Resistance to change has been studied in several species such as humans, rats, and pigeons. We conducted two experiments using goldfish as subjects to examine the generality of the findings on resistance to change in a phylogenetically more primitive species. In Experiment 1, five goldfish (Carassius auratus) were trained on two-component multiple schedules with different variable-interval schedules in effect. When responding was disrupted by presenting free food during intercomponent intervals or by extinction, resistance to change was greater in the component with the higher reinforcement rates. In Experiment 2, identical variable-interval schedules were presented in two multiple-schedule components, but in one of the components response-independent food was delivered concurrently according to variable-time schedules. Baseline response rates were the same for both components, which is inconsistent with previous findings with other species that the addition of response-independent food decreases response rates. However, response rates in the component with added response-independent food showed the greater resistance to change, which is similar to findings in other species. The convergence of these results across various species confirms the generality of the findings on resistance to change.
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