The effects of verbal consequences for rule-following on sensitivity to programmed contingencies of reinforcement

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joseph Raymond Hass (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Steven C. Hayes

Abstract: This study examined the effects of two types of verbal consequences for rule-following and their impact on subject's responses to programmed schedules of reinforcement. The first type of consequence involved feedback on the correspondence between the subject's behavior and the behavior specified in an antecedent rule. A second type of consequence involved this same feedback plus feedback on the number of points earned for task performance. Some subjects were given accurate feedback with respect to rule-following and some were told that the rule was being followed regardless of behavior. The task involved moving a circle through a grid on a video screen using telegraph keys operating on a multiple schedule of reinforcement. Successful task performance resulted in the delivery of a point, exchangeable for chances at a cash prize. The subjects were given an accurate rule that specified the appropriate behavior for a DRL 6/FR 18 multiple schedule of reinforcement with two-minute components. After 32 minutes of responding, this schedule was changed, without announcement, to a FR 1/FI Yoked schedule of reinforcement. The change from the DRL 6 to the FR 1 enabled an increase in effectiveness (more points could be earned in a given unit of time) and the change from the FR 18 to the FI Yoked enabled an increase in efficiency (fewer responses could earn the same number of points). The changed contingencies were kept in place for 64 minutes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1991
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Feedback (Psychology)
Conditioned response

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