Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Jack L. Michael
Dr. Wayne Fuqua
Dr. Galen Alessi
Masters Thesis-Campus Only
The purpose of the present study was to re-examine the schedule-performance of children, using a complex multiple-schedule of positive reinforcement within a tightly controlled experimental environment, to contribute to the possible generality of previous findings.
Three female children, aged 1, 2, and 4 years responded differentially to light-onset when exposed to a multiple schedule of reinforcement consisting of alternating random-ratio 20 / random-interval 5 second components. With respect to rate of responding and sensitivity to the schedule parameters, the subjects' behavior closely resembled that of nonhumans but differed markedly from that of adult humans. Under an ABACA reversal design, the subjects consistently responded at higher rates in the ratio component than in the interval component, even when interval reinforcement rates were several times the ratio reinforcement rates.
These findings suggest that the schedule parameters were the primary determinant of response rate.
Baxter, "Performance of Children Under a Multiple Schedule of Reinforcement: Effects of Ratio and Interval Contingencies" (1988). Master's Theses. 3574.