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PSYC 281
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Russell Powell
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Lecture 10

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Psychology

PSYC 281

Russell Powell

Winter

Description

- Choice behaviour
- Choosing between alternative reinforcement
- Concurrent schedule: type of complex schedule that consists of two or more
simple schedules that are simultaneously available
- Pigeon in box with two response keys, both illuminated with white light,
discriminative stimulus is whether they respond on the left or right key.
Both reinforced with food. Each key can be on a different reinforcement
schedule
- FR/VR 50 Left white key: peck → food
- FR/VR 100 right white key: peck → food
- Pigeon will learn to respond exclusively to the FR/VR 50 schedule
- FR 50 left white key
- FI 30 sec right white key
- Pigeon will spend most of its time pecking the 50 times and occasionally,
approximately 30 seconds, will peck the other key, to maximize
reinforcement
- VI 30 sec left key
- VI 60 sec left key
- Pigeon will go back and forth predictably between the two and get all the
reinforcers from both; pigeon will match the proportion of responses to the
proportion of reinforcers = the matching law
- The matching law can be expressed as an equation
R R R
- (RA/ R A R ) B= (S A / S A + S )B
- R is the number of responses
- SR is the number of reinforcers
- A + B are the two alternatives
- According to the matching law, what is the expected proportion of responses on
a VI 10 second and a VI 30 second schedule?
- VI 10 sec has 6 reinforcers per minute
- VI 30 sec has 2 reinforcers per minute
- A is the VI 10 second schedule
- B is the VI 30 second schedule
- (RA/ R A R ) B= (S RA / SRA + S )B
- Use the right side of the equation
- Step 1: number of reinforcers
- A is 6
- B is 2
- Step 2: proportion of reinforcers earned
- = (S RA / SRA + S )B
- = 6 / 6+ 2 - = 0.75 = 75%
- = 2 / 2 + 6
- = 0.25 = 25%
- Step 3:
- Proportion of R
- 0.75 for A and 0.25 for B = 1
- Both schedules together will equal 1 or 100%
- Will be a short answer question on the final exam
- According to the matching law, what is the expected proportion of
responses on a VI 15 second and a VI 60 second schedule?
- VI 30 sec and VI 60 sec schedules
- 2 reinforcers per min and 1 reinforcer per min
- 2 / 2 + 1 = 67%
- 1 / 1 + 2 = 33%
- Twice as many reinforcers from VI 30 than VI 60, so twice as
many responses on VI 30 than VI 60
- Deviations from matching
- Undermatching: responding on the richer schedule is less extreme than predicted
by matching
- Closer to 50/50, showing less preference for the richer schedule
- VI 30” and VI 60”
- 0.55 and 0.45
- Not predicted by matching, is closer to 0.5/0.5
- Keep pressing the keys back and forth equally, rather than twice on one
and once on another
- Penalty for such a change would be a Change-over Delay (COD): a time

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