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Varying the Transitional Criterion in a Chain Schedule of Reinforcement
AdvisorGhezzi, Patrick M.
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The present study is an examination of a single parameter of forward chaining procedures with humans. The specific parameter of interest, referred to as a transitional criterion, is applied throughout the course of a chaining procedure as a way of systematically determining when new links are added to a chain. A group design was used in which undergraduate students were assigned to conditions with varying transitional criteria. All participants were taught, using a forward chaining procedure, to respond to images in a predetermined order. The impact of the various transitional criteria was measured in terms of acquisition, retention and generalization of the chain. It was found that transitional criteria have a significant impact on the process and outcome of a forward chaining procedure.