Why are some behaviors more
resistant to extinction?
O Partial reinforcement effect
O Mower & Jones’ rat study
supports the theory that
behavior on intermittent
schedules is more
O Contrary to Thorndike’s
law of effect—behavior is a
function of its
Why does the PRE exist?
O According to the discrimination hypothesis…
O It simply takes more time for the subject to
realize that reinforcement has stopped when
a schedule is intermittent.
O According to the frustration hypothesis…
O Subjects learn to become frustrated before
receiving reinforcement.
O This makes the frustration experienced
during extinction more tolerable and even a
cue for the behavior.
O According to the sequential hypothesis…
O Reinforcement actually becomes the cue for
behavior in CRF
O Sequence (involving times with no
reinforcement) becomes cue in intermittent
O According to the response unit hypothesis…
O The unit of measurement for a behavior
needs to be redefined to reflect how often
the behavior must occur to be reinforced.
O When the new unit is considered, the rate of
behavior during extinction actually declines.
What is the matching law?
O You can predict a subject’s choice of
behavior based on the reinforcement that is
O Subject’s spend more time on schedules
that payoff better.