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Preference for a segmented schedule using a brief S+ stimulus correlated with a great delay reduction in humans

Abstract : Past studies using the concurrent-chain procedure showed that pigeons and humans generally prefer an unsegmented schedule to a segmented schedule. This finding is ostensibly inconsistent with theories of conditioned reinforcement such as delay-reduction theory. In the present study with humans, two changes in the basic segmented schedule were implemented to resolve this inconsistency. The first change was that in the segmented schedule the terminal-link stimulus (S+ stimulus) changed late in the terminal-link, close to reinforcement presentation. The second change was that the presentation of the segmenting stimulus, S+, was brief allowing a reinstatement of the early terminal-link stimulus, which is contiguous with reinforcement. Our data constitute the first demonstration of preference for the segmented schedule when a brief S+ is correlated with a greater reduction in delay to reinforcement.
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https://hal.univ-lille.fr/hal-02525799
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Jerome Alessandri, Mikael Molet, Edmund Fantino. Preference for a segmented schedule using a brief S+ stimulus correlated with a great delay reduction in humans. Behavioural Processes, Elsevier, 2010, Behavioural Processes, 85 (1), pp.72-76. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2010.06.009⟩. ⟨hal-02525799⟩

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