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Differential reinforcement of low response rates

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Differential reinforcement of paced responses (DRL) is an elaboration of the differential reinforcement paradigm in operant conditioning. This employs a reinforcement schedule in in which a subject is only rewarded for emitting a behaviors after a specified period of time has elapsed. This is similar to a fixed interval schedule, except that premature responses reset the time required between behaviors.

    • Lab example: DRL10" = a rat is reinforced for the first response after 10 seconds, but if the rat responds earlier than 10 seconds there is no reinforcement and the rat has to wait 10 seconds from that premature response without another response before bar pressing will lead to reinforcement.
    • Real world example: "If you ask me for a potato chip no more than once every 10 minutes, I will give it to you. If you ask more often, I will give you none."



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