What is a concurrent schedule? Diagram an example of a concurrent schedule that might be used in an operant

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What is a concurrent schedule? Diagram an example of a concurrent schedule that might be used in an operant

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What is a concurrent schedule? Diagram an example of a concurrent schedule that might be used in an operant conditioning experiment with pigeons. What is the likely pattern of behavior on a concurrent VR 20 VR 60 schedule of reinforcement, and why is this the case?

Answer & Explanation (1)

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According to researches, operant conditioning involves a mechanism in which two or more separate reinforcers are provided to eliminate the undesired behavior.

Explanation
Concurrent schedules of reinforcement are used in operant conditioning as a technique for learning new behaviors. According to concurrent schedules, organisms are given the option to choose between two simultaneously provided reinforcements. The organism is expected to choose either of the schedules that are given. For instance, a child is given two bells A & B. Ringing bell A will provide a candy after every 15 rings and ringing bell B will provide a candy after every 25 rings.

Concurrent schedules work on the principles of matching law, which states that the rate of responding to a particular situation is equal to the reinforcement provided because of the reaction.

For instance[in the diagram], a pigeon can be given a choice between choosing two keys. One is a green key that is linked with the VR 20 schedule for reinforcement. The yellow key is linked with the VR 60 schedule for reinforcement.

Both situations provide the same reinforcement, that is, grooming.

The pigeon would naturally choose the alternative with a VR 20 because it would have to wait for only 20 quarters to achieve the reinforcement for the desired behavior. Waiting for 60 quarters will not be a choice for the pigeon as more time will be taken to achieve the desired reinforcement.

However, the ability of the pigeon to choose the alternate may get biased if one of the schedules offered a better reinforcement. For instance, VR 20 schedule provides grooming after every 20 quarters and the VR 60 schedule provides grooming and food after every 60 quarters.

Verified Answer
Concurrent schedules are used in operant conditioning in which the organism is given the freedom to make a choice. The concurrent schedule refers to a condition in which the organism is concurrently presented with two choices, which lead to two different reinforcers. The organism has to choose which schedule and the reinforcer they want to respond to.

For instance:

The most likely pattern of responses/behavior would be a variable ratio 20 (VR 20). The variable ratio would be easy to choose. The pigeon will have to wait for only 20 quarters to achieve that desired behavior. However, in variable ratio 60 (VR 60), the pigeon will have to wait for 60 quarters to achieve the desired behavior. The pigeon will choose the alternative, which requires lesser time for the desired payoff.

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