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ERIC Number: EJ935110
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0023-9690
The Modulation of Operant Variation by the Probability, Magnitude, and Delay of Reinforcement
Stahlman, W. David; Blaisdell, Aaron P.
Learning and Motivation, v42 n3 p221-236 Aug 2011
Recent studies have demonstrated that the expectation of reward delivery has an inverse relationship with operant behavioral variation (e.g., Stahlman, Roberts, & Blaisdell, 2010). Research thus far has largely focused on one aspect of reinforcement--the likelihood of food delivery. In two experiments with pigeons, we examined the effect of two other aspects of reinforcement: the magnitude of the reward and the temporal delay between the operant response and outcome delivery. In the first experiment, we found that a large reward magnitude resulted in reduced spatiotemporal variation in pigeons' pecking behavior. In the second experiment, we found that a 4-s delay between response-dependent trial termination and reward delivery increased variation in behavior. These results indicate that multiple dimensions of the reinforcer modulate operant response variation. (Contains 10 figures.)
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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