Major Movements in Psychology


Why is intermittent reinforcement more resistant to extinction?

Intermittent reinforcement, in which the behavior is only reinforced intermittently, best protects a behavior from extinction. If people do not expect the behavior to be reinforced every time it occurs, they will be less likely to stop the behavior when it is not reinforced. It will take longer for them to give up on the behavior. Further, when intermittent reinforcement is unpredictable, it is even more resistant to extinction.


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