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Contributions of elicitation to measures of self-control

  • David Lopatto
  • Paul Lewis
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1985


Pigeons' not pecking or pecking constituted choice between a delayed, large reinforcer and an immediate, small reinforcer (self-control) and at other times between a delayed reinforcer and no reinforcer (omission). Both a tone and a keylight were tested as choice signals, and the delayed reinforcer was either response independent or response dependent. Pigeons pecked during the choice signals on over 95% of the trials in the self-control procedure, and pecked during the choice signals on over 75% of the trials in the omission procedure. Consistent pecking was observed with either the tone or the keylight as a choice signal, with the exception that a tone paired with a response-independent delayed reinforcer did not maintain pecking in the omission procedure. Pigeons pecked during more choice signals when delayed reinforcers were response dependent than when the delayed reinforcers were response independent. These results indicate that Pavlovian conditioning influences self-control experiments, especially in single-key procedures.

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