Motivational artifact in standard food-deprivation schedules


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Abstract

5 albino rats (adjusted percentage: AP) held at 80% of normal body weight of 25 Ss maintained on ad-lib. food and water (criterion) were compared with 5 Ss maintained at 80% of their individual predeprivation weight (fixed percentage: FP) and 5 Ss fed for 30 min. every 24 hr. (fixed interval: FI). Predictions based on an assumed artifact due to failure to account for normal body growth under FP and FI were confirmed. Lever-press rates under a VI-2-min. reinforcement schedule gradually increased under FP and FI as body weight (percentage of criterion Ss) decreased, whereas AP Ss maintained constant-response rates. Interchanging AP and FP deprivation schedules resulted in response rates consistent with weight levels assumed under new schedules. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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