Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
The purpose of the present experiment was to examine effects of the rate of reinforcement on the punitive function of shock for 4 rats. In baseline conditions, rats’ lever presses were reinforced with food according to a VI schedule. During punishment conditions, a VR-5 schedule of shock punishment was superimposed on the VI schedule. Across pairs of baseline and punishment conditions, the rate of reinforcement ranged from 0.5 to 6 food deliveries per min. Response rates during the baseline and punishment conditions generally increased as the reinforcement rate was raised for two out of four rats. For three rats, suppression ratios decreased as the rate of reinforcement increased. In general, shock became less punitive as the rate of reinforcement was raised.
Bello, Vincent A., "The Punitive Effect of Electric Shock in Rats in Relation to the Rate of Food Reinforcement" (2018). Capstones and Honors Theses. 2.