Matching by horses on several concurrent variable-interval schedules

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11 Scopus citations


Using three horses we imvestigated responding on several concurrent variable-interval schedules. Each horse was first trained, using the method of successive approximations, to press a response lever with its upper lip. Following successful acquisition of the lip-press response, horses spent several days on pretraining schedules. These included a continuous reinforcement schedule and three variable-interval concurrent schedules: VI 15-sec VI 15-sec, VI 30-sec VI 30-sec, and VI 45-sec VI 45-sec. Horses were then exposed to the experimental sessions; sessions were conducted daily in the horse's home stall and lasted until 60 grain reinforcers had been received. All horses were exposed to five variable-interval schedules: VI 30-sec VI 90-sec, VI 45-sec VI 75-sec, VI 60-sec VI 60-sec, VI 75-sec VI 45-sec, and VI 90-sec VI 30-sec. Like previous experimenters, we found a close matching relationship between the horse's relative rates of responding and the relative rates of reinforcement. When each horse's data was fitted with a regression line, using the least squares method, more than 97% of the variance was accounted for. These results expand the generality of the matching law to include horses as well as providing some other information about the response characteristics of horses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Processes
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Concurrent schedule
  • Horse
  • Law of effect
  • Lip press
  • Matching law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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