Document Detail

Observing behavior: effects of rate and magnitude of primary reinforcement.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12216976     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Four experiments examined the free-operant observing behavior of rats. In Experiment 1, observing was a bitonic function of random-ratio schedule requirements for the primary reinforcer. In Experiment 2, decreases in the magnitude of the primary reinforcer decreased observing. Experiment 3 examined observing when a random-ratio schedule or a yoked random-time schedule of primary reinforcement was in effect across conditions. Removing the response requirement for the primary reinforcer increased observing, suggesting that the effects of the random-ratio schedule in Experiment 1 likely were due to an interaction between observing and responding for the primary reinforcer. In Experiment 4, decreasing the rate of primary reinforcement by increasing the duration of a random-time schedule decreased observing monotonically. Overall, these results suggest that observing decreases with decreases in the rate or magnitude of the primary reinforcer, but that behavior related to the primary reinforcer can affect observing and potentially affect measurement of conditioned reinforcing value.
Timothy A Shahan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior     Volume:  78     ISSN:  0022-5002     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Anal Behav     Publication Date:  2002 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-09-09     Completed Date:  2003-02-12     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0203727     Medline TA:  J Exp Anal Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  161-78     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Conditioning (Psychology) / physiology
Discrimination Learning
Rats, Long-Evans
Reaction Time
Reinforcement Schedule*
Grant Support

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