The effects of a history of differential reinforcement for selecting a free-choice versus a restricted-choice stimulus arrangement on the subsequent responding of 7 undergraduates in a computer-based game of chance were examined using a concurrent-chains arrangement and a multiple-baseline-across-participants design. In the free-choice arrangement, participants selected three numbers, in any order, from an array of eight numbers presented on the computer screen. In the restricted-choice arrangement, participants selected the order of three numbers preselected from the array of eight by a computer program. In initial sessions, all participants demonstrated no consistent preference or preference for restricted choice. Differential reinforcement of free-choice selections resulted in increased preference for free choice immediately and in subsequent sessions in the absence of programmed differential outcomes. For 5 participants, changes in preference for choice were both robust and lasting, suggesting that a history of differential reinforcement for choice may affect preference for choice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience