Adjunctive Behavior

Adjunctive Behavior

As described in our text, Adjunctive Behavior is “an excessive pattern of behavior that emerges as a by-product of an intermittent schedule of reinforcement for some other behavior. In other words, as one behavior is being strengthened through intermittent reinforcement, another quite different behavior emerges as a side effect of that procedure.” (Powell eta.all, 2016) The text used the example of rats. It was found that when training rats to press a lever for food, the rats began drinking an excessive amount of water. Which was deemed strange because usually with food deprivation it causes one to drink less, not more. 

In a small study, 4 men and 3 women ranging in ages from 18-25 were paid to partake in an experiment. They were instructed to play games such as slot machines and other casino games on a fixed schedule. It was found that Adjunctive Behavior was displayed in longer interval schedules than the shorter ones, and “various types of movement, playing and bizarre behaviors” were described during this time. (Wallace eta.all, 2003) The results were “interpreted in terms of an increase in motor excitability which seems to occur in some individuals on certain schedules of reinforcement.” (Wallace eta.all, 2003).

I found this topic to be very interesting, as well as confusing. It was hard to find examples of this in humans, or even examples in general, because it is such a weird phenomenon that occurs. I was trying to think if something like this had ever happened to me or anyone I knew but I couldn't. If anyone has a personal experience with something like this please respond to this post, I am very curious!

2.5. Will Press Lever for Food — Smudgy GuideEquals |Feel Thirsty All The Time? Know Why - Feel Thirsty All The Time? Know Why

Wallace, M., Singer, G., Wayner, M. J., & Cook, P. (2003, March 19). Adjunctive behavior in 

humans during game playing. Physiology & Behavior. Retrieved June 20, 2022, from 

Powell, R. Symbaluk, D. & Honey, P (2016). Introduction to learning and behavior, 5th 

edition. Cengage Learning.