The principal components of response strength

Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-1104, USA.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.87). 04/2001; 75(2):111-34. DOI: 10.1901/jeab.2001.75-111
Source: PubMed


As Skinner (1938) described it, response strength is the "state of the reflex with respect to all its static properties" (p. 15), which include response rate, latency, probability, and persistence. The relations of those measures to one another was analyzed by probabilistically reinforcing, satiating, and extinguishing pigeons' key pecking in a trials paradigm. Reinforcement was scheduled according to variable-interval, variable-ratio, and fixed-interval contingencies. Principal components analysis permitted description in terms of a single latent variable, strength, and this was validated with confirmatory factor analyses. Overall response rate was an excellent predictor of this state variable.

Download full-text


Available from: Peter R Killeen
  • Source
    • "However, response rate is only one of several putative measures of reinforcement value. A large body of literature has repeatedly shown that various accepted measures of reinforcement value often lead to conflicting conclusions about the strength of a given response (Herrnstein, 1961, 1970; Nevin, 1974, 1995; Killeen and Hall, 2001; Hursh and Silberberg, 2008). Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the application of different measures of response strength to the reinforcement-enhancing effects of nicotine (but see Cassidy and Dallery, 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reward enhancement by nicotine has been suggested as an important phenomenon contributing toward tobacco abuse and dependence. Reinforcement value is a multifaceted construct not fully represented by any single measure of response strength. The present study evaluated the changes in the reinforcement value of a visual stimulus in 16 male Sprague-Dawley rats using the reinforcer demand technique proposed by Hursh and Silberberg. The different parameters of the model have been shown to represent differing facets of reinforcement value, including intensity, perseverance, and sensitivity to changes in response cost. Rats lever-pressed for 1-min presentations of a compound visual stimulus over blocks of 10 sessions across a range of response requirements (fixed ratio 1, 2, 4, 8, 14, 22, 32). Nicotine (0.4 mg/kg, base) or saline was administered 5 min before each session. Estimates from the demand model were calculated between nicotine and saline administration conditions within subjects and changes in reinforcement value were assessed as differences in Q0, Pmax, Omax, and essential value. Nicotine administration increased operant responding across the entire range of reinforcement schedules tested, and uniformly affected model parameter estimates in a manner suggesting increased reinforcement value of the visual stimulus.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Behavioural pharmacology
  • Source
    • "Latencies rapidly shortened as p(R) increased from .5 to .7, and then reached asymptote at about 7 s when p(R) > .7. The orderly change in response latency as a function of p(R) suggests that these measures of response strength are related (Killeen and Hall, 2001). Indeed, response latency and probability may be mathematically linked (Killeen et al., 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We assessed the effects of repeated extinction and reversals of two conditional stimuli (CS+/CS-) on an appetitive conditioned approach response in rats. Three results were observed that could not be accounted for by a simple linear operator model such as the one proposed by Rescorla and Wagner (1972): (1) responding to a CS- declined faster when a CS+ was simultaneously extinguished; (2) reacquisition of pre-extinction performance recovered rapidly within one session; and (3) reversal of CS+/CS- contingencies resulted in a more rapid recovery to the current CS- (former CS+) than the current CS+, accompanied by a slower acquisition of performance to the current CS+. An arousal parameter that mediates learning was introduced to a linear operator model to account for these effects. The arousal-mediated learning model adequately fit the data and predicted data from a second experiment with different rats in which only repeated reversals of CS+/CS- were assessed. According to this arousal-mediated learning model, learning is accelerated by US-elicited arousal and it slows down in the absence of US. Because arousal varies faster than conditioning, the model accounts for the decline in responding during extinction mainly through a reduction in arousal, not a change in learning. By preserving learning during extinction, the model is able to account for relapse effects like rapid reacquisition, renewal, and reinstatement.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Behavioural processes
  • Source
    • "Results of Experiment 1 showed an inverse relation between response rate and latency to the first response, replicating the findings of Killeen and Hall (2001) and extending them to human behavior. In previous applied research on problem behavior in which latency to the first response was used as a dependent variable (e.g., Goh et al., 1999; Zarcone et al., 1993), it was assumed that short latencies were predictive of response maintenance and that long latencies were indicative of extinction. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dependent variables in research on problem behavior typically are based on measures of response repetition, but these measures may be problematic when behavior poses high risk or when its occurrence terminates a session. We examined response latency as the index of behavior during assessment. In Experiment 1, we compared response rate and latency to the first response under acquisition and maintenance conditions. In Experiment 2, we compared data from existing functional analyses when graphed as rate versus latency. In Experiment 3, we compared results from pairs of independent functional analyses. Sessions in the first analysis were terminated following the first occurrence of behavior, whereas sessions in the second analysis lasted for 10 min. Results of all three studies showed an inverse relation between rate and latency, indicating that latency might be a useful measure of responding when repeated occurrences of behavior are undesirable or impractical to arrange.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Show more