Psychology ETDs


David Perkins

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Traditional delayed matching-to-sample paradigms may confound the cue properties associated with external stimuli and those cues produced by Ss delay interval behavior. This possible confounding arises since traditional paradigms explicitly control external stimuli, but include no control of Ss delay interval behavior.

In order to control the response produced cues during the delay interval, the present experiment required three groups of four pigeons each to complete, either a FR8 or FR16 during the delay intervals between the offset of standard hues and the onset of the comparison or matching stimuli. Depending upon the experimental conditions, a particular fixed ratio schedule was either relevant, I.e., always paired with one of the two pre-delay stimuli or non-relevant, i.e., paired equally often with both pre-delay stimuli. In those instances where differential fixed ratio behavior was perfectly correlated. with the pre-delay, external stimuli, the Ss had both relevant external and behavior-produced cues to use as a basis for correct matching. In other instances, the required delay behavior was not consistently correlated with the pre-delay external stimuli, and only the external cues or delay behaviors served as relevant cues for correct matching. A control group was also included in which Ss were required to match under a traditional mixed delay procedure. Under this procedure, the delay interval behavior was left unspecified. The delays for the control group were set at 2.5 sec. and 5.0 sec. which corresponded to the average times to complete the two fixed ratios for the three behavior controlled groups.

The matching results indicated that Ss which had both relevant external and fixed ratio cues stabilized at 90% correct matching after 46 sessions while Ss which had non-relevant external cues but relevant fixed ratio cues stabilized at 80% correct matching after 52 sessions. Probe tests on the Ss which had relevant external and response produced cues indicated that the choice of cue depended on the conditions of the test trial and the particular S. These results supported the conclusion that delay interval behavior should be explicitly controlled in investigations of stimulus control under delayed matching paradigms.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Douglas Peter Ferraro

Second Committee Member

G. Robert Grice

Third Committee Member

Louis Elliot Price

Fourth Committee Member

David Wilmot Bessemer

Fifth Committee Member

Peder Jack Johnson



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Psychology Commons