Document Detail

Second-order schedules of token reinforcement with pigeons: implications for unit price.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16602378     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Four pigeons were exposed to second-order schedules of token reinforcement, with stimulus lights serving as token reinforcers. Tokens were earned according to a fixed-ratio (token-production) schedule, with the opportunity to exchange tokens for food (exchange period) occurring after a fixed number had been produced (exchange-production ratio). The token-production and exchange-production ratios were manipulated systematically across conditions. Response rates varied inversely with the token-production ratio at each exchange-production ratio. Response rates also varied inversely with the exchange-production ratio at each token-production ratio, particularly at the higher token-production ratios. At higher token-production and exchange-production ratios, response rates increased in token-production segments closer to exchange periods and food. Some conditions were conducted in a closed economy, in which the pigeons earned all their daily ration of food within the session. Relative to comparable open-economy conditions, response rates in the closed economy were less affected by changes in token-production ratio, resulting in higher levels of food intake and body weight. Some of the results are consistent with the economic concept of unit price, a cost-benefit ratio comprised of responses per unit of food delivery, but most are well accounted for by a consideration of the number of responses required to produce exchange periods, without regard to the amount of reinforcement available during those exchange periods.
Christopher E Bullock; Timothy D Hackenberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior     Volume:  85     ISSN:  0022-5002     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Anal Behav     Publication Date:  2006 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-10     Completed Date:  2006-09-08     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0203727     Medline TA:  J Exp Anal Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  95-106     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Florida, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Appetitive Behavior*
Association Learning
Body Weight
Choice Behavior
Concept Formation
Conditioning, Operant*
Feeding Behavior
Reinforcement Schedule*
Token Economy*

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