The influence of reinforcement schedule on experience-dependent changes in motivation

Amy R. Johnson, Brooke A. Christensen, Shannon J. Kelly, Erin S. Calipari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The progressive ratio procedure is used across fields to assess motivation for different reinforcers, define the effects of experimental interventions on motivation, and determine experience-dependent changes in motivation. However, less is known about how operant training schedules affect performance on this widely utilized task. Here we designed an experiment to examine the effect of variable ratio versus fixed ratio training schedules of reinforcement on progressive ratio performance while holding other performance variables constant between groups. We found a robust increase in maximum ratio completed between the pretest and posttraining test highlighting a robust training effect on progressive ratio performance. However, it did not matter if the training was under a fixed or variable ratio schedule. Additionally, we show that neither individual rates during training nor extinction responding correlated with maximum ratio achieved during the sessions. Finally, we show that rates during the training sessions do correlate with extinction performance, suggesting that these variables measure a different aspect of performance that does not predict motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-330
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • fixed ratio
  • operant
  • progressive ratio
  • sucrose
  • variable ratio


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of reinforcement schedule on experience-dependent changes in motivation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this