Dissecting the Percentile Schedule Equation: Evaluating the Effects of Various Densities of Reinforcement
AuthorMilyko, Kerri Lynn
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Although they are few in number, studies have successfully demonstrated the useof percentile schedules of reinforcement in shaping various behaviors of different organisms. Within these studies, researchers have evaluated various manipulations of Galbicka's (1994) percentile schedule equation, including the number of recent observations used to calculate the criterion for reinforcement. Additional investigation is warranted, however, with regard to other factors within the percentile reinforcement equation. The present study parametrically examined the effects of different densities (0.10, 0.50 and 0.90) of positive reinforcement (Experiment I) and negative reinforcement (Experiment II) with college students performing a simple computertask. The 0.50 and 0.90 conditions, in Experiment I, were very similar in producing the greatest increases in celeration, and highest levels of frequency, accuracy, and stability. For Experiment II, the 0.90 condition produced similar patterns of responding observed in Experiment I.