Arousal: Its genesis and manifestation as response rate

Peter R. Killeen, Stephen J. Hanson, Steve R. Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


The presentation of an incentive generates a small amount of arousal that decays exponentially over time. If the time interval separating successive incentives is short enough, arousal cumulates to an equilibrium level that is predictable from decay constants derived from the presentation of isolated incentives. The accumulation of arousal accounts for the "excessive" nature of schedule-induced, or adjunctive, behaviors. (58 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-581
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1978
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • adjunctive or schedule induced behavior, arousal & time intervals between incentives & response rate


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