Results

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The mean operant level of bar presses was 3.35, the mean asymptote was 175.78. The mean number of responses in the SD and S conditions during the 7 experimental sessions is presented in Figure 2.


Figure 2. Mean number of responses in the SD and Sd conditions in the 7 experimental sessions.

Figure 2 shows the rate of acquisition of discrimination. There was a 49% increase in the number of bar presses in the SD condition and a 62% decrease in the number of bar presses in the Sd condition.

A first t-test comparing the mean number of bar presses in the SD condition (M=226.3) with the mean number of bar presses in the Sd condition (M=45) in session 7, found support for the hypothesis that the behavior in the reinforced condition will increase while behavior in the non-reinforced condition will decrease, t (7) = 10.97, p < 0.01 .

A second t-test comparing the mean number of bar presses in the SD condition (M=151.75) with the mean number of bar presses in the Sd condition (M=117.88) in session 1 to ascertain whether the rats could discriminate in the first experimental session, failed to find significance, t(7) = 1.8, p >0.05, indicating that the rats could not discriminate between the light-on, light-off at the beginning of the discrimination training.

A third t-test comparing the mean number of bar presses in the SD condition in session 1 (M=151.75) with the mean number of bar presses in the SD condition in session 7 (M=226.37) to ascertain whether or not there was an increase number of bar presses in the reinforced condition found significance, t (7) = 2.58, p <0.05, indicating that there was an increase in bar pressing during the SD condition between the first and seventh session.

A fourth t-test comparing the mean number of bar presses in the Sd condition in session 1 (M=117.88) with the mean number of bar presses in the S condition in session 7 (M=45) to ascertain whether or not there was a decrease in number of bar presses in the non-reinforced condition found significance, t (7) = 5.29, p <0.01, indicating that there was a decrease in the number of bar presses during the S condition.

The fifth t-test, comparing the mean number of bar presses in the session 7 (M = 271.3) and the asymptote (M = 175.78), did find significance, t(7) = 7.16, p <0.01, indicating that the number of bar presses did significantly increase during discrimination training.

The sixth t-test was to determine the session during which the rat learned to discriminate. A t-test performed comparing the mean number of bar presses in the SD and the mean number of bar presses in the S conditions of session 2, found significance, t(7) = 8.37, p <0.01. That the rats had learned to discriminate by the second session of discrimination training.

The final t-test comparing the mean number of bar presses in the SD conditions (M=168.5) with the mean number of bar presses in the S conditions (M=34.12) in the control session found significance, t(7) = 9.33, p <0.01 indicating that the rats had learned to discriminate, and were not responding merely to the passage of time.



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