Herrnstein described the behavior of hyperbolic discounting, in which people will choose smaller payoffs sooner instead of larger payoffs later. He developed a type of non-parametric statistics that he dubbed "ρ". (See also: Mann-Whitney U.)
A Source Book in the History of Psychology, Edited by Richard J. Herrnstein, Edwin G. Boring, Harvard 1965 ISBN 0-674-82410-5
I.Q. in the Meritocracy, Richard J. Herrnstein, Atlantic Monthly Press 1973
Crime and Human Nature: The Definitive Study of the Causes of Crime, James Q. Wilson, Richard J. Herrnstein, The Free Press 1985 ISBN 0684852667
The Bell Curve, Richard J. Herrnstein, Charles Murray, 1994 ISBN 0029146739
The Matching Law: Papers in Psychology and Economics by Richard J. Herrnstein, Edited by Howard Rachlin, David I. Laibson, Harvard 1997 ISBN 0-674-06459-3
The Matching Law
Perhaps Herrnstein's most notable accomplishment in this field was the formulation of the matching law. According to the matching law, choices are distributed according to rates of reinforcement for making those choices. An instance of this for two choices can be stated mathematically as R1 / (R1 + R2) = r1 / (r1 + r2), where R1 and R2 are rates of response for two alternative responses, and r1 and r2 are rates of reinforcement for the same two responses. Behavior conforming to this law is 'matching,' and explanations of matching and departures from matching constitute a large and important part of the literature on behavioral choice.
Categories: 1930 births | 1994 deaths | American professors | Psychologists | Race and intelligence controversy
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