SINGLE AND MULTIPLE SCHEDULES OF REINFORCEMENT IN DEVELOPMENTALLY RETARDED CHILDREN',' ROBERT ORLANDO and SIDNEY W.

BIJou
UNIVERSITY OF, WASHINGTON

Free-operant conditioning methods are being used with increasing frequency in a wide range of research applications with human subjects. Although some of the schedules of reinforcement which are of central importance in this kind of research have been systematically evaluated with infrahuman organisms (Ferster & Skinner, 1957), as yet few studies bear directly on questions of generality, variability, and special effects of schedule control in human Ss (Bijou, 1958; Ellis, Barnett, & Pryer, 1960; Green, Sanders, & Equier, 1959; Holland, 1957; Holland, 1958; Long, Hammack, May, & Campbell, 1958). Aside from academic issues involved in assumptions that infrahuman data provide sufficient bases for application in human behavior (Beach, 1960) and the need for genuine comparative and developmental data, practical research problems arise. Typically, extensive "trying out" of schedule types and values is necessary to find appropriate rate, pause distribution, resistance to extinction, and other features of free-operant behavior for studies using human Ss. The results of these time-consuming preliminary investigations are potentially valuable for other researchers because they provide empirical foundation for the selection of schedules with maximum sensitivity and control. The purpose of the present paper is to show characteristic performances under four basic schedules (VI, Fl, VR, and FR) and two multiple schedules (mult VR ext and mult CRF ext) in human Ss, and to illustrate some of the range and variability of these features in a population of institutionalized developmentally retarded children.3 However, we did not attempt to demonstrate the full range of possible schedule values or limiting conditions and thresholds. Examples are from schedules that have proven useful in the study of retarded children.
METHOD

Subjects The Ss were 46 institutionalized retarded children ranging in CA from 9 to 21 and in IQ from 23 to 64. They were in residence from 1 to 16 years. Diagnostic categories included mongoloid, epileptic, familial, and others; and all were ambulatory. They came on request to the reception room of the laboratory from residence halls, classrooms, or work assignments. All Ss had previously taken part in a study exploring a technique for the rapid establishment of multiple-schedule performance in the same experimental situation. Instructions, types of reinforcements, intersession intervals, and other conditions were the same for all Ss.
'This investigation was supported by a grant (M-2232) from the National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service. 2The authors wish to express their gratitude for the support and assistance of Dr. Wesley D. White, Superintendent of the Rainier School, Buckley, Washington, and to Mr. Russell M. Tyler and Mr. David A. Marshall, who served as Research Assistants. 'The term developmentally retarded is used in place of such terms as "feeble-minded" and "mentally deficient." It is preferred because it is neutral with respect to etiology and avoids mentalistic implications. Furthermore, the term is descriptive and normative as noted by Cameron and Magaret (1951).

339

e.340 ROBERT ORLANDO and SIDNEY W. These illustrate representative behaviors. For most Ss. This consisted of electrical circuits. type and duration of discriminative stimuli were recorded by a special events pen directly under the cumulative-response curve. while a smaller bulb high over the response box served as a "bridge" by going out for 3 seconds following every reinforcement delivered via the chute. and the fifth response is reinforced). duration and distribution of pauses. fixed to the wall next to a one-way observation window.). See? Here's candy for you. The table. 1957). S-2. and schedules. a criterion of no apparent change for two successive sessions was used before shift (i. You get candy. candy corn.by 12-inch response box was equipped with a 3-inch metal press-to-manipulate lever (handle grip for the squeezer of an O-Cedar sponge mop).) Each record is accompanied by S numbers (S-1.) Procedure Since all of the Ss had had previous experience in the situation.. Automatic equipment in an adjoining room provided remote control and recording operations." (Then E leaves the room after S makes five independent responses and gets a reinforcement. depending on the rate that reinforcers were earned. contained a sturdy wooden response box and a chute for receiving reinforcers dispensed by a Gerbrands Universal Feeder mounted on the other side of the wall." Original instructions were: "Now it is your turn to get some of these (E shows a handful of candy). BIJOU Apparatus The Ss were placed by themselves in an 8. Go and sit in the waiting room. A 300-watt frosted bulb in the center of the ceiling provided general illumination (in addition to sunlight from an airshaft-facing window). timers. in most of them. Come with me (ushers into the experimental room). and typically were scheduled on a two-a-week basis. The 12. number of reinforcers earned. essentially no change in over-all rate." Sessions were 15 to 60 minutes. Two colored jewel lights on the same front panel of the box and a buzzer inside could be used for various stimulus events. Now watch me. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Figures 1 through 5 show the cumulative-response curves of selected Ss under a variety of schedules.by 16. Now you do it. these candies were a highly coveted reward.). segments have been collapsed on the abscissa to conserve space. and. M & M's. sessions numbers consecutive for each S. acquisition and transition stages have been omitted. "That's all for today. and mints. Sit in this chair (in front of the apparatus). I'll show you how we get candy here (E presses lever five times at the rate of 2 per second. etc. I'll be back when it is time to leave. When feasible and appropriate. Records were obtained on a Gerbrands Cumulative Recorder with paper speeds of 30 and 60 centimeters per hour and a reset number of 400 responses. each session was preceded by minimal instructions: "Now it is your turn to get some candy. This lever had a 4-inch vertical travel.by 10-foot room furnished with two chairs and a small table. (Many Ss traded candy to other children for pencils and small toys. (These may be identified by the absence of "reset" lines. For those Ss who were shifted from one schedule to another. With multiple schedules. and about a 150-gram pressure was necessary to operate it. The reinforcers were a mixture of commercially produced candies such as Hersheyettes. tape-programmers. . etc.) All sessions were terminated with. and cumulative recorders similar to those used with infrahuman Ss (Ferster & Skinner.

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but 60 centimeters per hour forSs 14 and 15. 2 represent a typical pattern on FR in which pauses do not invariably occur after every reinforcement. These are shown in Sessions 8 and 10. BIJOU In Fig. (1960). 5. After a shift to VR 25 (Session 7). retarded Ss produce high rates of responding under VR which are toughly proportional to the size of the ratio. 2. The records of S-4 in Fig. S-I developed a very high rate with practically no pausing (Session 3). VI The VI performances are almost identical to those generated under VR of an equivalent value. while pauses are infrequent. This observation and the interpretation are consistent with findings reported by Ellis et al. The relationship between ratio size and rate can be seen in Fig.5 (Session 8). 1 through 4. FR The FR behavior is similar to that produced under VR in that high stable rates are common and higher rates are associated with lower (more responses per reinforcement) ratios. 12. only slight fixed-ratio-like postreinforcement pauses emerged. they are probably in greater "grain" and perhaps greater incidence of essentially random (with respect to time of reinforcement) pauses in VI. in which an uneven rate and irregular pause distribution become manifest. these characteristics appear to be rather resistant to change with shift of schedule.5 (Sessions 6 and 7) and even into DRL 0. the paper speed of the recorder was 30 centimeters per hour. but occur only after reinforcement (Session 6). Subject S-3 shows a rate increase when shifted from FR 10 (Sessions 3 and 6) to FR 25 (Sessions 8 and 10). If there are any reliable differences. and the frequency of these pauses decreases as the ratio becomes lower. approaching the high rate exhibited by S-4 under FR 25 (Sessions 6. accompanied by an increase in rate and decrease in pause frequency.g. After training on VR 100 (range 40 to 160)..5 (range 10 to 50 seconds) performance. the short "runs" in the initial part of Session 8 are appropriate to the smaller ratio).342 ROBERT ORLANDO and SIDNEY W. A comparatively lower rate was developed and maintained in S-2 (Sessions 3 to 6) on VR 25 (range 15 to 35). 1. A shift to FR 25 (Session 4) did not result in any discriminable changes in this performance. and 11) and VR 25 (Session 7). although two DRL schedules (mult DRL 10 seconds in Session 5 and DRL 10 seconds in Session 6) brought the rate down somewhat. Upon being shifted to FR 25 in Session 7. Some Ss (not illustrated) adopt stable high rates with no discernible pausing under FR. suggesting that some motivational factor may be involved. These Ss tend to continue responding at undiminished rates even in extinction conditions. A gradual increase in rate and decrease in pause frequency is apparent over sessions (Sessions 2 to 4). Pauses (of greater duration than those associated with "consumatory" behavior) follow reinforcements. 9. Also. extensive training (4 sessions) on FR 25 was necessary to return behavior to near the original FR pattern (Session 1 1). VR Like infrahuman Ss. in which . Figure 3 shows a typical VI 0. as does the later shift to VR 25. it was 30 centimeters per hour for Ss 11. The temporary disturbance in postreinforcement pausing when S-3 was shifted from FR 10 to FR 25 illustrates schedule control (e. short. These effects carry over into Fl 0. but pause distribution and durations are frequently different. In Fig. and random with respect to time of reinforcement. These effects are illustrated in Fig. and 13.

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0. Subject S-8 in Fig.. 13 Ft S Fl I Fl I F It KSC s9 KS$. -- SCS. but S-7 continued the original low rate appropriate to the Fl 1 schedule. and is fairly typical of a wide range of interval values. IF S F It 5 /.5 S-10 7 SCSI. 0. This record illustrates the high resistance to schedule shift produced by VI. although those Ss who scallop do so consistently." Scalloping is infrequent. other records appeared very much the same except for short periods immediately following the shifts.5 0. 3S FtI 0. Ft I KS&~~~S5-7 j SCSN. individual Ss react to Fl schedules in consistent ways.~~~5. These Ss were shifted to FR 15 (Session 6) to estimate resistance to schedule change.O Fl 9 Figure 4. S FR 15 SESI.RETARDED CHILDREN 345 no reinforcements were earned. but individual differences are large. . Neither S showed rate increase. Cumulative records showing the variety of performances produced under Fl.. Ft S-10 Ft SCSI. most of them also producing an occasional scallop. 4 is an example of the Ss who give "scalloping" patterns on a variety of FT schedules. By and large. 7 f . Some medium rates with uneven patterns and high grain are also produced. these Ss usually come under schedule control and adopt low rates. 7 FR lS DRH 3ESS.'':'!/ I--.5 S. in which the number of unreinforced responses between reinforced responses is gradually increased (i.e. SCSI.!l If I -#1 S~ .10 SESS. S- ~ /S~ ~ or FlI II 3 I/ fl eI I f~ S F $SCSI. They were then given an "increasing-ratio" schedule (beginning in Session 7).J . Subject S-6 adopted a typical FR pattern on the final schedule.l. ratio is gradually increased from 1: 1 to 1: 15). varying from "run-away" rates similar to those produced by VI schedules to low-rate "pacing. the Fl produces the greatest diversity of behaviors in developmentally retarded children. Figure 4 shows the records of Ss under FT schedules. Although only final stages on each schedule are shown. FI Of the four basic types of schedules. "ESS. With extended training. Subjects S-6 and S-7 are typical examples of low-rate solutions for FI 1 with only occasional scallops (Sessions 2 to 5). S - rF I F I ust. 5 Fl I St$S 1 FR is Ft ES$S.

VR as *xt (fI 2) -11 8ES8. Cf 1 0. 7 MuL FR 50 ext -a12 Cf1 2) (I 8-IS /1 f 1 3) I S818. Criterion sessions under two multiple schedules. VR 100 ext. 8-lI SE8S. fi 0.346 ROBERT ORLANDO and SIDNEY W. 8-14 SE8. 4 Molt. CRF *xt. showing variations in schedule values and performance. I Malt. 4 Malt CRF ext. . 2 Molt.5) Figure 5.5) . BIJOU I S8SS.

consists of two components. Figure 5 shows records of this schedule (mult CRF ext with fixed 0. length of the line in the depressed position therefore represents latency. One (e.g. and stimulus-alternation units that have been established and maintained. session durations.. with irregular r'ate and pause distribution. which has proved especially useful in the study of discrimination learning. but a cue is presented at the end of the interval. Discrimination performance is evaluated by the extent to which the S refrains from responding in the absence of the cue and the latency of response after cue onset.g. the other (e. two colored jewel lights).15 is used to record duration of postreinforcement pauses. This schedule. Mult CRF ext. with a tendency for scallops to straighten out into ratio runs. that is. approaching an optimally lowrate solution...5 to 3. This multiple schedule is a simple variation of interval schedules in that a cue is added. either on a fixed time unit (e.15 responds occasionally during the interval (especially in the initial part of the session).g. red) serves as an VI.. Subject S-10 is an example of an S who started off very much like S-9. Subject S. every 2 minutes) or on variable time units (e. the pen is depressed by reinforcement and released by the first reponse. A DRL component requiring that the S pause in the absence of the cue may be added as a further variation which develops precise stimulus control. The event-pen line directly beneath the cumulative curves records cue duration. although individual differences within schedule types may have . blue) serves as the SD.. and extinction is programmed in its presence. A technique for the rapid development of these schedules is described in detail in another paper (Bijou & Orlando. The lower event line in the record of S. Length of the line in the depressed position therefore reflects durations of postreinforcement pauses. Figure 5 shows three variations in this schedule in Ss whose performances met high criteria for discrimination. CONCLUSIONS The distinctiveness of behaviors generated by each type of schedule certainly seems no less than in infrahuman Ss. The Fl control is weak.5 interval) in two Ss who met high criteria of discrimination (Ss 14 and 15).g.RETARDED CHILDREN 347 The last record for this S (Session 19) shows a ratio-produced increase in rate when shifted to FR 15. each signalled by a different stimulus (e. The performance of S-14 is an example of a typical pattern in which there is almost no responding in the absence of the cue. These records were selected to illustrate some of the range of schedules. and a VR schedule is programmed in its presence. but some rather long latencies occur. The event-pen line at the bottom of the records for Ss 11. The records of S-9 illustrate the intermediate type of reaction to Fl 1. reinforcements are programmed in the same way as in interval schedules. and 13 indicates the color of the stimulus light present (the light serving as SD varies).5 minutes). varying from 0. Multiple Schedules Mult VR ext. This cue is withdrawn with every reinforcement and re-presented after the required interval has again elapsed. 12.g. showing only in gradually decreasing rate and occasional scallops. The two conditions alternate in regular fashion. Discrimination performance is evaluated by an index of the number of correct responses (in the presence of SD) to the number of incorrect responses (in the presence of SA). but who came under Fl control much more positively. in press). but has consistently minimal latencies to cue onset.

. F. anal. 1951. 61-63. D. and Campbell. anal. J. J. J. and motivation in children because of the combination of stimulus and schedule control of performance. and Orlando. and Skinner. W. SUMMARY Salient features of the behavior of developmentally retarded children as a function of simple and multiple schedules of reinforcement are illustrated.. Two variations of multiple schedules are presented as particularly well-suited to the study of discrimination. exp.. May. The greater effectiveness of schedule control in retarded children than was reported for nonretarded children (Long. S. 1. and Pryer. More precise control of behavior is possible than with simple schedules. R. W. J. S. exp. Operant behavior in mental defectives: exploratory studies. Experimental investigations of species-specific behavior. 125. J. BIJOU a greater range. Psychol. along with scalloping and other patterning effects.348 ROBERT ORLANDO and SIDNEY W. C. Behav. generalization. C.. Science.. N. and performances which are quite sensitive to experimental conditions are easily obtained. J. and more likely with higher ratios compared with lower ones. 1. 1960. Ann. generalization. Behav. and Margaret. Ellis. Jr. Received June 10. exp. 1-18. Technique for behavioral analysis of human observing. particularly as the behavior approaches infrahuman "norms. F. and such factors as number of reinforcers. 1959.. J. (For example. 1960.. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Behav. Sanders. 1958. seem less reliably generated by schedule control. and Squier. M. 1957. 15. Pause distributions and durations.. B. duration of sessions. E. Long.) Effects are in the expected direction. postreinforcement pauses are more likely in FR than in VR. J. N. Bijou. For example. Behav. et al. Ferster. higher rates are associated with lower ratios. Effects of schedules are similar to those found with infrahuman Ss as well as with nonretarded children.. Behav. Holland. Schedules of reinforcement and discrimination learning. satiation. B. Cameron.. W. anal.." Also. 1957. anal. however.. exp. F. and motivation of retarded children. New York: Houghton Mifflin. etc. 293-299. Human vigilance. and variable rather than fixed schedules. Barnett. Rapid development of multiple-schedule performances with retarded children. 1960. Intermittent reinforcement of operant behavior in children. 1. exp. 348-350.. M.. Science. Green. J. the combination of schedule effects and stimulus control generated with multiple schedules holds great promise for the study of discrimination. 128. 1958. A. Finally. anal. R. 2. Motivation is rarely a problem with the retarded. 1958.. fatigue.. R. T. 315-339. Holland. B. E. Bijou. and intersession intervals have little effect on performance when candy is used. REFERENCES Beach. W. Amer. are minimal with candy as reinforcement. R. G. Few intrasession or intersession "drifts" have been observed. longer intervals. boredom. Hammack. J. 63-69. Behavior pathology. cumulative effects of warm-up. FR postreinforcement pauses are not always stable within or among Ss.. 25-29. Stability of schedule control is fairly good in retarded children. Schedules of reinforcement. R. Response rate is clearly a function of the kind and values of schedules (at least within the range represented here). (in press). 1958) is probably attributable to differences in histories of deprivation and the type of reinforcer. G.. Operant extinction after fixed-interval schedules with young children..