B.F. Skinner

The great behavioral psychologist, taught us that behavior conditioned by variable interval reinforcement – engage in the behavior and from time-to-time the system will be primed to give you a payoff –was the most difficult to extinguish. Subjects could never be sure that another reward would not be forthcoming. Similarly, it is hard to discern when a string of inconsistently spaced episodic events has concluded. If the events are unpleasant, it is not clear when to celebrate their end.

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