, obtaining rewards as a function of in-game performance is often on a variable ratio schedule.

While players know clearly how to obtain some rewards, others are less predictable. Game designers are well-versed in the use of reinforcement schedules to keep players locked-in to game-play. For example, the opportunity to purchase a loot box can occur at any moment.

1. However, loot boxes have become controversial because they can sometimes be purchased with monetary forms of payment.
2. From the perspective of some academics and concerned government officials, this makes the situation similar to gambling The issue has been recognized as so serious that several countries have enacted legislation, including n Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark, with several other nations (including the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden and the United States) considering similar action (McCaffrey, 2019).

The Skinner box is a glass-enclosed machine that contains a lever or button that an animal can press to receive a reinforcement. The box has a device that allows the researcher to control the schedule of reinforcement and charts the animal’s behavior.

When the lever or button is pressed, then the animal is rewarded with a food pellet or water. Other stimuli could be presented as well, such as a light or sound, or even electricity applied to the floor as a form of punishment. Using the box allows the researcher to control nearly all aspects of the environment, a key principle of good research.

A researcher can examine the effects of different reinforcement schedules on behavior while eliminating the influence of other factors. The above video shows B.F. Skinner talking about the box and the variable ratio schedule. Skinner also demonstrated important concepts in educational psychology such as,, and,

• There is no doubt that most people in the industrialized world spend a lot of time on social media.
• Among the many ways of measuring this activity, some numbers stand out.
• For example, in North America, people spend an average of more than such as Facebook and Instagram.
• There are numerous factors involved that make people so consumed with social media: engaging content, ease and availability of news and entertainment, and desire to connect with friends.

It’s possible to examine this issue from a schedule of reinforcement perspective as well. For example, when we check on our posts to see if it has been liked, we are putting ourselves on a variable ratio schedule. Each time we check, we might be rewarded by seeing that we have gained 10 likes for our post.

The next time we check however, there may be no new likes. This is a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement. The number of behaviors required in order to receive reward changes each time. Of the four schedules of reinforcement, the variable ratio leads to the highest rate of behavior. Believe it or not, the hunting success rate of some of the world’s most fierce predators is actually quite low.

While that of other, seemingly more docile creatures, like the domestic cat, is quite high. There is a wide range of success rates across the animal kingdom, as can be seen in the above video. It’s possible to examine these success rates from a schedule of reinforcement perspective.

1. If the success rate of a predator is 100%, that would clearly be a fixed ratio schedule of one.
2. Each hunt results in one meal.
3. However, when the success rate is in the single digits, such as 5%, then it means that the predator must hunt 20 times before being rewarded.
4. In reality, the number of attempts required in order to receive a reward is going to change.

One week, the predator may need to engage the hunt 15 times before being rewarded. The subsequent weeks, that number may be higher or lower. This means the predator is on a variable ratio schedule. The number of hunts required for reward is unpredictable.

1. The variable ratio schedule of reinforcement produces the highest rate of behavior of all the schedules.
2. Since the number of behaviors required to receive a reward changes each time, the animal subject, or human, is in a constant state of quest.
3. Slot machines and video games take advantage of the variable ratio schedule by integrating it into game-play to keep players locked-in mentally.

This can lead to serious issues of addiction and gambling. The variable ratio schedule can also be seen in the animal kingdom. Success rates of predators can be surprisingly low, but they are always unpredictable. That means that the number of hunts required for reward is constantly changing.

1. Drummond, A., & Sauer, J.D. (2018).
2. Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling.
3. Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 530-532.
4. Ferster, C.B., & Skinner, B.F. (1957).
5. Schedules of reinforcement,
6. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
7. Ing, D., Delfabbro, P., & Griffiths, M. (2010).
8. Video game structural characteristics: A new psychological taxonomy.

International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 8 (1), 90-106. McCaffrey, M. (2019). The macro problem of microtransactions: The self-regulatory challenges of video game loot boxes. Business Horizons, 62 (4), 483–495. Morgan, D.L. (2010). Schedules of reinforcement at 50: A retrospective appreciation.

• The Psychological Record, 60, 151–172. Reed P. (2001).
• Schedules of reinforcement as determinants of human causality judgments and response rates.
• Journal of Experimental Psychology.
• Animal Behavior Processes, 27 (3), 187–195.
• Skinner, B.F. (1958).
• Reinforcement today.
• American Psychologist, 13 (3), 94–99.

Spicer, S.G., Nicklin, L.L., Uther, M., Lloyd, J., Lloyd, H.M., & Close, J. (2021). Loot boxes, problem gambling and problem video gaming: A systematic review and meta-synthesis. New Media & Society, 24, 1001-1022. : 15 Variable Ratio Schedule Examples

How are ratio variables measured?

Published on August 28, 2020 by Pritha Bhandari, Revised on November 28, 2022. A ratio scale is a quantitative scale where there is a true zero and equal intervals between neighboring points. Unlike on an interval scale, a zero on a ratio scale means there is a total absence of the variable you are measuring. Length, area, and population are examples of ratio scales.

How does variable interval work?

Interval Schedules of Reinforcement – There are two basic types of interval schedules. A Fixed Interval Schedule provides a reward at consistent times. Forexample a child may be rewarded once a week if their room is cleaned up. Aproblem with this type of reinforcement schedule is that individuals tend to wait until the time when reinforcement will occur and thenbegin their responses (Nye, 1992).

• Because of this reinforcement, output doesnot remain constant.
• In the example given above, the child’s room may be amess all week, but is cleaned up for the “inspection”.
• Examples 1.
• A salaried work is not completely controlled by the salary because ofthe existence of many other conditions in the job environment.2.

Teacher schedules exams or projects at regular intervals and the gradeis the reinforcer, but the work is inconsistnet during the interval betweentests. A Variable Interval Schedule provides reinforcement after random timeintervals. This enforces persistence in the behavior over a long period of time.

• Becauserewards are dispensed over a period of time, they average out, but within thatperiod rewards are dispensed unevenly (Carpenter, 1974).
• For example, youmight check the child’s room on a randon schedule, they she would never knowwhen you would check, so the room would remain picked up.
• Examples 1.

A teacher who gives surprise quizes or who calls on students to answeroral questions on the average of once every third day.2. A pigeon will maintain a constant rate of pecking, with little pausingto consume its reinforcers.

What is the difference between variable ratio and variable interval MCAT?

Topic: Associative Learning Operant conditioning is a theory of learning that focuses on changes in an individual’s observable behaviors. In operant conditioning, new or continued behaviors are impacted by new or continued consequences. Operant conditioning owes a lot of its foundations to the experiments of B.F Skinner,

Skinner’s most famous research studies were simple reinforcement experiments conducted on lab rats and domestic pigeons, which demonstrated the most basic principles of operant conditioning. He conducted most of his research in a special cumulative recorder, now referred to as a “Skinner box,” which was used to analyze the behavioral responses of his test subjects.

DeepMind x UCL RL Lecture Series – Policy-Gradient and Actor-Critic methods [9/13]

In these boxes, he would present his subjects with positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, or aversive stimuli in various timing intervals (or “schedules”) that were designed to produce or inhibit specific target behaviors. In his first work with rats, Skinner would place the rats in a Skinner box with a lever attached to a feeding tube.

Whenever a rat pressed the lever, food would be released. After the experience of multiple trials, the rats learned the association between the lever and food and began to spend more of their time in the box procuring food than performing any other action. In his operant-conditioning experiments, Skinner often used an approach called shaping,

Instead of rewarding only the target, or desired, behavior, the process of shaping involves the reinforcement of successive approximations of the target behavior (which is often a novel behavior). The method requires that the subject perform behaviors that at first merely resemble the target behavior; through reinforcement, these behaviors are gradually changed or shaped, to encourage the performance of the target behavior itself.

Extinction, in operant conditioning, refers to when a reinforced behavior is extinguished entirely. This occurs at some point after reinforcement stops; the speed at which this happens depends on the reinforcement schedule, which is discussed in more detail in another section. Reinforcement and punishment are principles of operant conditioning that increase or decrease the likelihood of a behavior,

Reinforcement means you are increasing a behavior: it is any consequence or outcome that increases the likelihood of a particular behavioral response (and that therefore reinforces the behavior). The strengthening effect on the behavior can manifest in multiple ways, including higher frequency, longer duration, greater magnitude, and short-latency of response. In the context of operant conditioning, whether you are reinforcing or punishing a behavior, “positive” always means you are adding a stimulus (not necessarily a good one), and “negative” always means you are removing a stimulus (not necessarily a bad one).

See the blue text and yellow text above, which represent positive and negative, respectively. Similarly, reinforcement always means you are increasing (or maintaining) the level of behavior, and punishment always means you are decreasing the level of a behavior. See the green and red backgrounds above, which represent reinforcement and punishment, respectively.

– Positive reinforcers add a wanted or pleasant stimulus to increase or maintain the frequency of a behavior. – Negative reinforcers remove an aversive or unpleasant stimulus to increase or maintain the frequency of a behavior. – Positive punishments add an aversive stimulus to decrease a behavior or response.

• Negative punishments remove a pleasant stimulus to decrease a behavior or response.
• Reinforcement schedules determine how and when a behaviour will be followed by a reinforcer.
• A schedule of reinforcement is a tactic used in operant conditioning that influences how an operant response is learned and maintained.

Each type of schedule imposes a rule or program that attempts to determine how and when the desired behavior occurs. Behaviors are encouraged through the use of reinforcers, discouraged through the use of punishments, and rendered extinct by the complete removal of a stimulus.

• Schedules vary from a simple ratio – and interval-based schedules to more complicated compound schedules that combine one or more simple strategies to manipulate behavior.
• Some examples of schedules are: -A fixed-interval schedule is when behavior is rewarded after a set amount of time.
• A variable-interval schedule, the subject gets the reinforcement based on varying and unpredictable amounts of time.

– A fixed-ratio schedule, there are a set number of responses that must occur before the behavior is rewarded. – A variable-ratio schedule, the number of responses needed for a reward varies. Additionally, a discriminating stimulus can be presented before the subject responds.

This discriminating stimulus signals the availability of the reinforcement/punishment, and increases the probability of a response. Avoidance learning is the process by which an individual learns a behavior or response to avoid a stressful or unpleasant situation. The behavior is to avoid, or to remove oneself from, the situation.

The reinforcement for the behavior is to not experience the negative punishment, but rather experience the absence of punishment. The principles of operant conditioning are used experimentally, as well as in cognitive behavioral therapy and applied behavioral analysis with patients.

For example, contingency management strategies uses principles of operant conditioning (generally positive reinforcement) to change behaviors. A token economy is one form of contingency management that uses a reinforcer (a “token”) that can be exchanged for a positive stimulus. Practice Questions Khan Academy Marijuana usage as social behavior Applications of operant conditioning in daily life Health after trauma correlates of PTSD Tickle me Nim.

Do primates speak language? Cats and dogs and conditioning MCAT Official Prep (AAMC) Online Flashcards Psychology Question 5 Online Flashcards Psychology Question 11 Online Flashcards Psychology Question 12 Online Flashcards Psychology Question 21 Official Guide P/S Section Passage 3 Question 15 Official Guide P/S Section Passage 4 Question 19 Official Guide P/S Section Question 27 Section Bank P/S Section Question 13 Section Bank P/S Section Question 34 Sample Test P/S Section Passage 7 Question 35 Sample Test P/S Section Passage 7 Question 38 Section Bank P/S Section Question 82 Practice Exam 1 P/S Section Passage 2 Question 6 Practice Exam 1 P/S Section Passage 2 Question 7 Practice Exam 2 P/S Section Passage 1 Question 4 Practice Exam 2 P/S Section Question 12 Practice Exam 3 P/S Section Question 27 Practice Exam 3 P/S Section Passage 6 Question 33 Practice Exam 4 P/S Section Passage 1 Question 2 Practice Exam 4 P/S Section Passage 1 Question 4 Practice Exam 4 P/S Section Passage 6 Question 32 Practice Exam 4 P/S Section Question 44 Key Points • Shaping involves a calculated reinforcement of a “target behavior”: it uses operant conditioning principles to train a subject by rewarding proper behavior and discouraging improper behavior.

• The method requires that the subject perform behaviors that at first merely resemble the target behavior; through reinforcement, these behaviors are gradually changed or “shaped” to encourage the target behavior itself. • Skinner’s early experiments in operant conditioning involved the shaping of rats’ behavior, so they learned to press a lever and receive a food reward.

• Reinforcement refers to any consequence that increases the likelihood of a particular behavioral response; ” punishment ” refers to a consequence that decreases the likelihood of this response. • Both reinforcement and punishment can be positive or negative.

• In operant conditioning, positive means you are adding something and negative means you are taking something away.
• Reinforcers can be either primary (linked unconditionally to a behavior) or secondary (requiring deliberate or conditioned linkage to a specific behavior).
• A reinforcement schedule is a tool in operant conditioning that allows the trainer to control the timing and frequency of reinforcement in order to elicit a target behavior.

• Different schedules (fixed-interval, variable-interval, fixed-ratio, and variable-ratio) have different advantages and respond differently to extinction. • Avoidance learning is the process by which an individual learns a behavior or response to avoid a stressful or unpleasant situation.

Key Terms punishment : the act or process of imposing and/or applying a sanction for an undesired behavior when conditioning toward the desired behavior aversive : tending to repel, causing avoidance (of a situation, a behavior, an item, etc.) successive approximation : an increasingly accurate estimate of a response desired by a trainer shaping : a method of positive reinforcement of behavior patterns in operant conditioning latency: the delay between a stimulus and the response it triggers in an organism extinction : when a behavior ceases because it is no longer reinforced interval : a period of time ratio : a number representing a comparison between two things operant conditioning: a type of associative learning process through which the strength of a behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment B.F.

Skinner: developed the theory of operant conditioning reinforcement: increasing a behavior discriminating stimulus: stimulus presented before a reinforcer/punishment, to signal availability and increase probability of responding avoidance learning: the process by which an individual learns a behavior or response to avoid a stressful or unpleasant situation.

What is the definition of fixed ratio?

Definition – Fixed ratio is a schedule of reinforcement. In this schedule, reinforcement is delivered after the completion of a number of responses. The required number of responses remains constant. The schedule is denoted as FR-#, with the number specifying the number of responses that must be produced to attain reinforcement.

In an FR-3 schedule, 3 responses must be produced in order to obtain reinforcement. In an FR-15 schedule, 15 responses must be emitted before reinforcement is delivered. This ratio requirement (number of responses to produce reinforcement) is conceptualized as a response unit. In other words, it is the response unit (not the last response) that leads to the reinforcer (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007 ; Skinner, 1938 ).

Applications of FR schedules can be found in business and in education. Some tasks are paid on an FR schedule (e.g., piecework). Students might receive a token after the completion of ten spelling words. FR schedules are.

What is a ratio variable in research?

A ratio variable is a type of quantitative variable in statistics that has a meaningful zero point and can be measured on a continuous scale. In other words, the values of a ratio variable can be expressed as a ratio of two numbers, where the denominator is not equal to zero.

What is an example of variable ratio in dogs?

​There are several options in terms of reinforcement schedules that can be used for behaviour modification. In this text I will provide you with a quick description of each of the different simple schedules and a couple of examples for each (one human example and one animal training example).

I will also offer a couple of considerations for people debating the idea of which schedule to use for a given situation. Early in my career I was told that, in general, a good way to go about training animals would be to use a continuous schedule of reinforcement for teaching a new behaviour and to then maintain the behaviour using a “variable schedule of reinforcement”.

This is a very broad statement and one that seems to make sense to someone being introduced to animal training. However, is this really the best option to go about when training animals? And what do people mean when they mention “a variable schedule of reinforcement”? Let’s start by defining the most common types of simple schedules of reinforcement according to Paul Chance’s book Learning and behavior (2003; figure 1). Figure 1 – The most common types of simple reinforcement schedules ​ The simplest type of reinforcement schedule is a Continuous reinforcement schedule. In this case every correct behaviour that meets the established criteria is reinforced. For example, the dog gets a treat every time it sits when asked to do so; the salesman gets paid every time he sells a book.

Partial Schedules of reinforcement can be divided into Fixed Ratio, Variable Ratio, Fixed Interval and Variable Interval. In a Fixed Ratio reinforcement schedule, the behaviour is reinforced after a certain amount of correct responses has occurred. For example, the dog gets a treat after sitting three times (FR 3); the salesman gets paid when four books are sold (FR 4).

In a Variable Ratio reinforcement schedule, the behaviour is reinforced when a variable number of correct responses has occurred. This variable number can be around a given average. For example, the dog gets a treat after sitting twice, after sitting four times and after sitting six times.

• The average in this example is four, so this would be a VR 4 schedule of reinforcement.
• Using our human example, if the salesman gets paid after selling five, fifteen and ten books he would be on a VR 10 schedule of reinforcement, given than ten is the average number around which his payments are offered.

In a Fixed Interval reinforcement schedule, the behaviour is reinforced after a certain behaviour has happened, but only when that behaviour occurs after a certain amount of time. For example, if a dog is in a FI 8 schedule of reinforcement it will get a treat the first time it sits, but sitting will not produce treats for the next 8 seconds.

After the 8 second period, the first sit will produce a treat again. The salesman will get paid after selling a book but then not receive payment for each book sold for the next 3 hours. After the 3-hour period, the first book he sells results in the salesman getting paid again (FI 3). In a Variable Interval reinforcement schedule, the behaviour is reinforced after a certain variable amount of time has elapsed.

The amount of time can vary around a given average. For example, instead of always reinforcing the sit behaviour after 8 seconds, that behaviour could be reinforced after 4, 8 or 12 seconds. In this case the average is 8, so it would be a VI 8 schedule of reinforcement.

1. The salesman could be paid when selling a book after 1, 3 or 5 hours, a VI 3 schedule of reinforcement.
2. The next question would be “How do the different schedules of reinforcement compare to each other?”.
3. Azdin (1994) argues that a continuous schedule of reinforcement or at the very least a “generous” schedule of reinforcement is ideal when teaching new behaviours.

After a behaviour has been learned, the choice of which type of reinforcement schedule to use becomes somewhat more complex. Kazdin also mentions that behaviours maintained under a partial schedule of reinforcement are more resistant to extinction than behaviours maintained under a continuous schedule of reinforcement.

• The thinner the reinforcement schedule for a certain behaviour, the more resistant to extinction that behaviour is.
• In other words, the learner presents more responses for less reinforcers under partial schedules when compared to a continuous schedule of reinforcement.
• According to figure 2 we can see that, in general, a variable ratio schedule produces more responses for a similar or lower number of reinforcers than other partial schedules of reinforcement.

In many situations it also seems to produce those responses faster and with little latency from the individual. This information, along with my own personal observations and communication with professionals in the field of animal training, makes me believe that when trainers use the broad term “Variable Schedule of Reinforcement” they usually mean a variable ratio schedule. ​Figure 2 – Behaviour responses under the most common types of partial schedules of reinforcement (Chance, 2003; Kazdin, 1994; Schunk, 2012). ​A variable ratio schedule might elicit the highest response rate, a constant pattern of responses with minimal pauses and the most resistance to extinction.

A fixed ratio has a slightly lower response rate, a steady pattern of responses and a resistance to extinction that is dependent on the ratio used. A fixed interval schedule produces a moderate response rate, a long pause in responding after reinforcement followed by gradual acceleration in responding and a resistance to extinction that is dependent on the interval chosen (the longer the interval, the more resistance).

A variable interval has a similar response rate, a steady pattern of responses and is more resilient to extinction than a fixed interval schedule. These characteristics of partial schedules of reinforcement are summarised in table 1. Table 1 – Characteristics of the most common types of partial schedules of reinforcement (Wood, Wood & Boyd, 2005). ​With all these different types of schedules, each with different characteristics you might be wondering: “Do I need to master all of these principles to successfully train my pet at home?” The quick and simple answer is “No, you don’t”. For most animal training situations, a continuous schedule of reinforcement will be a simple, easy and effective tool that will yield the results you want.

• Doing a training session with your dog in which you ask for behaviours on cue when the dog is in front of you (sit, down, stand, shake, play dead) could be very well maintained using a continuous schedule.
• A continuous schedule of reinforcement would be an efficient and easy approach and it would allow you to change the cue or stop a behaviour easily (faster extinction) if you change your mind about a given behaviour later.

One could argue that a variable ratio schedule would possibly produce more responses with less reinforcement, and a higher resistance to extinction for these behaviours. One of the disadvantages of this option would be the possibility of a ratio strain (post-reinforcement pauses or decrease in responding).

Some specific situations might justify the maintenance of a behaviour using partial schedules of reinforcement. For example, when a dog has learned that lying down on a mat in the living room results in reinforcement, the dog’s carer could maintain this behaviour using a variable interval schedule of reinforcement, in which the dog only gets reinforced after varying amounts of time for lying on the mat.

Martin and Friedman (2011) offer another example in which partial reinforcement schedules could be helpful. If a trainer wants to train a lion to make several trips to a public viewing window throughout the day, the behaviour should be trained using a continuous schedule to get a high rate of window passes in the early stages.

The trainer should then use a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement to maintain the behaviour. They do advise however, that this would require “careful planning to keep the reinforcement rate high enough for the lion to remain engaged in the training”. The process of extinction of a reinforced behaviour means withholding the consequence that reinforces the behaviour and it is usually followed by a decline in the presentation of that behaviour (Chance, 2003).

Resistance to extinction can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on which behaviour we are considering. For example, one could argue that a student paying attention to its teacher would be a behaviour that should be resistant to extinction, and so, a good option to be kept on a partial schedule of reinforcement.

1. On the other hand, a dog that touches a bell to go outside could be kept on a continuous schedule of reinforcement.
2. One of the advantages of this approach would be that, if in the future the dog’s owner decides that she no longer wants the dog to touch the bell, by not reinforcing it anymore, the behaviour could cease to happen relatively fast.

While I do believe that for certain specific situations, partial schedules of reinforcement might be helpful, I would like to take a moment to caution against the use of a non-continuous pairing of bridge and backup reinforcer. Many animal trainers call this a “variable schedule of reinforcement” when in practical terms this usually ends up being a continuous reinforcement schedule that weakens the strength and reliability of the bridge.

For more information on this topic check my blog post entitled ” Blazing clickers – Click and always offer a treat? “. When asked about continuous vs. ratio schedules, Bailey & Bailey (1998) have an interesting general recommendation: “If you do not need a ratio, do not use a ratio. Or, in other words, stick to continuous reinforcement unless there is a good reason to go to a ratio”.

They also describe that they have trained and maintained numerous behaviours with a wide variety of animal species using exclusively a continuous schedule of reinforcement. They raise some possible complications when deciding to have a behaviour maintained on a ratio schedule.

The example given is of a dog’s sit behaviour being maintained on a FR 2 schedule of reinforcement: “You tell the dog sit – the first response is a bit sloppy, the second one is ok. You click and treat. What have you reinforced? A sloppy response, chained to a good response.” Karen Pryor (2006) also has an interesting view on this topic.

She mentions that during the early stages of training a new behaviour you start by using a continuous schedule of reinforcement to get the first few responses. Then, when you decide to improve the behaviour and raise criteria, the animal is put on a variable ratio schedule, because not every response is going to result in reinforcement.

This is an interesting point, because the trainer could look at this situation and still read it as a continuous schedule of reinforcement, when in reality the animal is producing responses that are not resulting in reinforcement. At this point in time, only our new “correct responses” will result in reinforcement.

From the learners’ point of view the schedule has become variable at this stage. Pryor concludes that when the animal “is meeting the new criterion every time, the reinforcement becomes continuous again.” Pryor (2006) suggests that the situations in which you should deliberately use a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement are: “in raising criteria”, when “building resistance to extinction during shaping” and “for extending duration and distance of a behaviour”.

• Regarding the situations in which we should not use it, she starts by saying that we should never use a variable ratio schedule purely as “a maintenance tool”.
• She adds that “behaviours that occur in just the same way with the same level of difficulty each time are better maintained by continuous reinforcement”.

Pryor also advises against the use of a variable ratio schedule for maintaining chains, because “failing to reinforce the whole chain at the end of it would inevitably lead to pieces of the chain beginning to extinguish down the road.” Finally, she does not recommend using such a schedule of reinforcement for discrimination problems such as scent, match to sample tasks, or any other training that requires choice between two or more items.

• In conclusion, there are a few possible schedules of reinforcement that can be effectively used to train and maintain trained behaviours for our pets.
• Each has its own set of characteristics, but for most training situations, a continuous schedule of reinforcement is a simple, efficient and powerful tool to effectively communicate with our pets.

Some specific training situations might be good candidates for partial schedules of reinforcement. In those situations, you should remember to follow each bridge with a backup reinforcer, plan your training well and keep the reinforcement rate high enough for the animal to remain engaged.

Have fun with your training! Bailey, B., Bailey, M., (1998). “Clickersolutions Training Articles – Ratios, Schedules – Why And When “. Clickersolutions.com,N.p., Accessed 2 February 2018. Chance, P. (2003). Learning and behavior (5th ed.). Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth. Kazdin, A. (1994). Behavior modification in applied settings (5th ed.).

Belmont: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Martin, S., Friedman, S.G., (2011, November). Blazing clickers, Paper present at Animal Behavior Management Alliance conference, Denver. Co. Pryor, K. (2006). Reinforce Every Behavior?, Clickertraining.com, Retrieved 2 February 2018, from https://clickertraining.com/node/670 Schunk, D.

Is ratio scale used in psychology?

Ratio Ratio scales of measurement have all of the properties of the abstract number system – identity, magnitude, equal distance and absolute/true zero, They allow us to apply all of the possible mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) in data analysis.

 Scales with an absolute zero and equal interval are considered ratio scales of measurement.

table>

Let’s count how many times children whisper to one another on the bus.

table>

table>

Observe Pair #1 – they whisper 1 time. Observe Pair #2 – they whisper 6 times. Observe Pair #3 – they whisper 11 times

table>

If in a selected interval, we never observed two children whisper, we have confidence that the “0” point represents an ab sence of that particular behavior.

table>

The equal intervals and true zero point allow us to know that Pair #2 whispered 6 times as often as Pair #1.

table>

Now, let’s compare this count of the number of behaviors to our interval scale, – If we were measuring IQ, we would never say that an IQ of 120 means that someone is twice as intelligent as someone with an IQ of 60. We would never say that someone had no IQ. Yet, we can confidently discuss how many more times a particular behavior occurred. This is the advantage of ratio scales. – Without a true zero point (such as for IQ or personality tests), we cannot do multiplication or division and thus not cannot talk about twice as many or half as much of a characteristic. It is the true zero point in ratio scales that allow us to multiply and divide.

table>

Other examples of ratio scales in psychological research: Height, weight, volume, latency.

table>

Ratio

What is an example of a ratio variable sociology?

Ratio level of measurement – Finally, at the ratio level, attributes can be rank ordered, the distance between attributes is equal, and attributes have a true zero point. Thus, with these variables, we can say what the ratio of one attribute is in comparison to another.

Table 5.1 Criteria for Different Levels of Measurement

 Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio Exhaustive X X X X Mutually exclusive X X X X Rank-ordered X X X Equal distance between attributes X X Can compare ratios of the values (e.g., twice as large) X True zero point X

ul> In social science, our variables can be one of four different levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio.

Categorical measures- a measure with attributes that are categories Continuous measures- a measures with attributes that are numbers Exhaustiveness- all possible attributes are listed Interval level- a level of measurement that is continuous, can be rank ordered, is exhaustive and mutually exclusive, and for which the distance between attributes is known to be equal Likert scales- ordinal measures that use numbers as a shorthand (e.g., 1=highly likely, 2=somewhat likely, etc.) to indicate what attribute the person feels describes them best Mutual exclusivity- a person cannot identify with two different attributes simultaneously Nominal- level of measurement that is categorical and those categories cannot be mathematically ranked, though they are exhaustive and mutually exclusive Ordinal- level of measurement that is categorical, those categories can be rank ordered, and they are exhaustive and mutually exclusive Ratio level- level of measurement in which attributes are mutually exclusive and exhaustive, attributes can be rank ordered, the distance between attributes is equal, and attributes have a true zero point Variable- refers to a grouping of several characteristics

: 5.3 Levels of measurement

What is an example of ratio ratio?

Definitions: – A ratio is an ordered pair of numbers a and b, written a / b where b does not equal 0. A proportion is an equation in which two ratios are set equal to each other. For example, if there is 1 boy and 3 girls you could write the ratio as:

1 : 3 (for every one boy there are 3 girls) 1 / 4 are boys and 3 / 4 are girls 0.25 are boys (by dividing 1 by 4) 25% are boys (0.25 as a percentage)

What is an example of variable interval reinforcement?

1) Health Inspections – One classic example of variable interval reinforcement is having a health inspector or secret shopper come into a workplace. Store employees or even managers may not know when someone is coming in to inspect the store, although they may know it’s happening once a quarter or twice a year.

What is the difference between variable ratio and interval psychology?

 Click on hyperlink for learning activities. Schedules 1. Definitions 2. Provide your own examples 3. Crossword puzzle 4. Word search Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Schedules of Reinforcement Schedules of reinforcement are the rules that determine how often an organism is reinforced for a particular behavior. The particular pattern of reinforcement has an impact on the pattern of responding by the animal. A schedule of reinforcement is either continuous or partial. The behavior of the Fire Chief Rabbit to the left was not reinforced every time it pulled the lever that “operated” the fire truck. In other words, the rabbit’s lever pulling was reinforced on a partial or intermittent schedule. There are four basic partial schedules of reinforcement. These different schedules are based on reinforcing the behavior as a function of (a) the number of responses that have occurred or (b) the length of time since the last reinforcer was available. The basic four partial schedules are: Fixed Ratio, Variable Ratio, Fixed Interval, and Variable Interval Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Continuous Schedule The continuous schedule of reinforcement involves the delivery of a reinforcer every single time that a desired behavior is emitted. Behaviors are learned quickly with a continuous schedule of reinforcement and the schedule is simple to use. As a rule of thumb, it usually helps to reinforce the animal every time it does the behavior when it is learning the behavior. Later, when the behavior is well established, the trainer can switch to a partial or intermittent schedule. If Keller Breland (left) reinforces the behavior (touching the ring with nose) every time the behavior occurs, then Keller is using a continuous schedule. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Partial (Intermittent) Schedu le With a partial (intermittent) schedule, only some of the instances of behavior are reinforced, not every instance. Behaviors are shaped and learned more slowly with a partial schedule of reinforcement (compared to a continuous schedule). However, behavior reinforced under a partial schedule is more resistant to extinction. Partial schedules of reinforcement are based on either a time interval passing before the next available reinforcer or it is based on how many behaviors have occurred before the next instance of the behavior is reinforced. Schedules based on how many responses have occurred are referred to as ratio schedules and can be either fixed-ratio or variable-ratio schedules. Schedules based on elapsed time are referred to as interval schedules and can be either fixed-interval or variable-interval schedules. Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Fixed Ratio Schedule Ratio schedules involve reinforcement after a certain number of responses have been emitted. The fixed ratio schedule involves using a constant number of responses. For example, if the rabbit is reinforced every time it pulls the lever exactly five times, it would be reinforced on an FR 5 schedule, Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Variable Ratio Schedule Ratio schedules involve reinforcement after an average number of responses have occurred. For example, the Fire Chief Rabbit’s lever pulling, which made it appear that it was operating the fire truck, was reinforced on a variable-ratio schedule. Reinforcement occurred after an average of 3 pulls on the lever. Sometimes the reinforcer was delivered after 2 pulls, sometimes after 4 pulls, sometimes after 3 pulls, etc. If the average was about every 3 pulls, this would be a VR 3 schedule. Variable ratio schedules maintain high and steady rates of the desired behavior, and the behavior is very resistant to extinction. Fixed Interval Schedule Interval schedules involve reinforcing a behavior after an interval of time has passed. In a fixed interval schedule, the interval of time is always the same. In an FI 3-second schedule, the first response after three seconds have passed will be reinforced, but no response made before the three seconds have passed will be reinforced. ABE did not use this type of schedule very often. Variable Interval Schedule Interval schedules involve reinforcing a behavior after an variable interval of time has passed. In a variable interval schedule, the interval of time is not always the same but centers around some average length of time. In a VI 3-second schedule, the first response after three seconds (on average) have passed will be reinforced, but no responses made before the three seconds (on average) have passed will be reinforced. After an animal learns the schedule, the rate of behavior tends to be steadier than with a fixed interval schedule. ABE did not use this type of schedule very often.