The minimum-deviation theory predicts that an organism will seek to minimize the behavioral distance between an unconstrained baseline and constrained conditions caused by reinforcement schedules (Staddon, 1979). According to the performance model proposed by Allison (1983), behavior under scheduled constraint will come as close as possible to an unconstrained "bliss point" or behavioral ideal. The present study examined applications of these models to fixed ratio (FR) schedules. Six rats were first exposed to a paired baseline procedure to establish their individual bliss points. Each rat was then exposed to a series of two fixed ratio schedules: FR 2 and FR 10. The model failed to predict the response rates; rats pressed a bar consistently more often than predicted by the model. These results are consistent with an earlier study in our lab by Witte (1994), which failed to support the model on interval schedules. The results have implications for minimum-distance models of learning and performance.
Bredthauer '96, Jennifer, "Rats in Bliss: A Minimal-Deviation Model of Ratio Schedule Performance" (1996). Honors Projects. 102.