The interaction of deprivation and delay of reinforcement under a fixed ratio schedule of responding
Motivation is an important factor in psychology, and much attention, therefore, has been devoted to the study of drives. Interaction of deprivation (hunger drive) and delay of reinforcement was studied in an operant framework in this experiment.Four male Sprague Dawley rats at approximately 250 days of age served as subjects in this experiment. The rats were exposed to a series of conditions within a counter-balanced design. The four conditions were: (a) 85 percent adjusted body weight with no delay; (b) 85 percent adjusted body weight with a 10 second delay; (a) 75 percent adjusted body weight with no delay; and (d) 75 percent adjusted body weight paired with a 10 second delay of reinforcement.Two major conclusions were made from this study. The independent variables may have individually influenced performance, and interaction between deprivation and a signaled delay also occurred when the two were placed in the same environment. Experimental evidence also suggested that discrimination of the delay was not as accurate at higher levels of deprivation.I would like to thank Gary F. Meunier, PhD., who served as chairman of this thesis committee, for his cooperation and assistance in the completion of this thesis. A special thanks also goes to Jerry Ulman, PhD. and Arno Wittig, PhD., whose advice as committee members was invaluable.