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Preference for 50% reinforcement over 75% reinforcement by pigeons.

Abstract : When pigeons are given a choice between an initial-link alternative that results in either a terminal-link stimulus correlated with 100% reinforcement or a stimulus correlated with 0% reinforcement (overall 50% reinforcement) and another initial-link alternative that always results in a terminal-link stimulus correlated with 100% reinforcement, some pigeons show a preference for the initial-link alternative correlated with 50% reinforcement. Using this procedure, in Experiment 1, we found a relatively modest preference for 100% over 50% reinforcement. In Experiment 2, we decreased the reinforcement density for the second initial-link alternative to 75% and found a significant preference for the 50% reinforcement initial-link alternative. It may be that this "maladaptive" behavior results from a positive contrast between the expectation of reinforcement correlated with the 50% reinforcement initial-link alternative and the terminal-link stimulus correlated with 100% reinforcement. But apparently, the complementary negative contrast does not develop between the expectation of reinforcement correlated with the 50% reinforcement initial-link alternative and the terminal-link stimulus correlated with 0% reinforcement that often follow. Such paradoxical choice may account for certain human appetitive risk-taking behavior (e.g., gambling) as well.
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https://hal.univ-lille.fr/hal-02525788
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Soumis le : vendredi 3 avril 2020 - 09:17:30
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Cassandra D Gipson, Jerome Alessandri, Holly C Miller, Thomas R Zentall. Preference for 50% reinforcement over 75% reinforcement by pigeons.. Learning & Behavior, 2009, Learning & Behavior, 37 (9), pp.289-98. ⟨10.3758/LB.37.4.289⟩. ⟨hal-02525788⟩

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