This research was supported by NIMH Grant MH 15353 to the author. We would like to thank Charles W. Spurr who in running subjects and also made suggestions contributing the manuscript, and Craig G. Clark who aided in running subjects.
Classical Skin Conductance Response Conditioning: Effects of Random Intermittent Reinforcement
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 401–407, July 1977
How to Cite
Williams, W. C. and Prokasy, W. F. (1977), Classical Skin Conductance Response Conditioning: Effects of Random Intermittent Reinforcement. Psychophysiology, 14: 401–407. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1977.tb02972.x
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
- Manuscript received September 16, 1976; revision received January 14, 1977; accepted for publication February 23, 1977)
- SCR conditioning;
- Intermittent reinforcement;
- Reinforcement ratio;
- Sequential trends;
- Strength learning;
- Negative recency;
To assess some implications of incremental-decremental learning theories for classical conditioning, skin conductance response conditioning in humans was examined as a function of reinforcement schedule. First anticipatory responses (FARs: latency from 1.0 to 3.5 sec after signal onset) were not affected by reinforcement ratio, but, during the first half of training, the probability of second anticipatory responses (SARs: latency from 3.6 to 7.0 sec after signal onset) increased with increases in reinforcement ratio. FAR and SAR probabilities decreased across sequences of successively reinforced trials and increased across sequences of successively nonreinforced trials. These results are incompatible with the theoretical expectation that response likelihood should increase following reinforced trials and decrease following nonreinforced trials. Alternative accounts of the results are discussed.