Document Detail

The influence of prior choices on current choice.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16602373     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Three pigeons chose between random-interval (RI) and tandem, continuous-reinforcement, fixed-interval (crf-FI) reinforcement schedules by pecking either of two keys. As long as a pigeon pecked on the RI key, both keys remained available. If a pigeon pecked on the crf-FI key, then the RI key became unavailable and the crf-FI timer began to time out. With this procedure, once the RI key was initially pecked, the prospective value of both alternatives remained constant regardless of time spent pecking on the RI key without reinforcement (RI waiting time). Despite this constancy, the rate at which pigeons switched from the RI to the crf-FI decreased sharply as RI waiting time increased. That is, prior choices influenced current choice-an exercise effect. It is argued that such influence (independent of reinforcement contingencies) may serve as a sunk-cost commitment device in self-control situations. In a second experiment, extinction was programmed if RI waiting time exceeded a certain value. Rate of switching to the crf-FI first decreased and then increased as the extinction point approached, showing sensitivity to both prior choices and reinforcement contingencies. In a third experiment, crf-FI availability was limited to a brief window during the RI waiting time. When constrained in this way, switching occurred at a high rate regardless of when, during the RI waiting time, the crf-FI became available.
Xochitl de la Piedad; Douglas Field; Howard Rachlin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
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:  2013-06-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0203727     Medline TA:  J Exp Anal Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794-2500, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Association Learning*
Choice Behavior*
Conditioning, Operant*
Extinction, Psychological
Habituation, Psychophysiologic*
Mental Recall*
Probability Learning
Reinforcement Schedule

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