7. Fixed Duration Schedules
Description: To be reinforced, the behavior must occur continuously throughout
a fixed time interval. This is used to increase a behavior when it is desirable
that the behavior persist throughout a period of time.
- Long periods of continuous behavior until reinforced
- A post-reinforcement pause
- Strain with a large increase in duration
- Moderate RTE
Examples from natural environments:
- A worker paid by the hour. To receive pay, the worker needs to work steadily
throughout the work period.
- Student practicing piano. It is desired that the student continue practicing
throughout the practice period, so a reinforcement will only be given if they
Examples in video games
- Game tutorials. The player may be required to perform a behavior for a
fixed period of time to complete a tutorial and advance. Fixed duration schedules
are particularly suited for teaching players the mechanics of a game.
- Games with a fixed time limit for a level. In order to advance, the player
must continuously perform an activity throughout the period; e.g., shooting
alien ships or clearing all items from the level.