Influence of Reinforcement

Influence of Reinforcement
















Influence of Reinforcement



The experiment used thirty live rats, which had been previously trained first on how to bar press for food rewards. The first experiment had four groups (N= 20), which are the FR5, VI5, FI5 and VI5. Every group was made up of five live rats. They were trained under a tone of 2.0 kHz. The second experimental group (N=10) consisted of FR10 and FR20 each made up of five rats. These too were trained for three hours and the reward was to be given in the presence of tone. All the rats in both experiments were trained on nine tones between one to three kilohertz while increasing with a range of 0.25 kHz.


While observing the dependent variables on group one, FH5 had a mean of 29.6880 with a standard variance of .37506, VR5 a mean of 31.0220 and a variance of .55827. F15 had a mean of 4.4980 and a variance of 14307 while V15 got a mean of 4.4920 and a variance of .02588. The total means obtained by the whole group came to 17.4250 and the variances 13.27848. In all the four groups of experiment one, the standard error stood at 0.154. The same was observed while dong the multiple comparisons. A different trend was however noted in the second group of the experiment. FR10 had a mean of 36.5140 and a standard deviation of 0.5744 while FR20 had a 40.3600 mean and a standard deviation of 0.64996. Their standard error mean stood at 0.25690 and 0.29067 for FR10 and FR20 respectively.


The evident differences in the mean averages of the two experimental groups can be associated with the crest of the response both groups got from the experiment. Allen (2004) found in his study that food deprivation was not a necessary condition for establishing and maintaining food-reinforced operant behavior in the rats. In his research aimed at studying the nesting behavior of the golden hamster by depriving them off food and nesting paper, he found that the hamsters consistently responded to higher terminals of food ratio than they did for paper. He established in his study that paper as a nesting material could be used as an effective positive rein forcer for the hamster.

The research showed that the hamsters chose food over the nesting paper. Their stimulus was discriminative against the nesting material and therefore went for the most urgent need, which was food. Arnold (2013) suggests that during the punishment period signaled by a tone, every bar press is rewarded but it is also accompanied by a brief electrical foot shock. The animals however do not mind that since there is a food reward at the end. Similarly, in the experiment, the rats were seen to work harder at each tone to get the next reward, which was food. They were therefore the perfect animals to use in learning stimulus discrimination and generalization.

Chance (2009) states that animals are the best for carrying out such research since the genetic differences between participants is an important source of variability in behavior. The rats in the first group used two kilohertz (S+) and portrayed a greater tonal discrimination than the second group that used two point five kilohertz (S-). Certain stimuli are noted to have power over responding with others if the number of kilohertz whether negative or positive is used. The increase in bar pressing response implies that there is a great increment in the speed and vice versa. Responses tat are somehow similar to bar pressing are reinforced by the food click. More studies therefore need to be carried out to determine the exact influence of reinforcement.



Allen, N (2004). Reinforced variability in animals and people: Implications of adaptive action. Am Psychol. 59(9): 891-906

Arnold, M. B. (2013). Memory and the Brain. Taylor & Francis.

Chance, P., & Krause, M. A. (2009). Learning and behavior: Active learning edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.




















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