THE DELAY‐REDUCTION HYPOTHESIS OF CONDITIONED REINFORCEMENT AND PUNISHMENT: OBSERVING BEHAVIOR

THE DELAY‐REDUCTION HYPOTHESIS OF CONDITIONED REINFORCEMENT AND PUNISHMENT: OBSERVING BEHAVIOR Pigeons responded in an observing‐response procedure in which three fixed‐interval components alternated. Pecking one response key produced food reinforcement according to a mixed schedule. Pecking the second (observing) key occasionally replaced the mixed‐schedule stimulus with the stimulus correlated with the fixed‐interval component then in effect. In Experiment 1, observing was best maintained by stimuli correlated with a reduction in mean time to reinforcement. That finding was consistent with the conditioned‐reinforcement hypothesis of observing behavior. However, low rates of observing were also maintained by stimuli not representing delay reduction. Experiment 2 assessed the role of sensory reinforcement. It showed that response rate was higher when maintained by stimuli uncorrelated with reinforcement delay than when the stimuli were correlated with a delay increase. This latter result supports a symmetrical version of the conditioned‐reinforcement hypothesis that requires suppression by stimuli correlated with an increase in time to reinforcement. The results were inconsistent with hypotheses stressing the reinforcing potency of uncertainty reduction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Wiley

THE DELAY‐REDUCTION HYPOTHESIS OF CONDITIONED REINFORCEMENT AND PUNISHMENT: OBSERVING BEHAVIOR

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1981 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
ISSN
0022-5002
eISSN
1938-3711
DOI
10.1901/jeab.1981.35-93
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Pigeons responded in an observing‐response procedure in which three fixed‐interval components alternated. Pecking one response key produced food reinforcement according to a mixed schedule. Pecking the second (observing) key occasionally replaced the mixed‐schedule stimulus with the stimulus correlated with the fixed‐interval component then in effect. In Experiment 1, observing was best maintained by stimuli correlated with a reduction in mean time to reinforcement. That finding was consistent with the conditioned‐reinforcement hypothesis of observing behavior. However, low rates of observing were also maintained by stimuli not representing delay reduction. Experiment 2 assessed the role of sensory reinforcement. It showed that response rate was higher when maintained by stimuli uncorrelated with reinforcement delay than when the stimuli were correlated with a delay increase. This latter result supports a symmetrical version of the conditioned‐reinforcement hypothesis that requires suppression by stimuli correlated with an increase in time to reinforcement. The results were inconsistent with hypotheses stressing the reinforcing potency of uncertainty reduction.

Journal

Journal of the Experimental Analysis of BehaviorWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1981

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