STUDY OF RESPONSE ECONOMY IN HUMAN OPERANT BEHAVIOR.
ITT FEDERAL LABS NUTLEY N J
These studies show that the key-pressing behavior of human subjects in a free-responding situation is strongly and systematically influenced by the time integral of response force exerted on the key. Emission of the supra-threshold as well as rate of responding is affected. Sensitivity to other aspects of the experimental situation, such as the schedule of reinforcement, may be enhanced by increasing the threshold above a minimal level. There is a tendency, observed in several phases of these studies, for the subject to react to change in the threshold by adjusting his responding to maintain a constant rate of effort. In view of these findings, it is clear that the results obtained in this type of experimentation are significantly influenced by the characteristics of the required response. Thus, specification and control of response characteristics are essential for comparability of results among experiments. Further, the selection of suitable response characteristics will improve the experimental control of behavior and provide a more stable baseline for measuring the effect of other experimental variables.