Author(s): Davison M
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Abstract Six pigeons were trained on concurrent-chain schedules in which the initial links were either dependent (Experiment 1) or independent (Experiment 2) concurrent variable-interval schedules and the terminal links were fixed-duration delays to reinforcement in blackout. A changeover delay of three seconds operated in the initial links. Both the initial- and terminal-link schedule values were varied over 61 experimental conditions. An analysis of the data using the generalized matching law showed that the sensitivity of initial-link response allocation to the frequency of terminal-link production was independent of both the duration of the terminal-link delays and, though less clearly, of the duration of the initial-link schedules. Sensitivity of initial-link response allocation to terminal-link reinforcer-rate ratios was a joint function of the terminal-link durations and the smaller average initial-link duration. The results showed that the generalized matching law is useful in analyzing concurrent-chain schedule performance and that a changeover delay in the initial links eliminates some terminal- to initial-link interactions that have made quantitative predictions for concurrent-chain performances difficult.
This article was published in J Exp Anal Behav
and referenced in Journal of Business & Financial Affairs