Continuous Schedules of Reinforcement (CRF)

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Definition: The simplest schedule of reinforcement (Also known as CRF and FR1)

In this schedule reinforcement is provided after every occurrence of the target behavior.


Common usage:  The CRF schedule is most commonly and effectively used when teaching a new skill or behavior  or trying to increase the frequency of a behavior that  is in the repertoire but occurs at a low rate.

Common Errors Related to CRF:

1. Calling the regular delivery of s stimulus following a behavior “reinforcing the learner”.   The term reinforcer or reinforcement ONLY applies if rates of responding actually increase subsequent to the delivery of  the stimulus.   If rates  of responding do not increase it is not accurate to say that reinforcement was delivered (or that it procedurally occurred).

2. Maintaining CRF  schedules past initial Acquisition.

3. The assumption that a stimulus that is accepted or “liked” will function to increase behavior.

4. The assumption that a stimulus that functions as a reinforcer for some behavior will do so for all forms of behavior and levels of response effort.

General Guidelines:

1. Use CRF schedules to ensure that a new skill or behavior comes into contact with reinforcement and enables it to come under discriminative control.

2. Once reliable responding of a new skill is established under a CRF schedule you should move to an intermittent schedule.  Efforts should always be made to move to a more “naturalistic” schedule of reinforcement as  well as forms of reinforcement

3. Always assess putative reinforcers prior to using them in applied conditions.

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