In the first condition in Experiment 1,6 rats were exposed to concurrent variable ratio (VR) 30, variable interval (VI) 30-sec schedules. In the next two conditions, the subjects were exposed to concurrent VIVI schedules and concurrent tandem VI-differential-reinforcement-of-high-rate VI schedules. For the latter conditions, the overall and relative reinforcer rates equaled those in the first condition. Only minor differences appeared in time allocation (a molar measure) across conditions. However, local response rate differences (a molecular measure) appeared between schedule types consistently with the interresponse times these schedules reinforced. In Experiment 2, these findings reappeared when the prior experiment was replicated with 5 subjects, except that the VR schedule was replaced by a VI plus linear feedback schedule. These results suggest that within the context tested, the molar factor of relative reinforcement rate controls preference, whereas the molecular factor of the relation between interresponse times and reinforcer probability controls the local response rate.
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