“By far, the best way to study for your BCBA exam is to come up with examples and non examples of each term. That’s because the exam does not focus on memorizing applied behavior analysis terms and picking out their definitions. It focused on applying the principles of behavior to real life situations. If you can write your own examples of applying terms, you will be able to understand the scenarios on your exam.” Jessica Leichtweisz

This blog post written by Katherine Yohn, models some examples of simple and compound schedules of reinforcement.

Multiple schedules of reinforcement

  • Tony is working with his client teaching him how to mand for toys and he gets reinforced on a FR2 schedule for correct responses. On the days that Billy works with the client, he gets reinforced on an FR6 schedule. 
  • Tommy is teaching Noah how to spell his name. Tommy reinforces Noah on an FR2 schedule. Janice also works with Noah on how to spell his name. Noah gets reinforced on an FR4 schedule. 

Mixed Schedules of reinforcement

  • Jennifer takes her son Joe to McDonalds if he has less than five episodes of aggression for days if she has the money. Sometimes, she does not have the money for McDonalds and does not take him.  Joe never knows when his mom will or will not take him to McDonalds.
  • Gabe enjoyed riding the bus and views his bus driver as his best friend. Gabe always walks on the bus and greets his bus driver with a wave and big smile. Some days, the bus driver will wave and smile back. Other times, the bus driver tells him to get to his seat. 

Concurrent Schedules of reinforcement

  • Sandra, a BCBA, was working with Tony. On days that Sandra wore her hair in a braid Tony received reinforcement on an FR5 schedule. On the days that Sandra wore her hair down, Tony received reinforcement on an FR2 schedule.
  • Jessica is working with a client. She gives the client a choice of either completing 2 worksheets or reading for 20 minutes. The client has a choice in which behavior they would like to engage in. 

Chained of reinforcement

  • Sally was given a list of steps to complete in order when making chicken parm. Sally has to follow the exact order otherwise it will not turn out correctly. 
  • Sarah is completed a scavenger hunt. She has to follow all the questions in order to get all the hints to solve the problem. 

Tandem of reinforcement

  • Grandpa Dan was completing his daily crossword puzzle. 
  • Sandy made a list of items she needs from the grocery store. She put items into the cart and didn’t follow the list in order. She was able to cross all the items off her list by the time she got to the checkout. 

Alternative schedule of reinforcement

  • Teddy has a sticker on his car window to tell him when he should get his oil changed. It says to change the oil at 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. 
  • Travis has to run for 30 minutes or 3 miles, whichever one he reaches first.

Conjunctive schedule of reinforcement

  • Travis is training for a marathon. He has to be able to run 5 miles in under 30 minutes or else he will not qualify to be in the race.  
  • Katie needs to get a 400 on her BCBA exam and finish within 4 hours. 

Fixed Ratio Schedule of Reinforcement

  • Todd is working on a math worksheet. His teacher reinforcers Todd every time after he completes 5 problems.  
  • Katie knows Tony hates math. Tony was assigned 3 math worksheets to complete for homework. Katie told Tony that after every 5 math problems completed m, he would get a gummy. 

Fixed Interval Schedule of Reinforcement

  • Jessica walks Lucky every day. He constantly asks to go out for a walk. Jessica will take him for a walk if he asks to go outside and one hour has passed since the last time they went outside. 
  • Roman is working on requesting on his tablet. Roman requests constantly asking for sweets, chocolates, cheerios, etc. His BCBA put in a schedule where after 30 minutes gave passed and the appropriate request for food is made without prompting , he will be given a piece of the edible requested. 

Variable Ratio Schedule of Reinforcement

  • Jack enjoys playing the slot machines when he goes to Vegas. Sometimes Jack wins after about five pulls of the lever and sometimes Jack wins after 7 pulls of the lever. 
  • Jen likes to play ask her mom to blow bubbles. Mom reinforcers about every five requests to blow bubbles.

Variable Interval Schedule of Reinforcement

  • Lucky bothers Jessica to go outside all day. She lets him go out if about twenty minutes has passed since he has been out last time.
  • Michael likes to request to go on a walk about every 20 minutes. His aide will take him sometimes around 18 minutes before he requests the walk or after 20 minutes  have passed. The schedule is varied depending on the activity Michael is completing. 

Continuous Schedule of Reinforcement 

  • Sam is learning how to mand for toys. Krista reinforcers every attempt that Sam made at manding for toys.
  • Billy is working on a new skill of wiping the table. He is reinforced on an FR1 schedule. 

Citation: Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.).