In operant conditioning, a variable-interval schedule is a schedule of reinforcement where a response is rewarded after an unpredictable amount of time has passed. This schedule produces a slow, steady rate of response.
- Very resistant to extinction
- The rate of response is relatively slow, but steady
- Very minimal pause after reinforcement is given
- Checking Your Email: Typically, you check your email at random times throughout the day instead of checking every time a single message is delivered.
- Your Employer Checking Your Work: Does your boss drop by your office a few times throughout the day to check your progress? This is an example of a variable-interval schedule. These check-ins occur at unpredictable times, so you never know when they might happen.
More Psychology Definitions: The Psychology Dictionary
Browse the Psychology DictionaryA | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |