Barnes & Keenan 1993

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APA Citation: 

Barnes, D., & Keenan, M. (1993). Concurrent activities and instructed human fixed-interval performance. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 59, 501-520.

Publication Topic: 
Behavior Analysis: Empirical
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
reading vs TV as concurrent activity; FI low rate responses & verbal regulation; college students; fixed-interval schedule

The authors, researchers at the University of Cork and University of Ulster, conducted four experiments on human performance. Experiment 1, 2 subjects produced "scalloped" patterns and reported no verbal regulation (e.g., counting) in the presence of the reading material, but shifted to low-rate patterns and reported verbal regulation when the reading material was withdrawn. The 2 other subjects in Experiment 1 produced consistent low-rate performances and reported verbal regulation during access to reading material. However, when these subjects were given access to a working television set, they produced scalloped patterns and reported no verbal regulation. During Experiment 2, 4 experimentally naive subjects showed consistent scalloped patterning and no verbal regulation across fixed-interval values when they were allowed to watch television. When access to the television was denied, subjects reliably reported verbal regulation, and low-rate patterns emerged. These behavioral effects focus our attention on the contingencies that control human performance on fixed-interval schedules.

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