Document Detail

Unit price and choice in a token-reinforcement context.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15113130     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Pigeons were exposed to multiple and concurrent second-order schedules of token reinforcement, with stimulus lights serving as token reinforcers. Tokens were produced and exchanged for food according to various fixed-ratio schedules, yielding equal and unequal unit prices (responses per unit food delivery). On one schedule (termed the standard schedule), the unit price was held constant across conditions. On a second schedule (the alternative schedule), the unit price was either the same or different from the standard. Under conditions with unequal unit prices, near-exclusive preference for the lower unit price was obtained. Under conditions with equal unit prices, the direction and degree of preference depended on ratio size (number of responses per exchange period). When this ratio differed, strong preferences for the smaller ratio were observed. When this ratio was equal, preferences were nearer indifference. Response rates on the multiple schedule were generally consistent with the preference data in showing sensitivity to ratio size. Results are discussed in terms of a unit-price model that includes handling and reinforcer immediacy as additional costs. On the whole, results show that preferences were determined primarily by delay to the exchange period.
Theresa A Foster; Timothy D Hackenberg
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior     Volume:  81     ISSN:  0022-5002     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Anal Behav     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-04-28     Completed Date:  2004-07-29     Revised Date:  2010-09-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0203727     Medline TA:  J Exp Anal Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5-25     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Florida, Department of Psychology, Gainesville, Florida 32611-2250, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology
Choice Behavior*
Color Perception
Reinforcement Schedule
Token Economy*
Grant Support

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