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cumulative record

1) A real-time graphical representation of the rate of operant behavior. Each response produces a constant upward increment on the y-axis, and time is indexed on the x-axis. The faster the rate of response, the steeper the slope or rise of the cumulative record. See also cumulative recorder.

2) A graph of the running total of responses made. New responses are added on to the old total so that, in a cumulative record, the data line can only go up. How fast it goes up depends on the rate of responding-the more rapid the responding, the steeper the climb. A horizontal line indicates no responding.

3) A record in which total responses are plotted as a function of time, usually made by a marker or pen that moves a fixed distance with each response across a paper advancing at a constant speed. Thus, the faster the responding, the steeper the slope of the record. Moment-to-moment changes in slope show the details of changing response rates over time. Cumulative recorders typically include additional features; for example, the pen can be reset to its starting position (sometimes called the baseline) after a full excursion across the paper or after some event; it can be briefly displaced downward or to one side, producing a pip, to indicate a reinforcer or other brief event; it can be held in its downward position, producing a displaced line, to indicate stimuli or other extended conditions, and an event pen at the bottom of the record can be used to indicate when other events occur. CL RATE OF RESPONDING.

4) The cumulative record, used in operant experiments, is a graphic record which emphasizes the rate of performance or its frequency. In a cumulative record a recording pen moves along the abscissa with passage of time and along the ordinate each time a performance occurs. Thus the rate of the performance is demonstrated by the slope of the curve. The cumulative record is especially useful in experiments where it is important to emphasize the moment-to-moment changes in the frequency of the performance.

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