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ERIC Number: EJ896763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Toward a Mechanics of Adaptive Behavior: Evolutionary Dynamics and Matching Theory Statics
McDowell, J. J.; Popa, Andrei
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v94 n2 p241-260 Sep 2010
One theory of behavior dynamics instantiates the idea that behavior evolves in response to selection pressure from the environment in the form of reinforcement. This computational theory implements Darwinian principles of selection, reproduction, and mutation, which operate on a population of potential behaviors by means of a genetic algorithm. The behavior of virtual organisms animated by this theory may be studied in any experimental environment. The evolutionary theory was tested by comparing the steady-state behavior it generated on concurrent schedules to the description of steady state behavior provided by modern matching theory. Ensemble fits of modern matching theory that enforced its constant-k requirement and the parametric identities required by its equations, accounted for large proportions of data variance, left random residuals, and yielded parameter estimates with values and properties similar to those obtained in experiments with live organisms. These results indicate that the dynamics of the evolutionary theory and the statics of modern matching theory together constitute a good candidate for a mechanics of adaptive behavior. (Contains 8 figures and 3 tables.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A