Title

Allocation Of Complex, Sequential Operants On Multiple And Concurrent Schedules Of Reinforcement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-1986

Published In

Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior

Abstract

Pigeons could produce food by pecking exactly four times on each of two keys, in any order. In the first experiment, these response sequences were reinforced on a series of multiple schedules of variable-interval reinforcement. In the second experiment, these response sequences were reinforced on a series of concurrent schedules of reinforcement. In both experiments, highly stereotyped response sequences developed. If these response sequences were treated as individual responses, the resulting data conformed to what is typically reported in studies of multiple and concurrent schedules involving individual responses. For example, behavioral contrast was observed with the multiple schedules, and matching was observed with the concurrent schedules. However, schedule manipulation had no effect on within-sequence characteristics of responses like accuracy, stereotypy, or rate. These data constitute further evidence that response sequences can become functional behavioral units.