Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Kennon A. Lattal.


Pigeons served in experiments modeling compliance techniques studied by applied behavior analysts and social psychologists. A discrete-trial procedure operated in each experiment. In baseline, each trial consisted of a single key color, and in test conditions, each trial consisted of a sequence of key colors. Across experiments, there were either two or three trial types in baseline. When there were two, one color was correlated with a low fixed ratio (FR) on half the trials, and on the other trials a second color was correlated with another schedule that differed across experiments. Food was delivered on most of the low-FR trials, and on only a portion of the trials of the latter type. When there were three trial types, two were as just described, and a third color, correlated with extinction, occurred on the other third of the trials. In test conditions, a sequence of key colors, each with its correlated consequences, preceded the key color correlated with food on only a portion of its trials. Relative to baseline, responding to this latter key increased under a high FR when each key color in the preceding sequence was correlated with either a low FR (one experiment) or extinction (another experiment). The functional equivalence between the effects of the two sequences then was assessed by comparing, across conditions, different combinations of the two stimuli in a single sequence (e.g., low FR-extinction-low FR versus extinction-low FR-extinction). The results, however, were inconclusive. Effects of sequences comprised of only the low FR then were studied across experiments in which the high FR was replaced by either a variable-interval (VI) or differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate (DRL) schedule. Response rates changed little under the VI and increased under the DRL. A behavioral conceptualization of compliance, the value of animal models of compliance, the study of compliance as a link between basic and applied behavior analysis, and between behavior analysis and social psychology, as well as different accounts of compliance change, all are discussed.