||Although reinforcement often leads to repetitive, even stereotyped responding, that is not a necessary outcome. When it depends on variations, reinforcement results in responding that is diverse, novel, indeed unpredictable, with distributions sometimes approaching those of a random process. This article reviews evidence for the powerful and precise control by reinforcement over behavioral variability, evidence obtained from human and animal-model studies, and implications of such control. For example, reinforcement of variability facilitates learning of complex new responses, aids problem solving, and may contribute to creativity. Depression and autism are characterized by abnormally repetitive behaviors, but individuals afflicted with such psychopathologies can learn to vary their behaviors when reinforced for so doing. And reinforced variability may help to solve a basic puzzle concerning the nature of voluntary action.