RANDOM REINFORCEMENT AND “SUPERSTITIOUS” BEHAVIOR Suppose that reinforcement occurs at random – not contingent on any behavior. Nothing the subject does has any true instrumental value. What effect will this have? 1. Random occurrence of a reward coincides with some behavior A behavior A is selected/strengthened. 2. Next random occurrence of reward will probably coincide with some other behavior B behavior B is selected/strengthened. 3. A and B will be partially reinforced, at random and unpredictably. Result: subject displays behaviors A and B with high frequency; difficult to extinguish the behaviors. The behaviors often seem bizarre. Does this explain the superstitions and rituals of gamblers?