Generically, matching is a set of quantitative theories concerned with choosing between alternatives, where choosing is defined as allocating behavior (responses or time spent responding). The original theory, proposed by Herrnstein (1970), was strict-matching theory. This theory suggested that animals and humans allocate behavior or time to available alternatives simply in proportion to the payoff (reinforcers) that they obtain from the alternatives. With some additional assumptions, Herrnstein proposed the Law of Simple Action (the quantitative law of effect, or Herrnstein’s hyperbola) to describe the rate of responding produced by varying reinforcer frequencies for a single response. However, strict-matching theory failed to describe all choice data accurately, and was replaced by generalized matching by Baum (1974) and Staddon (1968)....
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