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ERIC Number: EJ992102
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Choice between Single and Multiple Reinforcers in Concurrent-Chains Schedules
Mazur, James E.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v86 n2 p211-222 Sep 2006
Pigeons responded on concurrent-chains schedules with equal variable-interval schedules as initial links. One terminal link delivered a single reinforcer after a fixed delay, and the other terminal link delivered either three or five reinforcers, each preceded by a fixed delay. Some conditions included a postreinforcer delay after the single reinforcer to equate the total durations of the two terminal links, but other conditions did not include such a postreinforcer delay. With short initial links, preference for the single-reinforcer alternative decreased when a postreinforcer delay was present, but with long initial links, the postreinforcer delays had no significant effect on preference. In conditions with a postreinforcer delay, preference for the single-reinforcer alternative frequently switched from above 50% to below 50% as the initial links were lengthened. This pattern of results was consistent with delay-reduction theory (Squires & Fantino, 1971), but not with the contextual-choice model (Grace, 1994) or the hyperbolic value-added model (Mazur, 2001) as they have usually been applied. However, the hyperbolic value-added model could account for the results if its calculations were expanded to include reinforcers delivered in later terminal links. The implications of these findings for models of concurrent-chains performance are discussed. (Contains 1 table and 5 figures.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405. 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