Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Martin T. Gipson
First Committee Member
Kenneth L. Beauchamp
Second Committee Member
The prediction of Capaldi's sequential learning theory (i966, 1967, 1970) that resistance to extinction (Rn) increases as a function of the number of successive nonrewarded trials (N-length) conditioned to the instrumental response has recently been supported in a discrete-trials leverpress situation but not in a free-operant leverpress situation (Wolach & Ferraro, 1971). To investigate this discrepancy, 32 male albino rats were trained to leverpress in the presence of a visual sD under one of two N-length conditions (8 or 16) and one of four intertrial interval (ITI) conditions (5, 10, 15, or 30 sec.), the lowest of which corresponded to a freeoperant interresponse time. A subsequent extinction phase revealed that the 16 N-length group displayed greater Rn than the 8 N-length group at each ITI investigated on the dependent measures of extinction speed (p is less than .01) and trials to extinction criterion (p is less than .05). The results were interpreted as supporting the applicability of sequential theory to both discrete-trials and free-operant methodologies.
Mulhern, Raymond Kenworthy Jr.. (1974). The effects of N-length and ITI on resistance to extinction in a free-operant situation. University of the Pacific, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/1845
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