Effects of CSs for food and water upon rats barpressing for different magnitudes of food reinforcement

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Forty-eight albino rats were first exposed to randomly intermixed, noncontingent presentations of one pellet, six pellets, and water. For each of three groups, a CS+ was paired with one of the reinforcers, while the other two reinforcers and a CS− were presented alone. Then half the subjects experienced a six-pellet reward and half experienced a one-pellet reward for leverpresses during a light SD. Finally, on test trials, the CS+ or CS− was compounded with the light. Latencies on test trials indicated that responding for the one-pellet reward was significantly more disrupted by a CS+ for six pellets than by the CS+ for one pellet or the CS+ for water. Responding for the six-pellet reward was disrupted by the CS+ for one pellet somewhat more than by the CS+ for six pellets or water, but not significantly so. This pattern of results is partially consistent with an associative model of transfer and appears to contradict a motivational account of such effects.


DOI:10.3758/BF03209279 This paper is part of a dissertation submitted to the Graduate Division of the University of Hawaii in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD degree in psychology. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant to the Center for Research in Human Learning, University of Minnesota, from NICHHD (T36-HD-07151).