SHAPING THE LOCATION OF A PIGEON'S PECK: EFFECT OF RATE AND SIZE OF SHAPING STEPS

David A. Eckerman, Robert D. Hienz, Sander Stern, Vicki Kowlowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

For several pigeons, pecking at particular locations within a ten‐inch‐wide response area was reinforced by grain presentations. The reinforced locations changed systematically to “shape” response location back and forth across the area. The rate and size of these shifts in reinforced locations were varied in both between‐subject and within‐subject comparisons to evaluate the influence of these variables on the shaping process. Larger step sizes produced larger shifts in location for all sizes inspected, with all sizes from .5 to 3.0 inches effective in shaping behavior. More rapid steps were approximately as effective as slower steps for all rates of shift inspected from 25 reinforcers to 400 reinforcers per step. These data suggest that shaping peck location proceeds most efficiently with rapid, relatively large shifts in criterion performance. 1980 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the experimental analysis of behavior
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1980

Keywords

  • differential reinforcement
  • key pecking
  • pigeons
  • response differentiation
  • response topography
  • shaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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