In a discrete-trial conditional discrimination procedure, 4 pigeons obtained food reinforcers by pecking a key with a short latency on trials signaled by one stimulus and by pecking the same key with a long latency on trials signaled by a second stimulus. The physical difference between the two stimuli and the temporal separation between the latency values required for reinforcement were varied factorially over four sets of conditions, and the ratio of reinforcer rates for short and long latencies was varied within each set of conditions. Stimulus discrimination varied directly with both stimulus and response differences and was unaffected by the reinforcer ratio. Sensitivity to reinforcement, estimated by generalized-matching-law fits to the data within each set of conditions, varied directly with the response difference but inversely with the stimulus difference arranged between sets of conditions. Because variations in stimulus differences, response differences, and reinforcer differences did not have equivalent effects, these findings question the functional equivalence of the three terms of the discriminated operant: antecedent stimuli, behavior, and consequences.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below