Fixed ratio is a schedule of reinforcement. In this schedule, reinforcement is delivered after the completion of a number of responses. The required number of responses remains constant. The schedule is denoted as FR-#, with the number specifying the number of responses that must be produced to attain reinforcement. In an FR-3 schedule, 3 responses must be produced in order to obtain reinforcement. In an FR-15 schedule, 15 responses must be emitted before reinforcement is delivered. This ratio requirement (number of responses to produce reinforcement) is conceptualized as a response unit. In other words, it is the response unit (not the last response) that leads to the reinforcer (Cooper et al. 2007; Skinner 1938).
Applications of FR schedules can be found in business and in education. Some tasks are paid on an FR schedule (e.g., piecework). Students might receive a token after the completion of ten spelling words.
FR schedules are associated with a...