Preference and resistance to change in concurrent variable-interval schedules
Pigeons were trained on a multiple schedule in which separate concurrent schedules were presented in the two components of the schedule. During one component, concurrent variable-interval 40-sec variableinterval 80-sec schedules operated. In the second component, concurrent variable-interval 40-sec variableinterval 20-sec schedules operated. After stable baseline performance was obtained in both components, extinction probe choice tests were presented to assess preference between the variable-interval 40-sec schedules from the two components. The variable-interval 40-sec schedule paired with the variableinterval 80-sec schedule was preferred over the variable-interval 40-sec schedule paired with the variableinterval 20-sec schedule. The subjects were also exposed to several resistance-to-change manipulations: (1) prefeeding prior to the experimental session, (2) a free-food schedule added to timeout periods separating components, and (3) extinction. The results indicated that preference and resistance to change do not necessarily covary. Portions of this research were presented at the 22nd annual convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, San Francisco, and were carried out in partial fulfillment of the PhD requirements at UCSD for the first author. This research was supported by NSF grants to the University of California, San Diego, B.A.W., principal investigator.
Bell, M. C., & Williams, B. A. (2002). Preference and resistance to change in concurrent variable-interval schedules. Animal Learning and Behavior, 30, 34-42.