Logo of jeabehavJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Web SiteSubscriber LoginJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web SiteSubscription InformationInformation for AuthorsJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Web Site
J Exp Anal Behav. 1979 Sep; 32(2): 233–244.
PMCID: PMC1332898

Concurrent schedules: undermatching and control by previous experimental conditions.


Five pigeons were trained on concurrent variable-interval schedules. A series of conditions in which the ratio of reinforcement rates on two keys was progressively increased and then decreased was arranged twice. The birds were then exposed to an irregular sequence of conditions. Each condition in which reinforcement was available on both keys lasted six sessions. Performance in the first, third, and sixth sessions after a condition change was analyzed. Following a condition change, preference was biased toward the preference in the last condition, but this effect largely disappeared before the sixth session of training. The birds' preferences also appeared less sensitive to reinforcement rates in early sessions after a transition. Preference in a session was a function of both the reinforcements in that session and the reinforcements obtained in as many as four or five previous sessions. The effects of reinforcements in previous sessions could be summarized by the performance in the immediately preceding session, giving a relatively simple relation between present performance and a combination of present reinforcement and prior session performance. While such hysteresis could cause undermatching when only a small number of sessions are arranged in a condition, undermatching in a stable-state performance probably arises elsewhere.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Baum WM. On two types of deviation from the matching law: bias and undermatching. J Exp Anal Behav. 1974 Jul;22(1):231–242. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Baum WM, Rachlin HC. Choice as time allocation. J Exp Anal Behav. 1969 Nov;12(6):861–874. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • CATANIA AC. Concurrent performances: reinforcement interaction and response independence. J Exp Anal Behav. 1963 Apr;6:253–263. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fantino E, Squires N, Delbrück N, Peterson C. Choice behavior and the accessibility of the reinforcer. J Exp Anal Behav. 1972 Jul;18(1):35–43. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • HERRNSTEIN RJ. Relative and absolute strength of response as a function of frequency of reinforcement. J Exp Anal Behav. 1961 Jul;4:267–272. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hollard V, Davison MC. Preference for qualitatively different reinforcers. J Exp Anal Behav. 1971 Nov;16(3):375–380. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hunter IW, Davison MC. Response rate and changeover performance on concurrent variable-interval schedules. J Exp Anal Behav. 1978 May;29(3):535–556. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Keller JV, Gollub LR. Duration and rate of reinforcement as determinants of concurrent responding. J Exp Anal Behav. 1977 Sep;28(2):145–153. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lobb B, Davison MC. Performance in concurrent interval schedules: a systematic replication. J Exp Anal Behav. 1975 Sep;24(2):191–197. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miller HL. Matching-based hedonic scaling in the pigeon. J Exp Anal Behav. 1976 Nov;26(3):335–347. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Myers DL, Myers LE. Undermatching: a reappraisal of performance on concurrent variable-interval schedules of reinforcement. J Exp Anal Behav. 1977 Jan;27(1):203–214. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shull RL, Pliskoff SS. Changeover delay and concurrent schedules: some effects on relative performance measures. J Exp Anal Behav. 1967 Nov;10(6):517–527. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stubbs DA, Pliskoff SS. Concurrent responding with fixed relative rate of reinforcement. J Exp Anal Behav. 1969 Nov;12(6):887–895. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior are provided here courtesy of Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...