The effects of varying the duration of grain presentation on negative automaintenance in the pigeon

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Peter D. Balsam (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Aaron J. Brownstein

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of varying hopper duration on negative automaintenance in the pigeon. These effects were assessed in six experimental Ss by exposing them to either two-, four-, or eight-second hopper durations. A fixed trial negative contingency in which a peck's only consequence was to cancel grain for that trial was in effect at all times. Trials consisted of an eight-second illumination of a response key programmed on a VT 30-second schedule. In all conditions, the percent of trials with at least one peck remained roughly constant across all subjects. Average latencies across Ss decreased as the hopper duration increased. Individual Ss manifested this effect most clearly in the difference between the eight-second and the two shorter conditions. This effect is consistent with effects of similar manipulations done in the context of Pavlovian conditioning. An analysis of sequential dependencies within and across sessions showed that there is a tendency for the number of trials with a peck to oscillate in successive sessions. No dependencies of this sort were discovered on a within session basis. It is suggested that specific mechanisms be defined by experimenter operations as the mechanisms of behavioral control.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1973
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Wild birds as laboratory animals

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