James P. Noll

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Fisher, Jane E. (Jane Ellen), 1957-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Reinforcement (Psychology); Choice (Psychology)


The Batching relation is a quantitative description of choice behavior under concurrent sources of reinforcement. The results of early research on operant choice behavior indicated that a changeover delay was needed in order for relative response rates to approximate relative reinforcement rates. This changeover delay constitutes a "penalty" for switching among available alternatives. Although several models of changeover behavior have emerged from the infra-human literature, no study has extensively examined changeover behavior in humans. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of variations in changeover delay durations on human concurrent responding. In addition, the applicability of quantitative models of changeover behavior developed in the infra-human literature to human data was examined. Before describing the design of the proposed study, a review of the literature traces the development of matching relation with a focus on deviations from the matching relation and variations on response and reinforcer parameters in both infra-human and human studies. Current models of changeover behavior are then reviewed. The results indicated that symmetrical and asymmetrical changeover delays affected response and time distributions by altering the structure of the interchangeover distributions through the formation of reinforcement as a discriminative stimulus.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [139]-144)


xi, 158 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type