Elicited responding in chain schedules

Dougherty, D.M.; Lewis, P.

Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 56(3): 475-487


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-5002
PMID: 1774540
DOI: 10.1901/jeab.1991.56-475
Accession: 007296426

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An omission procedure was employed to study elicited pecking in the first component of a two-component chain schedule. Both components were fixed-interval schedules correlated with colored keylights. The first response following the initial-link schedule produced a second fixed-interval schedule. We studied several fixed-interval lengths in two conditions: a standard response-dependent condition and an omission-contingent conditions. The omission-contingent condition differed from the response-dependent condition in that responses during the initial fixed interval terminated the trial (omitting the terminal component and grain). If the terminal component was not omitted, a response followed the terminal link's requirement produced 4-s access to grain. Pigeons responded during more than 70% of the initial links in the omission-contingent condition and responded during more than 90% of the initial links in the response-dependent conditions. In general, rates of responding were consistent with the percentage data. The responding in the omission conditions suggests that there may be elicited pecking, in chain schedules using pigeons, that is not the result of contingent conditioned reinforcement.