Sociology 2206A/B Study Guide - Impulsivity, Matching Law, Key Light
Operant V – Choice and Behavioural
SLIDE 4 – In concurrent, need 2 manipulanda. 2 keys – one red and green. Side on which key
was located would be randomly changed. Pecking away and once in a while there was a
reinforcers. Pecks on green also produce reinforce on VI1. Makes decision whether to pick on
green or red key. Where choice option comes in
SLIDE 5 – You might accidently reinforce switching. If red and get a reinforcer, might convince
them to switch. To combat that, a changeover delay is used. Switches from red to green and
green to red never followed with reinforcer until the time had passed
SLIDE 6 – Response on one of keys changes colour. Peck on the yellow key to change it to red.
Peck on red to get the reinforcers. Other key is darkened and inactive
SLIDE 7 – have to peck 10 times to change it to red and then red followed with reinforcers.
SLIDE 9 – changes to green and then get keypecks on green to reinforcer. 1st key should go
dark – it’s inactive. If they peck on it, nothing will happen. Pigeons don’t pick on the dark key
anyway. Peck on left = red key. Peck on left = green key.
SLIDE 11 – varied the rate of reinforcement on the 2 keys. Left – got 27 reinforcements per hr.
VI 2 min schedule. 13 per hour – VI 4 min. in which animals getting reinforced 15 rates per hour.
About 2:1 if calculate the amount of reinforcements on each key. Matching law comes in at % of
total responses. Another variation with a different pigeon with 7 and 34. Pigeons matched
response allocation to outcomes of the key
SLIDE 12 – solid line represents perfect matching. 20 and 20, 40 and 40, 60 and 60, etc. Not
data – it is the prediction of the matching law. The actual data are extremely close to that
prediction line. Furthest deviation from the line = 85 data point.
SLIDE 13 – that is the matching law
SLIDE 14 – Big R’s stand for the allocation of responding. Key A being expressed as a
proportion of responses to both keys. Ratio can be as high as 1 and as low as 0. Aren’t
percentages, just proportions.
SLIDE 17 – responses to key A divided by responses to key a and b. Instead of rate of
reinforcers, we have size of reinforcers. Tiny pellets on one key and larger on another. M =
mass. Matching law says the last sentence “if the reinforcers on one key…”
SLIDE 18 – looks at reinforcer immediacy. Sometimes reinforcers delivered immediately,
sometimes there is a delay. Responding on the left. On the right, one over delay. Best thought of
as immediacy. If 1/10 and ½ - the second is more immediate than the first one.
SLIDE 19 – Responding on the left. On the right combining previous versions of the matching
law. Manipulate size and delay of the reinforcer. Large immediate and small delay or small
immediate reinforce and large delay reinforcer.
SLIDE 20 – two keys, one red and one green. Single peck on red, turns both keys dark. Get 2
reinforcers followed by a 3 second delay. Key light stay dark for 3.9 secs then they both turn
back to green.
Could have also chosen to peck on green. Dark. Starts 3.9s delay then 4 pelleys, followed by .
Animal choosing between 2 pellets right away or 4 pellets in 4 seconds.
If rationality guided our behavior, then we should pick green
SLIDE 23 – If plug numbers in, the matching law says that contrary to rationalists, you’re going
to pick the immediate 2 pellets most of the time. 95/100 of the times, you will pick 2 pellets over
Maybe you should grab what you can now – what the last sentence means
SLIDE 27 – start out with a pair of yellow keys. Single peck on either starts a timer for 20
seconds. At end of 20 secs, red key produces 2 pellets followed by a 3.9s delay. Don’t get
pellets right away, but in 20 seconds + right away
SLIDE 28 – if animal chose to peck other key, starts 20s clock. When finishes green key. Single
peck starts another delay, following by 4 pellets and then an immediate return to the yellow
keys. Delay here not after food pellets are delivered but before.
SLIDE 30 – Homer’s Odyssey. Odiseus on way back home takes him a long time to get there.
One adventure with mermaids, songs that sent sailors to dooms. Tie up to mass and wax in
ears. No matter what I say, don’t untie me from mass. Ships come and save odiseus even
though he says not to.
When you get pay, too tempting to then put some of it aside. Time to make that decision is
months before payday. Sign a document that can’t be undone so when payday comes, money
in your hand is already minused from saving bonds. When tempting, it’s too late. When not, you
will do something.
SLIDE 32 – recap from last study.
SLIDE 33 – up to 4 seconds, the animal should show impulsivity. Anything after 4 seconds – 5,
6, 7 should lead to self control
SLIDE 35 – Bottom axis delay peck of yellow key and then the red key. Reaches 50% at 0.5
mark and then continues to grow
SLIDE 38 – Can get 60 on VI 1 schedule and 20 on VI 3 schedule.
SLIDE 39 – VI 30s can get 120 reinforcers
VI 120s (2 min) can get 30 reinforcers
SLIDE 40 – If you never make a left key response, you would get 30 reinforcers. If spend all
time on left key, you get only 120 reinforcers, forgoing other 30 you could get. Going to be a
point where you can maximize amnt of reinforcements you get. If spent 80% on left and 20% on
right, you would get 150 reinforcers. The maximization is produced by matching.
SLIDE 43 – maximization theory seems to have problems.
SLIDE 44- make each of these a proportion A and B are proportions.
SLIDE 45 – The value of key increases when you get more reinforcers on that key. If exert a lot
of effort on one key, more effort you exert, lower that key is valued. The more you have to
respond, the less valuable that key. The more you get from that key, the more valuable that key.
Example: Supermarket. There are lineups. People pick lines that look the most valuable, which
is usually the shortest line or how many items the people have. Problem is that everyone else in
the store doing the same thing. Might head to that line, but everyone else is and that changes
the value of that line then you pick a different line and have affected the value of the line for
When little r becomes smaller or big R becomes larger, tendency is to switch to other key.
That’s why in supermarkets, there never is a really good line – “the two ratios will be equal..” For
most part, lines are equal length because everyone is doing the same thing as you
SLIDE 46 – Optimal Foraging theory – animals out foraging in the enviro will make similar
decisions. Patch of berries, when you eat them patch becomes less good because harder to
find verries. Comes a point when you have to move to another patch thus expending energy but
when you get there, there will be much more berries
Earned all 30 of 30 reinforcers
SLIDE 47 – When they realize first one is more powerful key, will start powering away at that
SLIDE 48 – animal has now achieved what it was after.
SLIDE 49 – this is a more plausible theory.
SLIDE 50 – Milioration also have another advantage. Not some percentage of their beh to the
richer schedule but ALL of it
SLIDE 51 – first will always be 1/10. Will be 2/20, 3/30, etc. Always 1/10. Animals not devaluing
this key by pecking on it so why would they see it as less valuable than the other key.
Always doing a moment to moment miliaration. Always choosing what is best for them like us
and the supermarket lines. VR10 is the VIP line. Lineup always 10 or 50 people, who would
ever pick 50 lineup? Lines never change but your position does