College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Limited Matching On Concurrent Schedule Reinforcement of Academic Behavior

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 1994

Keywords

Matching Law; Matching Theory; Concurrent Schedules; Limited Matching; Academic Behavior; Schedule Discrimination

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

ISSN

0021-8855

Volume

27

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Three adolescent students with special educational needs were given a choice between completing one of two available sets of math problems. Reinforcers (nickels) across these alternatives were arranged systematically in separate experimental phases according to three different concurrent variable-interval schedules (reinforcement ratios of 2:1, 6:1, and 12:1). Time allocated to the two stacks of math problems stood in linear relationship to the reinforcement rate obtained from each stack, although substantial under-matching and bias were observed for all subjects. However, changes in the schedules were not followed by changes in allocation patterns until adjunct procedures (e.g., changeover delays, limited holds, timers, and demonstrations) were introduced. The necessity of adjunct procedures in establishing matching in applied situations is discussed as a limitation to quantitative applications of the matching law in applied behavior analysis.

DOI

10.1901/jaba.1994.27-585

Peer Reviewed

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