Influence of temporal context on value in the multiple-chains and successive-encounters procedures

Matthew O'Daly, Samuel Angulo, Cassandra Gipson, Edmund Fantino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This set of studies explored the influence of temporal context across multiple-chain and multiple-successive-encounters procedures. Following training with different temporal contexts, the value of stimuli sharing similar reinforcement schedules was assessed by presenting these stimuli in concurrent probes. The results for the multiple-chain schedule indicate that temporal context does impact the value of a conditioned reinforcer consistent with delay-reduction theory, such that a stimulus signaling a greater reduction in delay until reinforcement has greater value. Further, nonreinforced stimuli that are concurrently presented with the preferred terminal link also have greater value, consistent with value transfer. The effects of context on value for conditions with the multiple-successive-encounters procedure, however, appear to depend on whether the search schedule or alternate handling schedule was manipulated, as well as on whether the tested stimuli were the rich or lean schedules in their components. Overall, the results help delineate the conditions under which temporal context affects conditioned-reinforcement value (acting as a learning variable) and the conditions under which it does not (acting as a performance variable), an issue of relevance to theories of choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-328
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Chain schedule
  • Choice
  • Context of reinforcement
  • Delay reduction theory
  • Key peck
  • Pigeons
  • Stimulus value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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