Document Type


Date of Degree Completion


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Thomas B. Collins, Jr.

Second Committee Member

Marion D. Harless

Third Committee Member

Eldon E. Jacobsen


The problem concerned the resistance to extinction of an alley running response as a function of various combinations of reward sizes (l or 10 pellets) and schedules of reinforcement (50 or 100%). Three experimental phases were used (acquisition, shift of reward, and extinction). Three measures were taken in the alley (start, alley, and goal speed). Animals trained under partial reinforcement (PRF) showed no significant differences in acquisition running speed over animals trained on continuous reinforcement (CRF). Depression effects (decreases in running speed) were observed for both CRF and PRF trained animals during the shift phase. Overall tests between PRF and CRF groups revealed no significant differences in number of trials to extinction. The results were discussed in terms of operant conditioning theory. Ideas for further research involving shift periods of varying lengths were offered.