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Title: A comparison of the effects of delay to reinforcement, amount of reinforcer and quality of reinforcer on essential value of demand with hens
Contributor(s): Foster, T Mary (author); Jackson, Surrey (author); Bizo, Lewis (author); McEwan, James (author); Stuart, Stacey (author)
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: Hursh and Silberberg (2008) proposed an exponential function to describe the curvilinear demand functions obtained in much animal research. An advantage of this was that it gave a single measure of the value of the reinforcer, alpha, which they called essential value. This measure has scalar invariance and should not be affected by dose size, amount, or duration of the reinforcer. This paper examines the essential value measure obtained from studies with hens. In each study fixed-ratio schedules were used to generate demand functions. The properties of the reinforcer differed both within and across studies. Foster et al. (2009) and Lim (2010) varied food quality using 40-min sessions. Both found that the essential value was larger for the less preferred reinforcer when consumption was measured by number of reinforcers. Jackson (2011), using sessions terminated after 40 reinforcers and with body weight strictly controlled, found essential value (based on reinforcer rate) was the same for these same two foods. Lim (2010) found the preferred food had the greater essential value when the consumption was measured as weight of food consumed. Grant's (2005) data showed longer reinforcer durations were associated with lower essential values when consumption was measured as numbers of reinforcers. For these data the weight of food consumed generally resulted in the longest durations having the highest essential value. Harris (2011) varied delay to the reinforcer and found longer delays normally gave lower essential values. Stuart (2013) compared delays to the reinforcer and inter-trial-intervals (ITIs). She found essential was lower with the longer intervals for all hens with ITI and, for some hens, with delay and was lower with delays than with ITIs. Thus the measure of essential value has been found to vary in circumstances where this would not be predicted, to be the reverse of what might be expected in some cases, and to be affected by the procedure used. The present data show that essential value does not provide an easily interpretable measure.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: 10th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis, Auckland, New Zealand, 30th August - 1st September, 2013
Source of Publication: New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis 10th Annual Conference Programme, p. 16-16
Publisher: New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis (NZABA)
Place of Publication: Auckland, New Zealand
Field of Research (FOR): 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
170299 Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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