DOI: 10.5176/2251-1865_CBP17.2

Authors: Harold L. Miller, Jr., Diego Flores, Michael Seeley, Colby Kipp and Darin Costello

Abstract: Unlike cognitive approaches to the measurement of the gain-loss differential, behavior-analytic approaches avoid hypothetical scenarios in favor of procedures in which ongoing responses intermittently produce actual gains and losses. In an experimental series, participants played a computer game in which they piloted an on-screen submarine in the attempt to retrieve underwater objects that resulted in the gain or loss of onscreen points that were later exchanged for money. The relative effects of gains and losses were similar to those reported in previous cognitive research, but the behavioral data revealed the loss-induced dynamics of behavioral choice. Specifically, when losses occurred against a baseline of gains, they altered choice abruptly.

Keywords: gain-loss differential; behavioral choice; computer game

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