Learning and Memory: The Behavioral and Biological Substrates

By Isidore Gormezano; Edward A. Wasserman | Go to book overview

(e.g., small reward magnitude, no delay, alcohol, few nonreinforced trials) decrease preference for predictability. If Vav is low enough, then unpredictability is preferred (see Fig. 5.3). The combination of variables is important. For example, when rewards are not delayed, small rewards result in a preference for unpredictability, a medium reward results in a small preference for predictability, and a large reward results in a medium preference for predictability. If rewards are delayed, then a small reward results in indifference, but a large reward results in a very strong preference for predictability. No other theory applied to observing response acquisition can account for this range of results without making some unlikely assumptions (uncertainty is rewarding, information is punishing), or they have no mechanism to decide the value of the secondary reinforcement. Other theories have trouble accounting for the increase in preference as the percentage of rewards decrease, and that the unpredictable situation is preferred over the stimulus correlated with the absence of reward.

There are several experimental procedures that are called observing response experiments that do not control for one or more of the four RCs: response cost, response competition, response choice, and response changeover. Therefore, simpler explanations of preference for predictability are possible in these experiments (e.g., escape from S -). The challenge is to develop a theoretical account of the variables that influence preference for predictability and unpredictability when the four RCs are controlled. DMOD appears to be a big step in this direction.


REFERENCES

Amsel A. ( 1985). "The role of frustrative nonreward in continuous reward situations". Psychological Bulletin, 55, 102-119.

Badia P., Ryan K., & Harsh J. ( 1981). "Choosing schedules of signalled negative events over schedules of unsignalled ones". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 35, 187-195.

Berlyne D. E. ( 1960). Conflict, arousal and curiosity. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Bower G., McLean J., & Meacham H. ( 1966). "Value of knowing when reinforcement is due". Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 62, 184-192.

Bush R. R., & Mosteller F. ( 1955). Stochastic models for learning. New York: Wiley.

Daly H. B. ( 1974). "Reinforcing properties of escape from frustration aroused in various learning situations". In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 8, pp. 187- 231). New York: Academic Press.

Daly H. B. ( 1985). "Observing response acquisition: Preference for unpredictable appetitive rewards obtained under conditions predicted by DMOD". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 11, 294-316.

Daly H. B. ( 1986). "Dinsmoor's selective observing hypothesis probably cannot account for preference for unpredictable rewards: DMOD can". The Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 9, 365-370.

Daly H. B. ( 1989). "Preference for unpredictable rewards occurs with high proportion of reinforced trials or alcohol if rewards are not delayed". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 15, 3-13.

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