The dynamics of the law of effect: a comparison of models



Publication Details

M. Navakatikyan & M. Davison, "The dynamics of the law of effect: a comparison of models", Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 93 1 (2010) 91-127.


Dynamical models based on three steady-state equations for the law of effect were constructed under the assumption that behavior changes in proportion to the difference between current behavior and the equilibrium implied by current reinforcer rates. A comparison of dynamical models showed that a model based on Navakatikyan's (2007) two-component functions law-of-effect equations performed better than models based on Herrnstein's (1970) and Davison and Hunter's (1976) equations. Navakatikyan's model successfully described the behavioral dynamics in schedules with negative-slope feedback functions, concurrent variable-ratio schedules, Vaughan's (1981) melioration experiment, and experiments that arranged equal, and constant-ratio unequal, local reinforcer rates.

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