The Psychological Record

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 43–50 | Cite as

Effects of Reinforcement Context on Initial Link Responding in Concurrent Chain Reinforcement Schedules

  • Paul Romanowich
  • Alyssa Cozine
  • Daniel L. Worthen
Original Article

Abstract

Previous research shows that relative initial- and terminal-link temporal duration influences concurrent chain choice proportions. However, little research has examined whether reinforcement outside of either links influences concurrent chain choice proportions and/or response rates. We examined this by conducting an experiment in which 11 pigeons responded on concurrent chain schedules that alternated with either fixed interval (FI) or fixed time (FT) reinforcement schedules. FI and FT schedules provided reinforcement every 20, 60 or 180 s. Concurrent chain schedules provided reinforcement on average every 60 s. Concurrent chain schedules were never available at the same time as the FI or FT schedule. Most pigeons decreased choice proportions as the temporal duration of the FI or FT schedules increased, similar to the initial-link effect. Consistent with behavior contrast research, initial link response rates significantly increased as reinforcement rate decreased during the FI and FT schedules. This is the first study to show that reinforcement outside of a concurrent chain schedule can significantly change choice proportions. The initial link response rate result suggests a novel way to look at initial link response rates, outside of changing reinforcement rates and temporal duration.

Keywords

Choice Concurrent-chains Context Pigeons Response rate 

References

  1. Fantino, E. (1969). Choice and rate of reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 12, 723–730.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Fantino, E., & Davison, M. (1983). Choice: Some quantitative relations. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 40, 1–13.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Fantino, E., Preston, R. A., & Dunn, R. (1993). Delay-reduction: Current status. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 60, 159–169.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Fleshler, M., & Hoffman, H. S. (1962). A progression for generating variable-interval schedules. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 5, 529–530.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Goldshmidt, J. N., Lattal, K. M., & Fantino, E. (1998). Context effects on choice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 70, 301–320.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Grace, R. C. (1994). A contextual model of concurrent-chains choice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 61, 113–129.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Grace, R. C., & Bragason, O. (2004). Does the terminal-link effect depend on duration or reinforcement rate? Behavioural Processes, 67, 67–79.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Halliday, M. S., & Boakes, R. A. (1971). Behavioral contrast and response independent reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 16, 429–434.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Hursh, S. R., & Fantino, E. (1973). Relative delay of reinforcement and choice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 19, 437–450.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. LaFiette, M. H., & Fantino, E. (1989). Responding on concurrent-chains schedules in open and closed economies. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 51, 329–342.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. MacEwen, D. (1972). The effects of terminal-link fixed-interval and variable-interval schedules on responding under concurrent chained schedules. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 18, 253–261.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Mazur, J. E. (2001). Hyperbolic value addition and general models of animal choice. Psychological Review, 108(1), 96–112.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Mazur, J. E., & Fantino, E. (2014). Choice. In F. K. McSweeney & E. S. Murphy (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of operant and classical conditioning (pp. 195–220). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Reynolds, G. S. (1961). Behavioral contrast. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 4, 57–71.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Shull, R. L., & Pliskoff, S. S. (1967). Changeover delay and concurrent schedules: Some effects on relative performance measures. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 10, 517–527.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Squires, N., & Fantino, E. (1971). A model for choice in simple concurrent and concurrent-chains schedules. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 15, 27–38.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Thompson, D. M., & Corr, P. B. (1974). Behavioral parameters of drug action: Signaled and response-independent reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 21, 151–158.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Weisman, R. G., & Ramsden, M. (1973). Discrimination of a response-independent component in a multiple schedule. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 19, 55–64.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Williams, B. A. (2002). Behavioral contrast redux. Animal Learning & Behavior, 30, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Williams, B. A., & Fantino, E. (1978). Effects on choice of reinforcement delay and conditioned reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 29, 77–86.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Williams, W. A., & Fantino, E. (1996). Response-dependent prochoice effects on foraging related choice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 65, 619–641.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State University, ChicoChicoUSA

Personalised recommendations