Participants earned points by pressing a computer space bar (Experiment 1) or forming rectangles on the screen with the mouse (Experiment 2) under differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate schedules, followed by extinction. Variability in interresponse time (the contingent dimension) increased during extinction, as for Morgan and Lee (1996); variability in diagonal length (the noncontingent dimension, Experiment 2) did not. In Experiment 3, points were contingent on rectangle size. Rectangle size and interresponse-time (the noncontingent dimension) variability increased in extinction. There was greater variability in the contingent dimension during extinction for participants with the more varied history of reinforcement in Experiment 2 but not in Experiment 3. Overall, variability in the contingent dimension increased in extinction, but the degree of increase was affected by reinforcement history.
Kinloch, Jennifer M.; Foster, T. Mary; and McEwan, James S. A.
"Extinction-Induced Variability in Human Behavior,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 59
, Article 3.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol59/iss3/3