The copyist model and the shaping view of reinforcement

Takayuki Tanno, Alan Silberberg, Takayuki Sakagami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The strengthening view of reinforcement attributes behavior change to changes in the response strength or the value of the reinforcer. In contrast, the shaping view explains behavior change as shaping different response units through differential reinforcement. In this paper, we evaluate how well these two views explain: (1) the response-rate difference between variable-ratio and variable-interval schedules that provide the same reinforcement rate; and (2) the phenomenon of matching in choice. The copyist model (Tanno and Silberberg, 2012) - a shaping-view account - can provided accurate predictions of these phenomena without a strengthening mechanism; however, the model has limitations. It cannot explain the relation between behavior change and stimulus control, reinforcer amount, and reinforcer quality. These relations seem easily explained by a strengthening view. Future work should be directed at a model which combine the strengths of these two types of accounts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Processes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Concurrent schedule
  • Copyist model
  • Shaping view
  • Strengthening view
  • Variable interval
  • Variable ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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