Date of Award:

1975

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Carl D. Cheney

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of changes in magnitude of negative reinforcement on multiple schedules with the guinea pigs. In both schedule components, the first response (lever press) after an average of 10 seconds was reinforced. In the constant component of this schedule the reinforcement magnitude (time-off from electric foot shock) was always 15 seconds; whereas, in the manipulated component the magnitude changed in the following sequence: 15, 7.5, 15, 30, and 15 seconds. All subjects showed a gradual decrease in response rate across baseline conditions. When behavioral effects were evaluated relative to this changing baseline, five of six subjects demonstrated that as the reinforcement magnitude decreased in one component, the response rates in both components decreased (negative induction). Likewise, when reinforcement magnitude increased in one component, all subjects showed behavioral induction. Specifically, three subjects showed increases in response rate in both components (positive induction), while two subjects showed decreases in response rate in v both components (negative induction). This research extends the generality of the behavioral induction phenomena on multiple schedules to in elude negative reinforcement with the guinea pig as a function of changes in reinforcement magnitude

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Psychology Commons

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