PS 515 Unit 5 Assignment: Learning and Behavior

PS 515-01: Learning and Behavior

Professor: Robert Yates III

Unit 5 Assignment


Unit 5 Assignment

For this paper we are to complete the Sniffy exercises 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, and 37. Sniffy will be places on schedules of reinforcement (Alloway, Wilson, & Graham, 2011).

Exercise 32: Sniffy will be on a small VR schedule.

With a VR schedule which is variable-ration, the value of the schedule specifies an average number of responses varies from reinforcement to reinforcement. Sniffy has been trained and knows sound to food association, bar sound association, and action strength. Sniffy will have to have 5 responses before he will get a reward with a reinforcement. Sniffy will be switched on to a schedule, the dependent variable is the reinforcement of food and the independent variable is his behavior and the 5 responses he has to perform before he receives the reinforcement. Sniffy did adapt to the VR 5 schedule.

Exercise 33: Increasing the value of Sniffy’s VR schedule:

The schedule was 5-10, and the cumulative chart indicated little to no change in the line of progression. Extinction did occur but only for a short period of time. The bar sound association and action strength did weaken at the start, but it gained strength at the end which showed that Sniffy was adjusting to the change.

Exercise 34: Variable-Interval Schedules:

This is where Sniffy has a new interval after each reinforcement. The varied interval was placed around 50-seconds. There should be an initial drop in Sniffy’s behavior however, over a period of time Sniffy will be able to get use to the new schedule. There was a drop in his behavior, but this changed by the fact that there was a slow and reasonable steady response time.

Exercise 35: Fixed-Ratio Schedules:

The dependent variable is the fixed ratio schedule of 50, and the independent variable is Sniffy’s response. There was a drop in Sniffy’s behavior, however this changed and there was a slow and reasonable steady response time. There was a pause in the responding that happened after each reinforcement was received and rather abrupt transitions to rapid responding at the end of each pause was shown in the cumulative recorded graph.

Exercise 36: Fixed-interval schedules:

For this exercise the settings were on a fixed interval of 50. The dependent variable is the fixed interval schedule of 50 and the independent variable is Sniffy’s response. The graphs showed that there was a pause after each reinforcement was received followed by a rather slow transition to moderate response rate shortly before the next reinforcement was due to occur.

Exercise 37: Te effect of partial reinforcement on extinction:

Sniffy made one response after I had stopped reinforcing him for bar pressing, and he met the criterion for extinction with two or less bar presses during a five-minute period. It did take Sniffy about 80-minutes to go from the VR-50 schedule.

Overall, the variable interval schedule had the greatest impact on developing a new behavior and maintaining it. This is because Sniffy showed a longer time to remerge the habit, and even after introducing a new schedule, the extinction time was longer when compared to the other changed schedules. The schedule of reinforcement has a major impact on Sniffy. These methods of training can also be used in the workplace where the employers may choose to pay by a fixed interval schedule or a fixed ratio schedule to elicit better suit the type of job.


Alloway, T., Wilson, G., & Graham, J. (2011). Sniffy the virtual rat: Pro version 3.0.

(7th ed). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.