Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Fixed Ratio

  • Mary Jane WeissEmail author
  • Samantha Russo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_1909-3



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...

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References and Reading

  1. Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson.Google Scholar
  2. Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Behavioral StudiesEndicott CollegeBeverlyUSA
  2. 2.Endicott CollegeBeverlyUSA