Learning and Complex Behavior

Ch. 4

The molar-molecular issue in the operant procedure: These papers report some of the operant literature on the topic and indicate that the molar matching relation between response rate and reinforcement rate may emerge from the mixing of different operants as Skinner (1950) proposed.

Matching: Experimental analysis indicates that when reinforcement for switching between two operants is prevented, matching of relative response rate to relative reinforcement rate does not occur and emerges only after switching has been reinforced (Crowley & Donahoe, 2004)

Timing: Overall temporal patterns of responding need not involve a specific timing mechanism but can emerge from the moment-to-moment contingencies of reinforcement (Donahoe & Burgos, 1999).

Switching: When switching between two operants is permitted, matching emerges from a mixture of two operants -- staying and switching MacDonall, 2009)