Partial Reinforcement

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Partial Reinforcement

Tamar Rodd

College of Staten Island

Abstract:
A way to test an animal response in extinction is by using the paradoxical reward effects. The one we used in the lab was the partial reinforcement extinction effects. This is the effects that determine the extinction effect, when an instrumental response was reinforced only some of the time. The pigeon was established and maintained on variable ratio (VR) schedule of food presentation. The schedule was then change to a fixed ratio (FR 1) scheduled for a predetermined number of reinforcers. After each component there was a period of ten minute extinction. The sequence was repeated a different number of times for us to determined relation between the amounts of reinforcer delivered during each components and the amount of responses during each extinction. There were fewer responses during extinction in the presence of stimulus recently correlated with the FR 1.

Partial Reinforcement
If an animal respond decline in extinction is due to the frustration from the unexpected absence of reinforcement, then one would expect that there would be more rapid response following extinction causing a greater expectation of rewards. This shows how paradoxical reward effects can affect an animal. The paradoxical reward effect show that the more training that is associated with getting a reinforcer the stronger there would be an expectancy to get a reward and this therefore lead to a stronger rate of frustration will be when extinction is introduced.

The paradoxical reward effect we use in this lab is the partial reinforcement extinction effect. In this effect the characteristic that determined extinction effect is whether the response was reinforced continuously or when it was reinforced partially.

Zarcone, Branch, Hughes and PennyPacker (1997) did an experiment in which the explore this idea. In there experiment there participant was on a multiple variable ratio schedule and a...
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