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Behavioral contrast in rats as a function of two qualitatively different reinforcers.
Behavioral contrast was investigated in rats in four separate experiments. In three experiments, one component of a multiple schedule was associated with a sucrose pellet of either 8%, 16%, or 32%, while the reinforcer in the other component was a standard 45 mg food pellet. In the fourth experiment, both components of a multiple schedule were associated with a standard 45 mg food pellet. Following extinction of either component, seven subjects showed contrast effects, with four of the seven subjects in the 16%-food condition. The results were discussed in terms of the conventional emotionality theories of behavioral contrast. However, the data also seem to be consistent with an auto- shaping interpretation.