Browse Definitions :
Definition

intermittent reinforcement

Intermittent reinforcement is the delivery of a reward at irregular intervals, a method that has been determined to yield the greatest effort from the subject. The subject does not receive a reward each time they perform a desired behavior or according to any regular schedule but at seemingly random intervals.

Reinforcement theory is an area of behavioral psychology that explores the ways that people and other animals respond to rewards delivered according to various schedules. Rewards may be delivered continuously, at regular or irregular intervals. In rat studies, researchers found that the way to keep the subjects working longest was to reinforce the behavior at unpredictable intervals, rather than regularly.

Intermittent reinforcement and other principles of reinforcement theory are applied in areas of technology and business including human resource management, marketing and machine learning. In designing mobile apps and social media, intermittent reinforcement might take the form of rewards delivered on a schedule that seems random to the users but is designed to keep them active for longer. For example, "likes" might be reported when an algorithm has determined that the user is likely to leave Instagram. Through its algorithms, Facebook can detect when a teenager is likely to feel insecure and deliver a confidence boost.

Online gambling and internet addictions exhibit the same principle: The individual receives just enough rewards (which might be in the form of wins or entertainment) at sufficiently sustainable intervals, to encourage them to continue.

See also: brain hijacking

This was last updated in May 2018

Continue Reading About intermittent reinforcement

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • email spam

    Email spam, also known as junk email, refers to unsolicited email messages, usually sent in bulk to a large list of recipients.

  • security policy

    A security policy is a document that states in writing how a company plans to protect its physical and information technology (IT...

  • shadow password file

    A shadow password file, also known as /etc/shadow, is a system file in Linux that stores encrypted user passwords and is ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • bare-metal restore

    A bare-metal restore (also referred to as bare-metal recovery or bare-metal backup) is a data recovery and restoration process ...

  • mSATA SSD (mSATA solid-state drive)

    An mSATA SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to the mSATA interface specification developed by the Serial ATA (SATA) ...

  • network-attached storage (NAS)

    Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve...

Close