Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Jack L. Michael
Dr. Alyce Dickinson
Dr. David O. Lyon
Masters Thesis-Open Access
The present study involved two experiments using an unlighted food hopper. The first provided magazine training with the darkened hopper, followed by a test for autoshaping potential. The second, using birds that showed very little autoshaped behavior in the first experiment, and continuing to use the unlighted hopper, measured operant latencies in a Hesse (1984) discrete-trial multiple schedule using a two-key procedure for separating stimulus-reinforcer and response-reinforcer contributions. The objective here was to demonstrate latency differences between favorable and unfavorable schedule components, while limiting the possible confound of stimulus-reinforcer contributions as measured by initial stimulus-key responding.
Despite being unable to completely eliminate the potential for autoshaping during the magazine training of Experiment 1, the use of an unlighted hopper succeeded in reducing initial stimulus-key pecks in the latency study. This supports the basic contention that pairing grain with a hopper light may contribute to the general efficacy of the autoshaping paradigm. It also suggests an improved technique for obtaining latency measures unconfounded by stimulus-reinforcer contributions.
Zambrano, "Minimizing Stimulus-Reinforcer Contributions to Operant Latency" (1987). Master's Theses. 1273.