Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #472
Behavioral Economics
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
006D (CC)
Area: EAB
Chair: Carlos F. Aparicio Naranjo Naranjo (Salem State University)
Delay Discounting in Spontaneously Hypertensive (SHR) and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) Rats
Domain: Basic Research
Abstract: Animal models of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) use the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), claiming that it shows behaviors that are functionally similar to those observed in humans with ADHD. This study investigated behavioral determinants of impulsive choice linked to ADHD and compared the performances of SHR with those of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats on a concurrent-chains procedure. Initial-link responses in two levers were interpreted as choices for a smaller reinforcer (1-food pellet) that could be produced immediately and a larger reinforcer (4-food pellets) that could be obtained after delays of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40 or 80 s occurring in random order within sessions. Entries to the terminal-link were arranged dependently, controlling possible confound between frequency and delay of reinforcement. Delay discounting was well described by both a hyperbolic-decay model and a general form of the matching law. Estimates of rate of discounting and sensitivity to delay increased with increasing number of sessions. The role of extended training in determining the impulsive choices of SHR and WKY rats will be discussed.
Sexual Delay and Probability Discounting: Devaluation of Protected Sex Due to Delay or Uncertainty
Domain: Basic Research
SINEENUCH WONGSOMBOON (Arizona State University), Muchen Zhu (Arizona State University), Amanda Small (Arizona State University), Robert Ross (Arizona State University), Araceli Moreno (Arizona State University), Brandon McColley (Arizona State University)
Abstract: It has yet to be known why some people engage in sexual risk behavior even though it may lead to sexually transmitted Infections (STIs). This study examined college students preference for having protected sex when it is delayed or uncertain. During the delay discounting task participants were asked to rate their likelihood (0-100%) of waiting for a specified period of time to have protected sex while they could have immediate sex without protection. During the probability discounting task participants were asked to rate their likelihood of having protected sex when the chance to have it was uncertain and they could have unprotected sex for sure. Before both tasks began, participants were shown photographs of hypothetical sexual partners, and were asked to choose their preferred partners based on their attractiveness and perceived likelihood of having an STI. Preliminary data show that people preferred immediate or certain sex without protection over delayed or uncertain sex with protection especially when a partner was perceived as more attractive regardless of the perceived likelihood of having an STI.
The Sign Effect and Competing Contingencies
Domain: Basic Research
ELISE FURREBOE (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Deferring discomfort has been argued to be the same basic impulse as preferring sooner-smaller (SS) over later-larger (LL) gains (Ainslie, 2010). However, while some early studies have supported the conclusion that aversive outcomes are preferred delayed (Yates & Watts, 1975), other studies have found that subjective value of a gain decreased as the delay increases, but the same is not true for losses (Mischel, Grusec and Masters, 1969). There is growing evidence for the sign effect, which means discounting of gains is steeper than for losses (Frederick, Loewenstein, & O'Donoghue, 2002; Thaler, 1981). The sign effect seems to be greater for within-subject compared to between-subjects (Wilkinson & Klaes, 2012). This may indicate that some individuals in fact show zero discounting of losses. A flatter discounting curve could mean steep discounting of losses for some and no discounting for others, on an aggregate level, rather than generally flatter curves for most of the individuals (Mischel et al., 1969). The scope of this paper is to discuss results from discounting of losses and gains on an individual level, and to view these results in relation to the different effects positive and negative reinforcement may have on discounting.

Understanding the Relationship Between Response Effort and Food Demand

Domain: Basic Research
JONATHAN W. PINKSTON (University of North Texas), Christina Nord (University of North Texas)

There has been little work evaluating the relationship between response effort and consumption; moreover, research examining effort and consumption has used weighted response levers. Weighting response levers introduces a confound because the response definition changes as the threshold force of activation changes. In the present study, rats were trained to press a force transducer, which holds the response definition constant while varying the reinforcement criteria, to earn food in a rapid demand procedure. Fixed-ratio schedules varied daily during conditions, and force criteria for reinforcement varied from 5.6 g - 56.0 g across conditions. The response threshold was maintained at 5.6 g. When force criteria increased, response output increased by 10-50% more than required by the schedule; these subcriterion responses met the response threshold, but did not meet force criteria. Demand analysis showed that increasing the force requirement increased sensitivity to the nominal price. Control conditions showed that the subcriterion responses did not alter demand. The data indicate that effort is an important component of price, and the data showing the extra subcriterion responses did not alter demand suggest that effort may be more important than nominal price, e.g. response count per food, in determining consumption.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh