Operant Conditioning

Slot machine gambling is typically under the control of Variable Ratio schedules in order to generate steady behavior or a steady response rate.


Schedules of Reinforcement

A Variable Ratio Schedule produces rewards irregularly. The criteria for reinforcement changes, it rotates around an average number of responses. The amount of work required per reinforcement varies somewhat randomly within certain limits (Carpenter, 1974).

Examples of Variable Ratio Schedules

  1. A Slot machine yields returns on an irregular basis.
  2. Pigeons will peck for hours at a rate of five times per second. The first reinforcement is given after pecking three times, then seven times, then five times, then four times and then one time.