Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick Ernst

Second Advisor

Dr. Valerie James-Aldridge

Third Advisor

Dr. Edna Alfaro


Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which the frequency of behavior is affected by its consequences (Powell, Symbaluk & Honey 2009).The main focus of the study was to compare two different schedules of reinforcement: gradual group versus the abrupt group (FI-20 sec).Both groups were used to observe emotional reactivity in 8 Sprague Dawley female rats from the Behavioral Neuroscience lab at UTPA. The hypothesis presented was that animals will reveal less emotional reactivity in the gradual than in the abrupt. According to Skinner, behavior is affected more by the consequence that is followed. Results suggested that the abrupt group showed high frequencies of circling, and no difference in biting behavior. However, lever presses was not affected by the behaviors.


Copyright 2012 Mayra A. Aguillon. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

Psychology Commons