Effects of Gradual and Rapid Variable-Interval Schedule Thinning on Concurrent Schedule Performance in Pigeons
Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Kennon A Lattal
Claire St Peter
Gregory J Thompson
Schedule thinning procedures are usually implemented with the goal of maintaining behavior despite decreasing reinforcement. The effectiveness of these procedures appears to depend largely at the rate at which reinforcement is decreased, with thinning procedures that decrease reinforcement too rapidly resulting in response elimination. Despite the importance of schedule thinning rate in determining the efficacy of these procedures, different rates of thinning are seldom compared directly in terms of their effects on the elimination of the response. The present study examined the effects of different rates of thinning on response elimination in the context of alternative reinforcement. Pigeons responded on two concurrent variable interval schedules in a Findley (1958) arrangement. One component schedule was thinned at across sessions, while the other component schedule remained constant. More gradual thinning resulted in more gradual response elimination; however, this effect could be explained entirely by the persistence of reinforcement in more gradual thinning conditions.
Kincaid, Stephanie L., "Effects of Gradual and Rapid Variable-Interval Schedule Thinning on Concurrent Schedule Performance in Pigeons" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7323.