Gene M Heyman

Gene M Heyman
Boston College, USA | BC · Psychology Department

PhD

About

77
Publications
12,156
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3,085
Citations
Citations since 2016
15 Research Items
699 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100

Publications

Publications (77)
Article
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A central feature of the Covid-19 pandemic is state differences. Some state Governors closed all but essential businesses, others did not. In some states, most of the population wore face coverings when in public; in other states, <50% wore face coverings. According to journalists, these differences were symptomatic of a politically polarized Ameri...
Article
Ainslie identifies two possible motivational sources for resolve: "thinking categorically" and "intertemporal bargaining." Ainslie opts for intertemporal bargaining, adding that thinking categorically has no motivational power. The most researched instance of willpower is remission from addiction. This literature shows that aspirations for a more d...
Article
In keeping with the goals of this Special Issue, this paper poses the following questions: What are addiction's non-eliminable features and can they be explained by one or more general principles? I have added the qualifier "distinctive" to these goals, as in "distinctive non-eliminable features." The result is a highly heterogeneous list, which in...
Article
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The matching law describes the allocation of behavior over a wide range of settings, including laboratory experimental chambers, forest foraging patches, sports arenas, and board games. Interestingly, matching persists in settings in which economic analyses predict quite different distributions of behavior, and it also differs systematically from p...
Article
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Background: Drug overdose deaths in the United States increased from approximately 16,000 per year in 2001 to 41,000 per year in 2014. Although every US state witnessed an increase, the increases were much larger in some states than others. There was also variation as a function of race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic Whites accounted for more than 80...
Preprint
Full-text available
Results: Legally prescribed opioids, social capital and work force participation accounted for 53–69% of the between-state variation in overdose deaths in Non-Hispanic Whites. Prescriptions and the two social economic measures accounted for about the same amounts of unique variation, but shared variation among the three independent variables was th...
Chapter
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Individuals make choices according to quantifiable behavioral principles. Depending on specifiable conditions, these principles produce optimal outcomes, near optimal outcomes, or seriously sub-optimal outcomes, which involve compulsive-like, excessive levels of consumption of a highly preferred substance or activity (Heyman 2009). In this chapter,...
Article
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In a recent paper, we introduced a method and equation for inferring the allocation of attention on a continuous scale. The size of the stimuli, the estimated size of the fovea, and the pattern of results implied that the subjects' responses reflected shifts in covert attention rather than shifts in eye movements. This report describes an experimen...
Article
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Introduction: This paper addresses two overlapping questions: Do addicts have the capacity to voluntarily quit drugs? And do individuals knowingly pursue courses of action that they realize are bad for them, such as excessive drug use? Methods: I propose two testable versions of free will. First, the observation that activities differ in the degree...
Chapter
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According to the spokespersons for US federal health institutes, addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, yet every US survey of the prevalence and correlates of psychiatric disorders shows that the majority of those who meet the DSM criteria for addiction are in remission. For illegal drugs, remission typically occurs by age 30, whereas for ciga...
Article
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We tested whether principles that describe the allocation of overt behavior, as in choice experiments, also describe the allocation of cognition, as in attention experiments. Our procedure is a cognitive version of the “two-armed bandit choice procedure.” The two-armed bandit procedure has been of interest to psychologists and economists because it...
Article
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For millennia, opium was celebrated for its beneficial medical effects with no mention of the dangers of addiction. In the eighteenth century, the first documented cases of opium addiction appear along with prohibitions and illegal opium markets. This happens in China, and, then, in the early twentieth century roughly similar events take place in t...
Article
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Years-of-school is negatively correlated with illicit drug use. However, educational attainment is positively correlated with IQ and negatively correlated with impulsivity, two traits that are also correlated with drug use. Thus, the negative correlation between education and drug use may reflect the correlates of schooling, not schooling itself. T...
Article
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Clinicians, researchers and the informed public have come to view addiction as a brain disease. However, in nature even extreme events often reflect normal processes, for instance the principles of plate tectonics explain earthquakes as well as the gradual changes in the face of the earth. In the same way, excessive drug use is predicted by general...
Article
The financial and social costs of addiction are staggeringly high; countless clinical reports and memoirs document the personal pain and chaos caused by addicted family members. In response, many addiction professionals and much of the public conclude that addiction is a disease. No one, the argument goes, would cause so much harm to themselves and...
Article
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Addiction's biological basis has been the focus of much research. The findings have persuaded experts and the public that drug use in addicts is compulsive. But the word "compulsive" identifies patterns of behavior, and all behavior has a biological basis, including voluntary actions. Thus, the question is not whether addiction has a biology, which...
Article
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According to the idea that addiction is a chronic relapsing disease, remission is at most a temporary state. Either addicts never stop using drugs, or if they do stop, remission is short lived. However, research on remission reveals a more complex picture. In national epidemiological surveys that recruited representative drug users, remission rates...
Article
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Lewis's review of my book (2011, this issue) repeats widely shared understandings of the nature of addiction and the role that dopamine plays in the persistence of self-destructive drug use. These accounts depict addiction as a chronic relapsing disease and claim that drug-induced changes in dopamine function explain the transition from drug experi...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be associated with dysfunctional reward processing. The present study assessed for such dysfunction in both the expectancy and outcome phases of reward processing. Male Vietnam veterans with (n=15) and without (n=11) combat-related PTSD were administered a wheel of fortune-type gambling task. Self-reported r...
Article
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Individuals who smoke cigarettes regularly but do not become dependent on them provide a unique opportunity for studying the factors that inhibit drug dependence. Previous research on this population, sometimes referred to as 'cigarette chippers', showed that they did not differ from regular smokers in terms of smoking topography (e.g. puff number...
Article
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Wegner's conclusion that conscious will is an illusion follows from a key omission in his analysis. Although he describes conscious will as an experience, akin to one of the senses, he omits its objective correlate. The degree to which behavior can be influenced by its consequences (voluntariness) provides an objective correlate for conscious will....
Article
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This chapter provides an overview of addiction. It provides a checklist of the behaviors that a model of addiction should predict and answers the question as to whether drug consumption in those who meet the criteria for addiction is compulsive or voluntary. The chapter presents a choice-based analysis of addiction; it provides a simple but fundame...
Article
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This experiment tested the hypothesis that differences in drug use are correlated with differences in decision making. The subjects were 22 drug clinic patients who had used either opiates or stimulants for an average of 10 years, and 21 community residents who reported that they had rarely used illicit addictive drugs. The procedure consisted of a...
Article
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The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of morphine self-administration on wheel running and wheel running-reinforced lever pressing in rats. The home cage was equipped with a bottle that contained either water, a saccharin-flavored 0.5-mg/ml morphine solution, or saccharin (0.25%). The bottle was available for either 1 or 3 h. T...
Article
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A key feature of the selective breeding program that produced alcohol-preferring (P) and alcohol-nonpreferring (NP) rats is that the alcohol was mixed with water. However, humans typically drink sweetened or palatably flavored alcohol. The experiments in this study tested whether the differences in P and NP rats generalize to sweetened alcohol. In...
Article
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Researchers have long sought an animal model for human alcohol consumption. This article describes an economic-based approach to a model of alcohol preference in rats. The procedures are based on an analogy between clinical accounts of human drinking and the economic analysis of consumption. Both clinical and economic investigators typically define...
Article
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For the purpose of investigating the determinants of preference for alcohol, it would be advantageous to use a procedure in which the subjects had concurrent access to alcohol and an isocaloric food. However, in widely used animal models, the introduction of a weak sucrose solution markedly reduced alcohol consumption. In contrast, when alcohol was...
Article
The series of papers entitled “Frontiers in neuroscience: The science of substance abuse” (3 Oct. 1997, [p. 45][1]) provides a thoughtful review of recent research on how addictive drugs alter brain function. Several of the papers present the conventional view that addiction is a chronic and
Article
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This experiment tested the reinforcing efficacy of a saccharin-sweetened alcohol solution relative to an isocaloric sucrose drink in rats. One dipper served 10% alcohol plus 0.25% saccharin, and a second, concurrently available, dipper served 14.2% sucrose. During the course of the experiment, access to the two drinks was challenged by increasing t...
Article
Five rats were trained to respond for 10% sucrose and 10% sucrose/0.006% quinine in an operant procedure. Both solutions were concurrently available on independent, variable-interval 5-s schedules of reinforcement. Rats reliably responded for both solutions throughout the sessions and made approximately 68% of their total daily responses for the su...
Article
The response-strength equation is a mathematical model used to explain responding on variable-interval (VI) schedules. This equation has two fitted parameters, k and Re. Empirical research suggests that k is a measure of motor performance and Re is a measure of background sources of reinforcement relative to the arranged reinforcer. This experiment...
Article
The target article emphasizes the relationship between a matching law-based theory of addiction and the disease model of addiction. In contrast, this response emphasizes the relationship between the matching law theory and other behavioral approaches to addiction. The basic difference, I argue, is that the matching law specifies that choice is gove...
Article
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Research findings on addiction are contradictory. According to biographical records and widely used diagnostic manuals, addicts use drugs compulsively, meaning that drug use is out of control and independent of its aversive consequences. This account is supported by studies that show significant heritabilities for alcoholism and other addictions an...
Article
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In a previous study, daidzin, a constituent of an ancient Chinese herbal treatment for alcoholism, decreased home-cage ethanol consumption in laboratory Syrian golden hamsters. The present study tested the generality of daidzin's antidipsotropic effects. Rats served as subjects in a two-lever choice procedure. At one lever, responses earned 10% eth...
Article
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These experiments examined the own-price and cross-price elasticities of a drug (ethanol mixed with 10% sucrose) and a nondrug (10% sucrose) reinforcer. Rats were presented with ethanol-sucrose and sucrose, both available on concurrent independent variable-ratio (VR) 8 schedules of reinforcement. In Experiment 1, the variable ratio for the ethanol...
Article
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In two experiments deviations from matching earned higher overall reinforcement rates than did matching. In Experiment 1 response proportions were calculated over a 360-response moving average, updated with each response. Response proportions that differed from the nominal reinforcement proportions, by a criterion that was gradually increased, were...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has demonstrated that running in a rotating wheel functions as a reinforcer for leverpressing in rats. In these studies, the pattern of responding was similar to the pattern of responding maintained by consummatory reinforcers, such as food and water. The present study investigated quantitative features of responding maintained by...
Article
Full-text available
This experiment investigated the relationship between reinforcer magnitude (sucrose concentration) and response rate. The purpose was to evaluate the behavior of two parameters of an equation that predicts absolute response rate as a function of reinforcement rate and two free parameters. According to Herrnstein's (1970) theory of reinforced behavi...
Article
Full-text available
Herrnstein's (1970) hyperbolic matching equation describes the relationship between response rate and reinforcement rate. It has two estimated parameters, k and Re. According to one interpretation, k measures motor performance and Re measures the efficacy of the reinforcer maintaining responding relative to background sources of reinforcement. Expe...
Article
Full-text available
This experiment examined the relationship between two qualitatively different reinforcers and the parameters of a quantitative model of reinforced responding, referred to as the response-strength equation or the Herrnstein equation. A group of rats was first food deprived and later water deprived. An 11.5% sucrose solution served as the reinforcer...
Article
Previous research has demonstrated that running in a rotating wheel functions as a reinforcer for leverpressing in rats. In these studies, the pattern of responding was similar to the pattern of responding maintained by consummatory reinforcers, such as food and water. The present study investigated quantitative features of responding maintained by...
Article
Full-text available
A series of experiments evaluated the determinants of preference for mixtures of ethanol plus sucrose relative to sucrose in rats. One dipper served 10% ethanol mixed with 10% sucrose, and the second dipper served 10% sucrose. Lever presses operated each dipper according to a variable-interval 5-s schedule. In three experiments the subjects were gi...
Article
Full-text available
This experiment evaluated the relationship between availability of ethanol and preference for ethanol in rats. One dipper served a mixture of 10% ethanol and 10% sucrose, and a second dipper served 10% sucrose. In the first condition, access to each dipper was governed by a variable-interval 5-s schedule. In subsequent conditions, the interval requ...
Article
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This experiment evaluated the effects of methylphenidate on reinforced responding in rats. In each session the subjects (rats) earned reinforcement on seven different variable-interval reinforcement schedules. The average intervals varied from 108 to 3 s and provided reinforcement rates ranging from about 30 to 1100/h. Response rate was a negativel...
Article
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The relation between response rate and reinforcement rate is described by the matching law equation. For an experiment in which there is just 1 explicit source of reinforcement, the equation has 2 parameters. The magnitude of 1 is equal to the response rate asymptote; the magnitude of the other is equal to the rate of reinforcement that maintains a...
Article
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One of the must researched topics in psychopharmacology is the effects of antipsychotic drugs on reinforced behavior. The basic finding is that antipsychotics decrease the frequency of reinforced behaviors at doses that do not have obvious effects on motor capacity. One interpretation is that the drugs acted on reinforcement processes. However, oth...
Article
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We evaluated the effects of cis-flupentixol on reinforced responding. The experimental subjects were rats and the reinforced response was a lever press. The procedure was a five-component multiple schedule that provided five different reinforcement rates. Cis-flupentixol produced dose-dependent decreases in reinforced responding. An equation, the m...
Article
Full-text available
It has been suggested that the failure to maximize reinforcement on concurrent variable-interval, variable-ratio schedules may be misleading. Inasmuch as response costs are not directly measured, it is possible that subjects are optimally balancing the benefits of reinforcement against the costs of responding. To evaluate this hypothesis, pigeons w...
Article
This study evaluated the effects of chlorpromazine and pimozide on reinforced responding. In each session, rats were exposed to a series of five variable-interval reinforcement schedules. The response requirement was a lever press, the reward was a small portion of water, and the reinforcement rate varied from about 20 to 660 reinforcers per hour....
Article
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A mathematical model was used to describe the effects of amphetamine on the rate of a reinforced response in the rat. The model provides measures of reinforcement efficacy and response topography for behavior maintained by variable-interval reinforcement schedules. In this study the measured behavior was a lever press, the reinforcer was water, and...
Article
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This study uses a curve-fitting approach to evaluate the effects of drugs on reinforced responding in rats. The subjects obtained reinforcement according to a series of five different variable-interval schedules (a five-component multiple schedule). For each rat, pimozide, a neuroleptic, decreased response rate, and the decrease was associated with...
Article
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Previous experiments show that the opportunity to engage in schedule-induced responding is reinforcing. In this experiment, the reinforcing strength of schedule-induced drinking was measured. Four rats were trained on a concurrent-chain schedule. The two terminal links provided food pellets on identical fixed-time schedules. In addition, one termin...
Article
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Operant reinforcement schedules were used to investigate the effects of changes in reinforcement rates on the behavior of alcoholic Korsakoff (amnesic) patients and normal control subjects. In one test, both groups were exposed to pairs of variable-interval (VI) reinforcement schedules which operated concurrently. The distribution of reinforcements...
Article
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Suggests that J. Staddon and S. Motheral's (see record 1979-22914-001) mathematical model of responding in concurrent VI-VI schedules ignores the fact that there are 2 simultaneously available schedules, and thus a reinforcer can occur in 2 ways. Staddon and Motheral's failure to distinguish between these 2 possibilities leads to an incorrect esti...
Article
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The distribution of behavior between concurrently available schedules of reinforcement approximates the distribution of reinforcements between the schedules. This equality, called matching, has been explained as an instance of the principle that organisms maximize reinforcement rate. However, a precise account of the relationship between the distri...
Article
Full-text available
Four pigeons on concurrent variable interval, variable ratio approximated the matching relationship with biases toward the variable interval when time spent responding was the measure of behavior and toward the variable ratio when frequency of pecking was the measure of behavior. The local rates of responding were consistently higher on the variabl...
Article
Full-text available
The primary data were peck-by-peck sequential records of four pigeons responding on several different concurrent variable-interval schedules. According to the hypothesis that the subject chooses the alternative with the highest probability of reinforcement at the moment, response-by-response performance in concurrent schedules should show sequentia...

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