Psych Notes

What are the two types of Choice Behavior?

Simple Choice and Concurrent Choice

How do we study Choice Behavior in the lab?

With Skinner boxes and lever-pressing behavior.

What happens during simple choice procedures?

There are two response alternatives, each on its own schedule of reinforcement.

What are Concurrent Schedules? What are some real world examples?

Allow for continuous measurement of choice because the organism is free to change between the response alternatives at any time.

How to measure Choice Behavior using Concurrent Choice Procedures?

Calculate relative rate of responding for alternatvies. Rate of responding for alternative divided by total rate of responding.

Relative Rates of Responding (formula)


Relative Rate of Reinforcement (formula)

rL/(rL+rR) - influenced by Relative Rates of Responding

The Matching Law (and formula)

BL/BR = rL/rR - Relative Rates or Responding match Relative Rate of Reinforcement

When can the Matching Law not be true

If Sensitivity and response bias are not taken into account with a generalized formula BL/BR = b(rL/rR)^s

Response Bias in the Matching Law

Bias for a response alternative because more effort is required for other alternatives without a significantly stronger reinforcer.

What does the Matching Law predict and NOT predict?

Does not predict that a choice will occur, it predicts the fraction of time in which a certain choice will occur.

Molecular Maximization

Choosing whatever alternative is most likely to be reinforced at the time.

Molar Maximization

Distributing choices among alternatives to maximize amount of reinforcement in the "long run".


Acting to make something better. Choices are not optimal in the long run.


Choice of a larger, delayed reinforcer over a smaller, less delayed reinforcer.


Chocie of a smaller, more immediate reinforcer over a larger, more delayed reinforcer.

Factors that influence impulsivity

Reinforcer type, quality, amount, and delay

How is impulsivity affected by delay to reinforcement

As delay for both reinforcers increase, choice for self-control increases.

Behavioral Regulation functions much like _____________.