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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Trevor Stokes, Ph.D.
The present study's purpose was to examine preference for continuous versus discontinuous work schedules as the magnitude of reinforcement is manipulated. The magnitude of reinforcement was manipulated in the initially preferred work schedule, while the magnitude of reinforcement was held constant throughout the study for the other work schedule. The participant used the work schedule while working on math skill acquisition tasks. The participant was exposed first to the different work schedules and then was given a choice to choose a work schedule. The chosen work schedule was then used for that work session. The participant showed an initial preference for the discontinuous schedule when they both produced the same duration of reinforcement in baseline. When the duration of reinforcement was decreased by 75% in the discontinuous condition, preference switched to the continuous condition. During another condition duration of reinforcement was increased to 7.5 minutes of access which was a 25% decrease in reinforcement compared to the continuous condition. During this condition, the participant did not show a preference for either work schedule. In comparison to past research, this study produced different results and suggested other factors to be considered when evaluating preference for various work schedules.
Pankey, Valencia, "The Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude and Distribution of Preference for Work Schedules When Working on Skill Acquisition Tasks" (2021). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 92.
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