Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Pigeons were presented with pairs of linear VI schedules in a choice situation. Once a week, the schedules were changed during a special transition session. The steady-state time and response ratios approached matching of reinforcement ratios, although undermatching and bias were prevalent. During the transition sessions, behavioral allocation changed rapidly, in spite of no change in the overall rate of reinforcement; instead, the rate of change in behavioral allocation was found to be an increasing function of differences in local reinforcement rates. The results were interpreted as confirming the theory of melioration (Herrnstein, 1982; Vaughan, 1982b) and disconfirming the theory of economic maximization (Rachlin, 1982).

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access