The behavioral economics of choice and interval timing.
The authors propose a simple behavioral economic model (BEM) describing how reinforcement and interval timing interact. The model assumes a Weber-law-compliant logarithmic representation of time. Associated with each represented time value are the payoffs that have been obtained for each possible response. At a given real time, the response with the highest payoff is emitted. The model accounts for a wide range of data from procedures such as simple bisection, metacognition in animals, economic effects in free-operant psychophysical procedures, and paradoxical choice in double-bisection procedures. Although it assumes logarithmic time representation, it can also account for data from the time-left procedure usually cited in support of linear time representation. It encounters some difficulties in complex free-operant choice procedures, such as concurrent mixed fixed-interval schedules as well as some of the data on double bisection, which may involve additional processes. Overall, BEM provides a theoretical framework for understanding how reinforcement and interval timing work together to determine choice between temporally differentiated reinforcers.
Jozefowiez, J; Staddon, JER; Cerutti, DT
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