Pigeons were exposed to a foraging schedule characterized by three different states, beginning with a search state in which completion of a variable interval on a white key led to a choice state. In the choice state the subject could, by appropriate responding on a fixed ratio of three, either accept or reject the schedule offered. If the subject accepted the schedule, it entered a handling state in which the appropriate reinforcer amount was presented according to a variable‐interval schedule. In Experiment 1 the shorter duration reinforcer was more likely to be accepted the longer the duration of the search state and the shorter the equal durations of the handling states. In Experiment 2 the shorter duration reinforcer was more likely to be accepted the longer the handling time preceding the longer duration reinforcer. All of the results were in qualitative—and some were in quantitative—agreement with those predicted by the delay‐reduction hypothesis and the optimal‐diet model.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1986
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