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Keywords:

  • Skin conductance response;
  • Electrodermal response;
  • Children;
  • Aversiveness;
  • Nonreward;
  • Reinforcement schedules;
  • Interstimulus intervals

Abstract

The current studies were designed to determine whether different intermittent schedules of reinforcement would have a differential effect on the skin conductance responses (SCRs) of children in the 8–12-year-old age range. Results of two experiments indicated that the amplitude of children's SCRs immediately following the occurrence of reinforcement were a function of the schedule of reinforcement, with larger SCRs associated with longer inter-reinforcement intervals. The findings are consistent with the research literature suggesting that long inter-reinforcement intervals can be evocative of aversively motivated emotions, as well as with research on the effects of interstimulus intervals on SCRs. Possible implications for these findings are discussed.