Second-order schedules : a comparison of the effects of paired and unpaired brief stimuli on component fixed interval performance

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William Irvin Witty (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Richard L. Shull

Abstract: Pigeons were exposed to second-order schedules in which completion of a component fixed-interval schedule was reinforced according to a variable-ratio schedule. The completion of each component FI resulted in presentation of either a brief stimulus previously paired with food (paired brief stimulus), a brief stimulus not previously paired with food (unpaired brief stimulus), or no brief stimulus presentation (tandem). Three fixed-interval durations were employed in the study, with all birds exposed to the different durations in an ascending order (PI 15-sec, PI 30-sec, FI 1-min). The results demonstrated both similarities and differences in effects produced by the paired and unpaired brief stimuli. The pause following a brief stimulus, whether paired or unpaired, increased as the component PI duration increased. However, for a particular FI duration, the longest pauses always followed the paired brief stimulus. The results are consistent with the suggestion that the brief stimulus functions as a discriminative stimulus, with the pairing operation serving to enhance the discriminative properties of the brief stimulus.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1974
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Wild birds as laboratory animals

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