Order effects of variability-contingent and variability-independent point delivery: Effects on operant variability and target sequence acquisition.

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Previous research has shown that variability is a reinforceable dimension of operant behavior. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that learning is facilitated when variability in responding is high. In this research, variability was observed within an operant composed of any sequence of six left and right key presses. Variability was either a requirement for point delivery (VAR conditions) or points were delivered independent of variability (ANY conditions). Two groups of college undergraduates experienced different orders of conditions. One group began the experiment under VAR conditions, and the variability requirement was later removed. The other group began the experiment under ANY ... continued below

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Lee, Coral Em May 2004.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 68 times . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Lee, Coral Em

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Previous research has shown that variability is a reinforceable dimension of operant behavior. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that learning is facilitated when variability in responding is high. In this research, variability was observed within an operant composed of any sequence of six left and right key presses. Variability was either a requirement for point delivery (VAR conditions) or points were delivered independent of variability (ANY conditions). Two groups of college undergraduates experienced different orders of conditions. One group began the experiment under VAR conditions, and the variability requirement was later removed. The other group began the experiment under ANY conditions, and the variability requirement was later added. A concurrently reinforced target sequence (i.e., an always-reinforced sequence of left and right key presses) was introduced to both groups after these orders of conditions had been experienced. A variety of outcomes resulted. Subjects learned the target sequence when variability was both high and low with non-target points concurrently available. Other subjects learned the target sequence after all non-target point deliveries had been suspended. One subject failed to acquire the target sequence at all. These results were compared to previous findings and possible explanations for the discrepancies were suggested.

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  • May 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:13 p.m.

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  • Jan. 14, 2014, 4:23 p.m.

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Lee, Coral Em. Order effects of variability-contingent and variability-independent point delivery: Effects on operant variability and target sequence acquisition., thesis, May 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4502/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .