THE ECONOMICS OF DAILY CONSUMPTION CONTROLLING FOOD‐ AND WATER‐REINFORCED RESPONDING

Steven R. Hursh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the first experiment, two rhesus monkeys earned their entire ration of food and water during daily sessions with no provisions to ensure constant daily intakes. Two variable‐interval schedules of food presentations were concurrent with one variable‐interval schedule of water presentations; the maximum rate of food presentations arranged by one food schedule was varied. As the rate of food presentations was increased, the absolute level of responding on the two food schedules combined decreased, while responding on the water schedule increased. The preference for the variable food schedule compared to the other food schedule approximately matched the proportion of reinforcers obtained from it. The preference for the variable food schedule compared to the water schedule did not match, but greatly decreased, as the proportion of reinforcers from the food schedule increased. When Experiment I was replicated, with provisions to ensure constant daily intakes of food and water (Experiment II), the absolute response rates under the two food schedules combined and under the water schedule no longer changed with increases in the rate of food during the sessions. On the other hand, choice between the two food schedules remained proportional to the distribution of obtained food pellets. These results were interpreted as indicating that behavior to obtain nonsubstitutable commodities, such as food and water, is strongly controlled by the economic conditions of daily consumption, while choice between substitutable commodities is independent of these factors. 1978 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-491
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • concurrent schedules
  • deprivation schedule
  • lever pressing
  • qualitatively different reinforcers
  • rhesus monkeys
  • undermatching
  • variable‐interval schedules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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