Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Poster Session #379
EAB Mon Noon
Monday, May 26, 2014
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
1. Problem Solving and Verbal Report in Children and Adults Through a Complex Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HORTENSIA HICKMAN (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Diana Moreno Rodriguez (FES Iztacala Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México  ), Maria Luisa Cepeda Islas (FES Iztacala Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México  ), Patricia Plancarte (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Noe Gracida (Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Viridiana Ruiz (FES Iztacala Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México  ), Rosalinda Arroyo (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
Abstract: Experimental measures that are obtained to evaluate effective behavior in solution of problems and their possible link with the thought or prior planning include reaction times and/or verbal reports of the participants. The purpose of this study was to compare the effective execution of children and adults in a problem-solving task. This was the Tower of London artifact that has proven to be a powerful tool for the study of complex behavior. It worked with two experimental groups of children and adults consisting of 10 members each one. Three experimental conditions were carried out: one training and two test, and at the end of each condition was asked to each participant the verbal report. The data shows descriptive and statistics differences in the three dependent variables evaluated (duration of the trial; movements by way of trial and movements extras for trial) and differences in the verbal reports between children and adults.
2. Habilitation non Linguistic Behavior: A Type of Comprehension
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FARID KALEB HERNADEZ GAMEZ (Universidad Veracruzana), Cecilia Magdalena Molina Lopez (Universidad Veracruzana), Enrique Zepeta Garcia (Universidad Veracruzana), Agustin Daniel Gomez Fuentes (Universidad Veracruzana)
Abstract: Based on Wittgenstein notions of language games the purpose of this study was to describe the actions and activities that make possible a non-linguistic behavior. That is, to study the know-how; this refers to actions. The study objective was analyzed the achievement criteria and the contextual conditions of the resolution of an origami task. Twenty college students of psychology of the University of Veracruz, both sexes between 18 and 21 years old participated on the study. It was used a design intra e inter subject with a training phase, a test of acquisition, a second training phase and a habilitation test. The measurement system was based on an achievement criterion. In the training phases, at least 80% of the students met the achievement criteria. In the habilitation test a 60% of the students achieved the criteria, 45% more that the acquisitions test. The results are discussed from a point of view different to traditionally comprehension notion. These types of comprehensions have to study like an episode and none a inner activities that precede the behavior as an act. The results allowed observing that comprehension is tied to specific performance and differential actions mediated by language.
3. Verbal and Non-Verbal Behavior Interactions in a Computerized Adaptation of the Task Designed by Catania et al. (1982): Effects of Embedding an Aversive Contingency
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (University of Manitoba & Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria), MÓNICA ANDREA ARIAS HIGUERA (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria), Camilo Gonzalez (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria), Erika García (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria), Karen Henao (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria), María Carolina Bohórquez (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Research on verbal (VB) and nonverbal behavior (NVB) interactions declined after 1992 (Lloyd, 2002). Aiming to contribute to the revival of this area, we have developed a computerized adaptation of Catania et al.s (1982) procedure that consists of a random-interval (RI) random-ratio (RR) multiple schedule (MSR) operating on buttons that appear on the screen, and automatic shaping of written verbal reports about performance in MSR (SVR). We are using this software to extend Torgrud and Holborns (1990) notion regarding the role of discriminative schedule control (DSC) on VB-NVB correspondence by testing the effects of embedding a response-cost (RC) contingency on the RI component (high response rate produces point loss). We predict that such manipulation will favor DSC and, therefore, VB-NVB correspondence. Four treatment conditions were designed: MRS, MSR+RC, MSR+SVR, and MSR+RC+SVR. In phases with SVR, stable responding interrupts the MSR for a 2-min period during which the participant fills out blanks with unrestricted number of phrases and feedback is provided after each try. Preliminary data of eight participants support the following overall findings: (a) all participants developed the expected differential response rates (low during RI and high during RR), though in different conditions. Six participants maintained these differential rates throughout the rest of the experiment, regardless of change in phases. (b) Seven participants developed verbal reports that conformed to the expected performance in RI and RR. (c) A minimum exposure to seven MSR cycles was required for successful SVR to occur.
4. Rates of Delay Discounting as a Function of Decoy Delay and Amount
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BENJAMIN KOWAL (University of Arkansas at Little Rock)
Abstract: Self-control choices can be influenced by changes in context and researchers are particularly interested in identifying contexts that increase self-control. Participants in the current study were presented with choices between hypothetical immediate and delayed monetary rewards when offered a choice between one immediate (I) and one delayed (D) reward and offered the same choices with the addition of one of three different decoys. Decoys were: D which was available after a longer delay than D, I which was a smaller dollar value than I, or DI which was a smaller dollar value and was available after a longer delay than the other two rewards. D decreased delay discounting rates (t[49])=-3.934, p <.001) and increased self-control as indicated by an increased number of delayed rewards chosen. I had no statistically significant effects. DI marginally decreased delay discounting rates (t[53]=-2.443, p =.018); and increased the number of delayed rewards chosen. The results were only consistent with a priori predictions for D decoys; however, this studys results were similar to results from Reed, Thompson, Osborne, and McHughs (2011) study examining the effects of concurrent tasks on self-control. Both sets of results are consistent with an explanation of self-control in terms of stimulus control.
5. On the Persistence of Sunk Cost Effects
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MICHAEL SOFIS (The University of Kansas), David P. Jarmolowicz (The University of Kansas), Jennifer L. Hudnall (The University of Kansas), Mary Ritch (The University of Kansas), Shea M. Lemley (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: The sunk cost effect entails a propensity to differentially allocate future resources as a function of previous investment of time, effort, or money. In a previous experiment, we developed a paradigm wherein trials consisted of a forced choice initial link with three initial investment conditions ($5, $20, $35) and a terminal link investment choice ($5, $20, $50, $80, $95). Using that paradigm, we were able to differentiate the sunk cost effect from the related phenomenon of escalation, yet whether these response patterns would persist over time was unclear. The current experiment was identical except participants had to complete 100 projects as opposed to 30 projects, highlighting the propensity of these response patterns (i.e., the sunk cost effect) to persist or dissipate. The results of the present experiment revealed two main findings. One, the current results replicated our previous findings indicating that the sunk cost effect appears to function differently than escalation. Two, participants are more likely to exhibit both escalation and the sunk cost effect in the first three rounds of trials compared to the last three rounds suggesting potential learning effects.
6. Stability Of Delay Discounting Of Gains And Losses Across Two Different Procedures
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FABIO LEYSER GONCALVES (Universidade Estadual Paulista), Gabriella Fares Carvalho (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
Abstract: Choices between immediate and delayed consequences have been studied through different delay discounting procedures. The study of delay discounting across different procedures is important to evaluate the influence of methodological variables and the stability of the phenomenon. The aim of this research was to compare delay discounting of gains and losses with two different procedures. To evaluate the results 13 participants (undergraduate students, age 19 to 28, 7 men and 6 women) completed the two different procedures for both gains and losses. The first procedure was a long titration procedure with fixed sequences of immediate amounts consecutively presented in ascending or descending order. The second procedure was an amount adjusting procedure in which the immediate amount depends on the participants choice. The order of presentation of gains and losses and of the two procedures was randomized. Results indicates that the mean area under the curve was similar for both procedures [F(1,48) = 0.0252; NS], but smaller for gains when compared to losses [F(1,48) = 8.3231; p < 0,01], no interactions were found. Correlation analysis corroborates the stability of the phenomenon across the two procedures (r = 0.6761, for gains and r = 0.6412 for losses, both with p <0.05).
7. Assessing Differences in Discounting Using Linear vs. Exponential Delay Progressions
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CHARLES FRYE (Utah State University), Jillian Rung (Utah State University), Jonathan E. Friedel (Utah State University), William DeHart (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: Studies investigating delay discounting in human participants traditionally use an exponential delay progression. The reason for this seems to be historical precedence, but the importance of the arranged delay progression has not been investigated empirically. The current study investigates differences in discounting rates, within-subject, using exponential versus linear delay progressions. This way of arranging delays also introduces differences in how the delays are described, however. Linear progressions produce fractionated delays (delays described in more than one unit of time). Thus, between subjects, we also assessed differences between the linear delay progression and a pseudo-linear delay progression that controlled for the degree of fractionation. Thus far, there are no systematic differences between either of the linear delay progressions and the exponential progression. Furthermore, there are no differences between the linear and pseudo-linear delay progressions. Thus, the manner in which delays are arranged appears to have little influence on the degree of discounting obtained.
8. Test-retest Reliability of a Sexual Activity Discounting Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
STEVEN R. LAWYER (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Delay discounting refers to the tendency to prefer smaller-sooner outcomes over larger-delayed outcomes and is an important behavioral aspect of impulsive choice. Researchers typically assess patterns of discounting by posing a series of questions regarding an individual’s preference for different monetary outcomes. Lawyer, et al. (2010) found that individuals also discount the value of sexual activity and that decisions for sexual activity may predict sexual outcomes better than discounting for money (Lawyer & Schoepflin, 2013). The purpose of this study was to establish the test-retest reliability of a sexual activity discounting task vis-à-vis a money delay discounting task. Adult college-student participants (N = 39) completed a standard discounting task that assessed their preferences regarding immediate versus delayed money and a similar task used in previous research that assessed their preferences for immediate versus delayed sexual activity. Bivariate correlations of area under the curve for discounting tasks completed at Time 1 and Time 2 revealed significant correlations for the money (r = .721, p < .01) and sexual activity (r = .724, p < .01). These preliminary data suggest that the sexual activity discounting task has strong test-retest reliability that is similar to the money discounting task.
9. A Comparison Involving Delay Discounting of Money and Daily Events for Undergraduate Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
TAKU ISHII (Tokuyama University)
Abstract: Discounting of delayed outcomes is an essential component within models of self-control and impulsive choices in various daily settings. However, most laboratory studies with humans investigated choice between immediate and delayed monetary outcomes. In this study, the choice outcomes were six daily events that 53 undergraduate students had likely experienced, such as new hobbies. In the experiment’s first phase, the participants repeated their choices between immediate small amounts of money and delayed large amounts of money in a random adjusting delay procedure that was used to obtain their delay discounting functions. In the second phase, the degrees of desirableness for the six daily events were evaluated via the method of magnitude estimation. In the third phase, the participants repeated the choice between the most desirable event (which was delayed) and a less desirable event (which was immediate), in the same random adjusting delay procedure. The results demonstrated that no participant showed orderly discounting of delayed daily events, even though 23% of participants discounted their delayed monetary outcomes monotonically. This result indicated that the discounting functions of delayed monetary outcomes cannot be directly extrapolated to interpret daily self-control and impulsive choices.
10. Probability Discounting of Gains and Losses: The Effect of "Insurance'' on Risk Choice
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
YAUHISA HIZA (Teikyo University), Tomotaka Orihara (Teikyo University), Kaname Mochizuki (Teikyo University)
Abstract: There is growing interest in the difference between prospect theory and behavioral account of risky choice. In this experiment we added "insurance'' to discounting tasks and examined its effect on risk choice. University students performed three discounting tasks with insurance: probability discounting of gains, losses, and gains-losses. At the beginning of each trial, participants made a choice between buying 100 points insurance at 50 point or not. When they didn't buy insurance, standard discounting task was followed: they bet 50 points and made a choice between a probabilistic (50 %) gain/loss (100 points) and a certain gain/loss (50 point). For the gains-losses task, they made a choice between 50 % gain (100 points) and 50 % loss (100 points). When they bought insurance, they could get 100 points from the insurance when they lost gain or made losing, but they lost insurance points (50 points) when they got gain or avoided losing. One participant preferred risk choice in the probabilistic gains condition and preferred risk avoidance in the probabilistic losses. This result is opposed to the prediction from prospect theory. But other showed the preference which is similar to what prospect theory predicts. We continue the experiment with more participants.
11. Cross-Strain Delay Discounting in Rats: Several Levels of Analysis
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRYAN YANAGITA (University Of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Carla H. Lagorio (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: Delay discounting procedures evaluate how the value of an outcome decreases as its receipt is delayed over time. In these procedures, subjects typically make repeated choices between having a smaller-sooner outcome (e.g., 1 food pellet now) versus a larger-later outcome (e.g., 4 food pellets in 30-s). Sensitivity to these delays can be assessed using a hyperbolic discounting model, and quantified as a numerical value (k). K-values are widely thought to indicate individual differences in impulsivity; there have been notable differences in average k-values across strains of species as well. The current study compares k-values of two rat strains (Fisher 344 and Sprague Dawley). Initial results suggest that the two strains have similar k-values. However, more molecular analyses indicate that the F-344 strain responds with heightened variability prior to reaching stability, and reaches stability more rapidly. Further research has been continuing to investigate potential strain differences through a series of discrimination assays.
12. Social Discounting of Cigarette Smoking in College Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
TAKEHARU IGAKI (Ryutsu Keizai University), Paul Romanowich (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Yosuke Hachiga (Keio University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine whether social discounting rates differ between cigarette smokers and non-smokers. Participants were college students in some Japanese university. Some were cigarette smokers (n=35), whereas others were nonsmokers (n=186). Social discounting questionnaire was drawn up on the basis of Rachlin & Jones (2008) that assesses the amount of money a participant is willing to forgo in order to give a fixed amount of money (7,500 yen or 7,500,000 yen) to another person. The amount of money a person is willing to forgo decreased as a hyperbolic function of the social distance between that individual and the other person. Moreover, the magnitude effect regarding social discounting was observed across two reward conditions. That is, larger reward amounts were discounted more steeply than smaller ones. However, contrary to the results of Bradstreet et al. (2012) which examined the social discounting function of women smokers during pregnancy, there were no obvious differences of social discounting rates between cigarette smokers and non-smokers. This result may be in part due to a very small number of college students who smoke cigarettes, suggesting that additional research considering the sample size is needed.
13. Impulsivity and Credit Card Debt in College Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JORDAN KIST (Mercyhurst University), Jin Ho Yoon (Baylor College of Medicine), Matthew T. Weaver (Mercyhurst Univesity)
Abstract: Increased personal freedom and poor decision making are two common hallmarks of college life. The purpose of this ongoing study is to assess the relationship between impulsivity (delay discounting, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Sensation Seeking Scale) and credit card debt among college students. We are particularly interested in the relationship between delay discounting and credit card debt as delay discounting assesses changes in the subjective value of delayed consequences, and previous research has observed associations between delay discounting and impulse disorders (e.g., drug addiction, obesity, problem gambling, etc.). To date, we have enrolled 24 college students, and we project that we will reach our target 90=? by month April, 2014. Preliminary findings indicate an inverse relationship between magnitude of debt and delay discounting. Final results will include an analysis of self-report measures of impulsivity, a credit card survey, and general health assessment. Figure 1. Delay discounting functions for individuals with debt greater than $100, and less than $100. Points show median indifference points for money as a function of delay. Curves represent the best-fit discount functions.
14. Temporal and Probabilistic Discounting of Reinforcing Behavior in Couples
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RAUL AVILA (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Guadalupe Moguel (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Claudia Villagomez (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Abstract: A common assumption in behavior analysis is that what a human does in his interaction with somebody else could be a powerful reinforcer of what the other person does. In the present study the previous assumption was evaluated asking couples to estimate the subjective value of different activities common in the marriage. The value of these activities was compared with the value estimated for different amounts of money by the same couples. Specifically, 30 couples were exposed to an adjusting-amount procedure and chose between different amounts of hypothetical money as reward and between different amounts of time dedicated to different marital activities. For a temporal discounting task delays of 1, 2, 7, 30, 180 y 360 days was evaluated and the discounting of a reward with probabilities of 0.95, 0.75, 0.50, 0.25, 0.10 y 0.05 were implemented. As Figures 1 and 2 show, it was found that for the delayed rewards men discounted the value of money more than the value of marital activities and women showed the opposite effect. For probabilistic rewards both, men and women discounted marital activities more than money. Globally, the previous findings supports the assumption regrinding the reinforcing value of social behavior and also show the generality of the reward-type from primary to marital behavior rewards.
15. Effects of Reinforcement Rate and Sugar Concentration on Preference for Traditional and Light Food Composition.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARINA ZANONI MACEDO (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), A. Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos  )
Abstract: Food with high sugar concentration exhibits relation with impulsive eating behavior and obesity. This study investigated preference for food with traditional and light composition that has similar organoleptic characteristics and different sugar concentration. One undergraduate student participated in this study that investigated the effect of different schedule on the choices responses pattern. Two stimuli representing the initial link (VI 10s VI 30s) was presented simultaneously to the participant in a chain-concurrent schedule. Choice response in the initial links was followed by the second link of the chain-concurrent schedule. Response in FR1 on second link was followed by the delivering of samples of traditional juice composition (Phase 1) or light juice composition (Phase 2), a 10 seconds inter-trials interval and another trial. Each session lasted 10 minutes. Previous results showed that human subjects have difficult to exhibit maximization in chain-concurrent schedule and edible items may cause satiation throughout the sessions. The results presented here are already been used as a basis for future studies.
16. Time Allocation and Response Effort by Free-Ranging Eastern Fox Squirrels (Sciurus Niger)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRADY J. PHELPS (South Dakota State University)
Abstract: Preferred food for free-roaming Sciurus Niger was made available in two identical feeders. The feeders have a hinged-front ledge under which a microswitch was located. The animals can only access the food by raising a lid and can only do by standing or perching on the front ledge. The microswitch which was closed by an animal's weight, operated a timer which incremented cumulative time in terms of hundreths of an hour (36 second intervals). Recordings of time allocation took place from approx. 8:00 am until dusk beginning in September 2013 ongoing in December 2013. Manipulations of response effort took place by the addition of weights to the lids of the feeders. Each weight was approx. 25 grams (24.94 grams) and weights were added in a progressive series of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 24 weights. Weights were used to manipulate the time allocation on a specific feeder by a given animal. Animals typically showed a response bias to feed at a specific feeder and the addition of the weights were able to alter time allocation from one feeder to the alternative and back again. Previous research had been conducted with video time-sampling measures of feeder visits; this is the first study with improved measures of time allocation.
17. Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude Variability on Operant Responding and Choice in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CRANE A HAVENS (College of Charleston), Chad M. Galuska (College of Charleston)
Abstract: In animal models of gambling, each “play” (e.g., a rat’s lever press) has a small but fixed probability of producing a “win” (food pellets). While probabilistic schedules of reinforcement engender high rates of responding that perhaps model slot machine play, little attention has been devoted to studying how aspects of the payout (size, variability, etc.) affect play. This experiment examines the effects of fixed (e.g., 2 food pellets per win) and variable (e.g., 0-12 pellets per win but averaging 2) payouts on rats’ responding under random-ratio schedules, and also will assess preference between these alternatives. Preliminary results suggest that while fixed reward sizes initially engender higher response rates, variable reward sizes maintain responding longer. Choice between the alternatives and parametric manipulations of the variable reward are underway.
18. Failure to Replicate Matching in Conversations
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CARSTA SIMON (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences  )
Abstract: In an attempt to replicate and extend a 1974 demonstration of matching in conversation by Conger & Killeen, nine German subjects, aged 20-63, each participated in three hours of discussion with two confederates offering different rates of verbal agreement. In condition A, approval was given contingent upon and contiguous with the subjects statements made while they had eye-contact with the approving confederate. In condition B, approval was uttered following a subjects statement whenever scheduled and non-contingent upon eye-contact. Sessions were video-recorded and coded to obtain the duration of the subjects looking at and talking to each confederate, as well as the actual reinforcement rates delivered by each confederate. The equation for the generalized matching law was fitted to the data. Contrary to Conger and Killeens findings, data were not described well by the generalized matching law. What are possible reasons for the data not yielding slopes suggesting that the subjects behavior were sensitive to the approval delivered? In natural interactions, Germans do not express their approval as vividly as Americans do, which might have derogated the reinforcers effects. Additionally, continued interaction with the confederates may have precipitated biases as opinions were stated. Moreover, although statements of approval were standardized as much as possible, merely due to its sparseness, approval delivered by the confederate currently on the lean schedule might have had a larger reinforcement value than approval given by the confederate on the rich schedule. These possibilities are to be reviewed.
19. Reinforcer Strength: An Examination of Assumptions of Preference Assessment Results
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MONIQUE LITCHMORE (Mercyhurst University), Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University), Matthew T. Weaver (Mercyhurst Univesity)
Abstract: When using a multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment, an assumption is made that the item selected first is the most highly preferred, and therefore has the greatest efficacy as a reinforcer. However, an individual who engages in self-control may select the most highly preferred item last (e.g., saving the best for last). This study addressed the validity of the underlying assumption that individuals choose the most highly preferred item first in an MSWO preference assessment. Two groups of subjects participated in an MSWO assessment with various food times and then were reinforced for completing mathematical problems under a progressive ratio schedule (PR). One group (N=16) was reinforced with the first item selected, while the other group (N=16) was reinforced with the last item selected. PR break point, a measure of reinforcer efficacy, was then compared between the groups. The group that responded for the first item the item traditionally interpreted as highly preferred - had a greater mean break point (M=6.6SEM=0.7) than the other group (M=3.5SEM=1.1) (t=2.13, p<.05). This outcome supports the assumption that most participants selected a highly preferred reinforce first. Along with mean data, we will present representative data from individual participants.
20. Concurrent Ratio Schedules and the Matching Law
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BENIGNO ALONSO ALVAREZ (University of Oviedo), Carlos F. Aparicio Naranjo (Salem State University)
Abstract: The generality of the Matching Law was established across species using concurrent variable interval schedules of reinforcement with choice in steady state. Research using concurrent variable ratio instead of variable interval schedules found exclusive preference for the better-off alternative. Yet, this finding has not been documented with choice in transition. This study used concurrent random ratio schedules arranging different rates of reinforcement defining seven components occurring in random order within sessions. Each unsignaled component provided 10 reinforcers and was followed by a 1-minute black out. Results were in keeping with undermatching, ruling out the possibility of exclusive preference. Local and extended levels of analyses showed results consistent with those obtained with choice in transition and concurrent variable interval schedules: a) sensitivity increased with successive food deliveries; b) preference changed with continuations and discontinuations of reinforcers; c) pulses of preference and sequences were similar to those obtained in dynamic reinforcing environments.
21. Pigeon Choice Behaviour With Multiple Alternatives
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
EMMA BEEBY (University of Otago), Brent L. Alsop (University of Otago)
Abstract: A lot of what we know about choice is based on research using just two alternatives, there have been relatively few studies that investigate choice using multiple (more than 2) alternatives. Recent research has suggested that data from multiple alternative choice experiments cannot easily be accommodated by the Generalized Matching Law. The goal of this experiment was to look at choice behavior in pigeons with multiple alternatives available and also compare two alternative choice to three alternative choice. Pigeons were presented with three simultaneously available alternatives using a concurrent schedule. These alternatives were assigned to one of three reinforcer ratios, 9:3:1. The reinforcer ratios positions were counterbalanced across pairs of birds. In some conditions all three keys were available and in other conditions only two keys were available. The results showed that pairs of alternatives with the same ratio of reinforcers but different reinforcer rates (i.e., 9:3 & 3:1) produced different measures of preference; log response ratios were greater on average for the 3:1 pair than the 9:3 pair. Choice behavior also seemed to differ when there were two options available compared to three options. This suggests that choice behavior gets more complicated when there are more than two alternatives.
22. Choice Between Reinforcers With and Without Delayed Shock
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
AARON DUMAS (West Virginia University), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Studies comparing the relative value of immediate and delayed consequences have emphasized choice between smaller immediate reinforcers versus larger delayed reinforcers. Less is known about choice situations that feature immediate reinforcement and delayed aversive events. The present experiment used Mazurs titration procedure to examine how an immediate reinforcer is devalued when it is followed by delayed electric shock. Rats were presented with a choice between 1 immediate food pellet versus 2 or 3 immediate pellets and a delayed shock. Trials were divided into blocks with 2 forced-choice trials and 2 free-choice trials. Delay to the shock was raised or lowered across blocks, based on the rats choices in free-choice trials, until an indifference point was reached that is, until the rat chose the two consequences equally often. Indifference points identify the delay to shock that effectively reduces the value of the larger reinforcer to equal the smaller reinforcer. Shock intensity was manipulated across a range from 0.05 mA to 0.8 mA, and shock duration from 100 ms to 200 ms. Indifference points were directly related to shock intensity and duration.
23. Contrast and Matching in Multiple VI-DRL schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Nicole Holder (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Megan Richards (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Kayla Fleck (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Amanda Terrinoni (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Abstract: Behavioral contrast refers to a change in responding in one component of a multiple schedule induced by changes in reinforcement probability in another component. Seven rats were exposed to a 2 component multiple schedule, where lever presses in one component were reinforced on a VI-30” schedule, and a DRL schedule in the second component. The value of the DRL (30”, 22.5”, 15”, 7.5” and 3.75”) was manipulated across phases in a pseudo-counterbalanced way and changed only after stable performance was obtained. DRL responding changed as a function of DRL value, as did VI responding, confirming behavioral contrast. The Matching Law described the relationship between DRL and VI performance well (>90% VAC in 6 of 8 rats). In a second, ongoing experiment, the DRL value will be held constant at 15” while the VI will be systematically manipulated. Data from these two experiments will be compared and contrasted in light of the Matching Law and other quantitative models of multiple schedule performance.
24. Historical Effort is Not Related to Subsequent Value of Rewards and Cues in Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY JONES (Little Red Car ABA Services LLC), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Erin Schaller (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Christopher E. Bullock (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Previous research on within-session contrast has demonstrated that history with discriminative stimuli may bias choice toward cues associated with greater effort (Clement, Feltus, Kaiser, & Zentall, 2000). However, shifting preference for rewards using this procedure has only been demonstrated in one study with rats (Johnson & Gallagher, 2011) and attempts to replicate this procedure have been unsuccessful to date (DeLeon et al., 2011). The current study attempted to alter the value of rewards and discriminative cues associated with these rewards by increasing the historical effort to obtain those rewards. Results indicate that this procedure was unsuccessful or shifted preference away from that reinforcer across participants. The possible sources for these failures are discussed and could be related to methodological or participant specific variables.
28. Holding For a Better Outcome: Continuously Changing Probability and Magnitude in an Accumulation Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CHARLES FRYE (Utah State University), Eric A. Jacobs (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Michael Young (Kansas State University)
Abstract: We assessed sensitivity to trade-offs between reinforcer immediacy and amount while probability of reinforcement was simultaneously increasing using the escalating interest task and hold duration as the dependent measure. Four long-evans hooded rats served as subjects for the experiment. Lever holding was probabilistically reinforced with sucrose solution. The magnitude and probability of reinforcement were determined by separate feedback functions. The growth rate for the probability of reinforcement varied daily according to a pseudo-random quaternary sequence. Each day, the growth rate for probability could be positively accelerating, negatively accelerating, or linear. The growth rate for magnitude was always linear. Thus, relatively long hold durations made reinforcement both more likely and, if it was delivered at all, of a greater magnitude. Reinforcement magnitude and probability reached a maximum after hold durations of 10 s. For all four rats, the distribution of hold durations tracked daily changes in feedback conditions, indicating sensitivity to the contingencies.
29. The Effects of Reinforcer Banking on Variable-Interval Responding in Pigeons
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRIAN TALSMA (Central Michigan University), Eric James French (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: The present research attempts to elucidate the effects of inter-reinforcement interval length on response allocation in concurrent schedules. Variable interval schedules were modified such that reinforcers were added to a bank at the end of each interval with the next interval beginning immediately. A single response produced a single reinforcer from the bank. In this way minimum work requirement and maximum reinforcement rate was identical to typical variable interval schedules with the same intervals. Pigeons responded on a concurrent schedule in which pecks on the left key were reinforced according to a typical variable interval 60-s schedule and pecks on the right key were reinforced according to a variable interval t-s schedule in which reinforcers were banked, in which the average interval (t) value for the right key changed daily between seven different values (7.5, 15, 30, 60, 120, 240, and 480). Analysis using the generalized matching law showed a bias towards the banked schedule of reinforcement in all pigeons.
30. Evaluation of Fixed-Ratio Pausing on High Response Cost Activities in Human Healthy Adults
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRUNO ANGELO STRAPASSON (Universidade Federal do Paraná), Rodrigo H. Puppi (Universidade Positivo), Rosilaine Morfinato (Universidade Positivo)
Abstract: Laboratory experiments on multiple and mixed fixed-ratio schedules have shown different relations on pauses between reinforcements. We evaluated the relationship between pauses and schedules sizes in two experiments, with five healthy adults subjected to physically intense exercises on an almost natural environment (a regular bodybuilding gym), in the absence of arbitrary reinforcers. In Experiment 1, abdominal exercises of two participants occurred in programmed sessions under a multiple fixed-ratio schedule, alternating between large (30 repetitions) and small (6 repetitions) amounts of exercise series. Joint effects of discriminative stimuli and magnitude of executed series were found, with longer pauses prior and after larger components. In Experiment 2, components of multiple and mixed fixed-ratio schedules were alternated in conditions similar to Experiment 1. All three participants exhibited longer pauses prior to larger components when under multiple schedules, while under mixed schedule the longer pauses occurred after large components for two participants and no important differences in pauses were found for the third participant. The results are consistent with those from highly controlled experimental designs, despite procedural differences, demonstrating a generalization of the effects from pauses on fixed-ratio schedules and expanding the conclusions to healthy adults on usual everyday life activities.
31. The Role of Lever Location and Post-Reinforcement Pauses on Fixed Ratio Performances in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ERIC JAMES FRENCH (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to assess the role of the post-reinforcement pause in the formation of the Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement (MPR) function. The coupling coefficient in the model carries the theoretical implication that rich schedules garner lowered response rates due to incomplete response-reinforcer coupling. The current research explores the possibility that rates are reduced due to competing behaviors occurring during post-reinforcement pause. Four rats first experienced an increasing progression of fixed-ratio schedules across sessions (2, 4, 16, 32, 64, and 128) under a condition with the lever near the food hopper, followed by a condition where the lever was distal to the hopper. MPR was used to assess both response rates and run rates (post-reinforcement pauses excluded). The model adequately described the data. The rate measures in three rats were distinctly lower with the lever distal from the food hopper. Parameter estimates for the coupling coefficient suggest that the post-reinforcement pause is a large determiner in the ascending limb of the function. However, the longer pauses recorded in the distal lever condition do not fully explain the reduced overall response rates in three of the four rats.
32. A Comparison of Response-Contingent and Noncontingent Pairing in the Conditioning of a Reinforcer
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SARAH J. MILLER (Louisiana State University), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), George H. Noell (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Two pairing procedures were compared in the conditioning of a secondary reinforcer with three typically-developing preschoolers. Pairings of neutral stimuli (colored cards) and primary reinforcers were delivered either contingent upon a participant response or noncontingently (i.e., independent of a participant response). Maintenance of responding when responses resulted in the neutral stimulus alone was compared prior to and throughout pairing using progressive-ratio probes. Results yielded undifferentiated responding between the contingently-paired and noncontingently-paired stimuli and a stimulus never paired with reinforcement (a control card), indicating that no conditioning effect occurred. Potential factors in producing this lack of differentiation are discussed, including differences in methodology between this study and past studies.
33. Adjustment of Behavior Under Short Functionally Different Temporally Defined Schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARIO SERRANO (Universidad Veracruzana), Guadalupe Azamar Gonzalez (Universidad Veracruzana), Jose Francisco Dominguez Barrera (Universidad Veracruzana), Zaira Jacqueline García Pérez (Universidad Veracruzana)
Abstract: Using a within subject design rats were exposed to non-contingent (NK), contingent (K), and conditional-contingent (CK) reinforcement (water) using 15 s long temporally defined schedules. The limited-hold period for reinforcement was signaled by tones. Adjustment of behavior to contingency arrangements was calculated using formulas that arithmetically related stimuli (i.e., scheduled and obtained) and functionally-defined different kinds of responses (i.e., required, contingent and persistent). As in previous experiments in which 60 s long schedules were used and lights served as signals, the performance under NK reinforcement was higher that under K reinforcement, which in turn was higher than under CK reinforcement. Adjustment, however, was lower than in previous experiments. These results are discussed in the context of the respondent-operant distinction and interbehavioral psychology.
34. Adjustment of Behavior Under Two, Three, and Four Term Contingencies Using Tones as Correlated Stimuli
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARIO SERRANO (Universidad Veracruzana), Jose Francisco Dominguez Barrera (Universidad Veracruzana), Zaira Jacqueline García Pérez (Universidad Veracruzana), Guadalupe Azamar Gonzalez (Universidad Veracruzana)
Abstract: Using a within subject design rats were exposed to non-contingent (NK), contingent (K), and conditional-contingent (CK) reinforcement (water) using 60 s long temporally defined schedules. The limited-hold period for reinforcement was signaled by tones. Adjustment of behavior to contingency arrangements was calculated using formulas that arithmetically related stimuli (i.e., scheduled and obtained) and functionally-defined different kinds of responses (i.e., required, contingent and persistent). As in previous experiments in which lights were used as correlated signals, the performance under NK reinforcement was higher that under K reinforcement, which in turn was higher than under CK reinforcement. These results are discussed in the context of the respondent-operant distinction and interbehavioral psychology.
Keyword(s): poster session



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