Acquisition with partial and continuous reinforcement in pigeon autoshaping

Daniel A. Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contemporary time accumulation models make the unique prediction that acquisition of a conditioned response will be equally rapid with partial and continuous reinforcement, if the time between conditioned stimuli is held constant. To investigate this, acquisition of conditioned responding was examined in pigeon autoshaping under conditions of 100% and 25% reinforcement, holding intertrial interval constant. Contrary to what was predicted, evidence for slowed acquisition in partially reinforced animals was observed with several response measures. However, asymptotic performance was superior with 25% reinforcement. A switching of reinforcement contingencies after initial acquisition did not immediately affect responding. After further sessions, partial reinforcement augmented responding, whereas continuous reinforcement did not, irrespective of an animal's reinforcement history. Subsequent training with a novel stimulus maintained the response patterns. These acquisition results generally support associative, rather than time accumulation, accounts of conditioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
JournalLearning and Behavior
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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