Pigeons responded on concurrent chains with equal initial‐ and terminal‐link durations. In all conditions, the terminal links of one chain ended reliably in reinforcement; the terminal links on the alternative chain ended in either food or blackout. In Experiment 1, the terminal‐link stimuli were correlated with (signaled) the outcome, and the durations of the initial and terminal links were varied across conditions. Preference did not vary systematically across conditions. In Experiment 2, terminal‐link durations were varied under different stimulus conditions. The initial links were variable‐interval 80‐s schedules. Preference for the reliable alternative was generally higher in unsignaled than in signaled conditions. Preference increased with terminal‐link durations only in the unsignaled conditions. There were no consistent differences between conditions with and without a common signal for reinforcement on the two chains. In the first series of conditions in Experiment 3, a single response was required in the initial links, and the stimulus conditions during 50‐s terminal links were varied. Preference for the reliable outcome approached 1.0 in unsignaled conditions and was considerably lower (below .50 for 3 of 5 subjects) in signaled conditions. In a final series of signaled conditions with relatively long terminal links, preference varied with duration of the initial links. The results extend previous findings and are discussed in terms of the delay reduction signaled by terminal‐link stimuli.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1990
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