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Human variable ratio performance

Human variable ratio performance
Human variable ratio performance
The generality of the mathematical principles of reinforcement (MPR) was tested with humans. In Experiment 1A, participants’ mouse clicks were reinforced according to a series of variable-ratio (VR) values. In one condition, a situated task was used (searching for treasure on a map presented via a PC monitor); in the other, abstract version of the task, participants clicked on a white screen. Under the "map" condition, response rates increased with increasing ratio value before decreasing with further ratio increases; under the "no-map" condition, response rates decreased linearly from a peak at the smallest ratio. In Experiment 1B, the pattern of responding was confirmed under the "map" conditions using a different set of ratio values. In Experiment 2, reinforcer magnitude was manipulated using the "map" context. Response rates did not differ significantly when large rather than small cash reinforcers were delivered according to a VR 30 but were significantly higher when large rather than small cash reinforcers were delivered according to a VR 120. Together these experiments offer qualified support for extending MPR to the behavior of human participants.
variable ratio, reinforcer amount, mathematical principles of reinforcement, response rate, mouse click, humans
0023-9690
411-432
Bizo, Lewis A.
0d8d7110-0b45-47e8-9289-9389c4810b32
Remington, Bob
87f75b79-4207-4b3a-8ad0-a8e4b26c010f
D’Souza, Lorraine S.
91cfbaf3-2e0d-4f5b-9e04-992e2154ca07
Heighway, Samantha K.
69e81f8a-d3ba-4476-bef4-00ce387f4817
Baston, Clara
ccbee20a-e152-4776-b466-e11889b10ada
Bizo, Lewis A.
0d8d7110-0b45-47e8-9289-9389c4810b32
Remington, Bob
87f75b79-4207-4b3a-8ad0-a8e4b26c010f
D’Souza, Lorraine S.
91cfbaf3-2e0d-4f5b-9e04-992e2154ca07
Heighway, Samantha K.
69e81f8a-d3ba-4476-bef4-00ce387f4817
Baston, Clara
ccbee20a-e152-4776-b466-e11889b10ada

Bizo, Lewis A., Remington, Bob, D’Souza, Lorraine S., Heighway, Samantha K. and Baston, Clara (2002) Human variable ratio performance. Learning and Motivation, 33 (4), 411-432. (doi:10.1016/S0023-9690(02)00010-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The generality of the mathematical principles of reinforcement (MPR) was tested with humans. In Experiment 1A, participants’ mouse clicks were reinforced according to a series of variable-ratio (VR) values. In one condition, a situated task was used (searching for treasure on a map presented via a PC monitor); in the other, abstract version of the task, participants clicked on a white screen. Under the "map" condition, response rates increased with increasing ratio value before decreasing with further ratio increases; under the "no-map" condition, response rates decreased linearly from a peak at the smallest ratio. In Experiment 1B, the pattern of responding was confirmed under the "map" conditions using a different set of ratio values. In Experiment 2, reinforcer magnitude was manipulated using the "map" context. Response rates did not differ significantly when large rather than small cash reinforcers were delivered according to a VR 30 but were significantly higher when large rather than small cash reinforcers were delivered according to a VR 120. Together these experiments offer qualified support for extending MPR to the behavior of human participants.

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More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: variable ratio, reinforcer amount, mathematical principles of reinforcement, response rate, mouse click, humans

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 40002
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/40002
ISSN: 0023-9690
PURE UUID: 620955f8-ec17-4731-b949-7a4f6f7e5164

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Jul 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:00

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