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ERIC Number: EJ862926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Effects of Point-Loss Punishers on Human Signal-Detection Performance
Lie, Celia; Alsop, Brent
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v92 n1 p17-39 Jul 2009
Three experiments using human participants varied the distribution of point-gain reinforcers or point-loss punishers in two-alternative signal-detection procedures. Experiment 1 varied the distribution of point-gain reinforcers for correct responses (Group A) and point-loss punishers for errors (Group B) across conditions. Response bias varied systematically as a function of the relative reinforcer or punisher frequencies. Experiment 2 arranged two conditions--one where an unequal ratio of reinforcement (5:1 or 1:5) was presented without punishment (R-only), and another where the same reinforcer ratio was presented with an equal distribution of point-loss punishers (R+P). Response bias was significantly greater in the R-only condition than the R+P condition, supporting a subtractive model of punishment. Experiment 3 varied the distribution of point-gain reinforcers for correct responses across four unequal reinforcer ratios (5:1, 2:1, 1:2, 1:5) both without (R-only) and with (R+P) an equal distribution of point-loss punishers for errors. Response bias varied systematically with changes in relative reinforcer frequency for both R-only and R+P conditions, with 5 out of 8 participants showing increases in sensitivity estimates from R-only to R+P conditions. Overall, the results indicated that punishers have similar but opposite effects to reinforcers in detection procedures and that combined reinforcer and punisher effects might be better modeled by a subtractive punishment model than an additive punishment model, consistent with research using concurrent-schedule choice procedures. (Contains 3 tables, 7 figures, and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A