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Learn Behav. 2013 Mar;41(1):1-24. doi: 10.3758/s13420-012-0095-1.

Adjunctive behaviors are operants.

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Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.


Adjunctive behaviors such as schedule-induced polydipsia are said to be induced by periodic delivery of incentives, but not reinforced by them. That standard treatment assumes that contingency is necessary for conditioning and that delay of reinforcement gradients are very steep. The arguments and evidence for this position are reviewed and rejected. In their place, data are presented that imply different gradients for different classes of responses. Proximity between response and reinforcer, rather than contingency or contiguity, is offered as a key principle of association. These conceptions organize a wide variety of observations and provide the rudiments for a more general theory of conditioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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