The Effects of Satiation on the Operant Control of Response Variability
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The effects of satiation on the control of response variability under free-operant and discrete-response procedures were investigated. Four pigeons received food only if their pattern of four pecks on two response keys differed from the patterns emitted on the two immediately preceding trials. Consistent with previous research, the discrete-response procedure (key lights off after each peck) produced greater variability than the free-operant procedure. Variable responding was increased under the free-operant procedure for three pigeons as satiation was approached. Although the satiation effect was small compared to the variability produced by the discrete-response procedure, the results supported the hypothesis that the free-operant procedure contains respondent influences that interfere with the operant control of response variability.
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