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J Exp Anal Behav. 1962 Jan;5:33-40.

The conditioning of textual responses using "extrinsic" reinforcers.

Abstract

Six 4-year-old Ss were presented with a textual program consisting of 26 words arranged so the word stimuli were gradually combined into sentences and then short "stories." Three Ss were given the No-Reinforcement condition first, and only social reinforcers were presented. They were switched to the Reinforcement condition as soon as they requested discontinuance of the activity. The other three Ss were given Reinforcement-No Reinforcement-Reinforcement treatments. The No-Reinforcement treatment in this case lasted until S requested discontinuance of the activity. The reinforcers were mixed edibles and trinkets, as well as tokens backed up by small plastic toys on a 1:24 ratio. The unit of response was the number of new texts acquired as a result of each of the 45-min experimental sessions. It was demonstrated that the program, procedure, and reinforcement conditions produced curves which are analogous to those produced in common operant-conditioning procedures. The results indicate that other operant principles may be studied in this significant area of human behavior, with important practical consequences.

PMID:
13916029
PMCID:
PMC1404175
DOI:
10.1901/jeab.1962.5-33
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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