Date of Award

12-1999

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Sixteen water-deprived rats were exposed to 30 4-hr sessions m which responses on one lever produced water under a resetting delay of 60 s and responses on a second lever canceled any scheduled water deliveries. Although previous studies have demonstrated response acquisition within one session under similar procedures with shorter (e.g., 30-s) delays, there was no evidence of consistent response acquisition in the present study. Although 10 rats emitted several more responses on the lever that produced water than on the lever that canceled water deliveries on the first day, and received more than 10 water deliveries, this pattern persisted for only two subjects. Moreover, none of the subjects that failed to provide evidence of response acquisition during the initial session did so over subsequent sessions. These findings suggest that responding is not necessarily strengthened by protracted exposure to delayed consequences and that patterns of responding observed on initial exposure to such delayed consequences may differ substantially from that observed subsequently.

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