The effects of reinforcer magnitude in the preceding and upcoming ratios on between-ratio pausing in multiple, mixed, and single fixed-ratio schedules.

Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 2017, 108, (3), pp. 414-432
Issue Date:
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Hens responded under multiple fixed-ratio schedules with equal response requirements and either a 1-s or a 6-s reinforcer. Upcoming reinforcer size was indicated by key color. Components were presented in a quasirandom series so that all four component transitions occurred. Postreinforcement pauses were affected by the upcoming and preceding reinforcer size, with longer pauses after large reinforcers followed by small reinforcers than when followed by large ones, and longer pauses after small reinforcers that were followed by small reinforcers rather than large ones. Pauses increased with fixed-ratio size and the effects of reinforcer size were larger the larger the ratio. When reinforcer size was not signaled-mixed fixed-ratio schedules-pauses were shorter after small than after large reinforcers. Signalling the upcoming reinforcer attenuated the effect of the previous reinforcer size on pause duration when small was followed by small and when either small or large by large, but enhanced the effect when large was followed by small. There was no effect of reinforcer size on pause duration when single fixed-ratio schedules were arranged. The effects of reinforcer size on pauses depends on the size and range of the fixed ratios as well as the exact procedures used in the study.
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