Choice, Matching and Self-Control Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Choice, Matching and Self-Control Deck (41):

Define bias from matching.

A deviation from matching where one schedule attracts a higher proportion of responses than matching predicts, regardless of the richer or poorer schedule.


Define commitment response.

An action carried out at an early point in time that serves to either eliminate or reduce the value of an upcoming temptation.


Explain a concurrent schedule of reinforcement.

A complex schedule consisting of the simultaneous presentation of two or more independent schedules, each leading to a reinforcer.


Define impulsiveness.

With respect to choice between two rewards, selecting a smaller sooner reward over a larger later reward.


Define matching law.

The priniciple that the proportion of responses emitted on a particular schedule matches the proportion of reinforcers obtained on that schedule.


Explain melioration theory.

The distribution of responses in a choice situation leans towards the richer schedule and ignores the long-term effect on reinforcement.


Define overmatching.

A deviation from matching where the proportion of responses on the richer schedule versus poorer schedule is more different than would be predicted by matching.


Define self-control, with respect to choice between two rewards.

Selecting a larger later reward over a smaller sooner reward.


Explain the small-but-cumulative effects model.

Each individual choice on a self-control task has only a small but cumulative effect on out likelihood of obtaining the desired long-term outcome.


What does the matching law predict?

A consistent relationship between the proportion of reinforcers obtained on a certain alternative and the proportion of responses emitted on that alternative.


According to the matching law, if a pigeon gets 60% of its reinforcers on a particular alternative, what percentage of its responses will it use on that alternative?



What human behaviour may the principle of matching underlie?

Social behaviour.


Name the three exceptions or deviations from matching.

Undermatching, overmatching, and bias from matching.


What occurs in undermatching?

The proportion of responses on the richer schedule versus the poorer schedule is less different than would be predicted by matching.


When can undermatching occur?

When there is little cost for switching from one schedule to another.


What is a changeover delay (COD)?

When the act of switching between keys initiates a slight delay during which no response will produce a reinforcer.


What occurs when there is no COD?

The organism will switch back and forth between keys to maximise the amount of reinforcers it achieves.


When can overmatching occur?

When the cost of moving from one alternative to another is very high.


Bias can be seen as a precise way to measure:



What does the matching law not explain?

Why the pattern of distribution occurs.


Explain maximisation theory.

A pattern of distribution occurs because it maximises the overall level of reinforcement.


What does meliorate mean?

Make better.


Give another name for maximisation theory.

Optimisation theory.


Give a problem with melioration theory.

The tendency to move towards a richer alternative can sometimes result in a substantial reduction in the total amount of reinforcement obtained.


What did Skinner view self-control as an issue of?

Conflicting outcomes.


How did Skinner propose that we manage the conflict between outcomes?

By using two responses; a controlling response that alters the frequency of a controlled response.


Name four types of controlling responses.

Physical restraint, depriving and satiating, distraction, and self-reinforcement and self-punishment.


Explain Skinner's controlling response, physical restraint.

You physically manipulate the environment to prevent the occurrence of some problem behaviour.


Explain Skinner's controlling response, depriving and satiating.

By depriving or satiating yourself, you alter the extent to which a certain event can act as a reinforcer.


From a temporal perspective, lack of self-control arises from:

The fact that our behaviour is more heavily influences by immediate consequences than by delayed consequences.


What is a delay of gratification task?

The task of choosing between a smaller sooner reward and a larger later reward.


Who came up with the delay of gratification paradigm?



What is resistance to temptation greatly enhanced by?

Not attending to the reward.


What does the Ainslie-Rachlin model of self-control focus on?

The fact that preference between smaller, sooner rewards and larger later rewards can shift over time.


What assumption is the Ainslie-Rachlin model of self-control based on?

The value of a reward is a hyperbolic function of its delay.


What happens to the value of a reward as delay decreases?

It increases more and more sharply as attainment of the reward becomes imminent.


How can we influence preference reversal? (2)

By changing the shape of the delay function for the LLR and making a commitment response.


What did Herrnstein suggest?

Several variables that can affect the shape of a delay function.


What principle does behavioural contracting operate on?

The commitment response.


Explain behavioural contracting.

Where a person formally arranges to attain certain rewards for resisting temptation or receive certain punishers for yielding to it.


In what ways does the small-but-cumulative effects model suggest ways to improve self control? (2)

Having a plan in place to handle occasional lapses, and establishing rules that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours