Information and incentive value of the reinforcing stimulus in verbal conditioning

Charles D. Spielberger, Ira H. Bernstein, Richard G. Ratliff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Motivation to receive reinforcement was induced during verbal conditioning in 24 undergraduate students. Ss were instructed to say words, and were reinforced with "Mmm-hmm" for each human noun response. After a period of reinforcement, Ss were told to try to make E say "Mmm-hmm." Prior to this instruction, only aware Ss showed performance gains, and these 1st occurred on the word block on which Ss recorded a correct response-reinforcement contingency. The incentive-inducing instruction influenced Ss who were aware of a correct contingency to give more human nouns. It also served to induce both awareness and performance increments in some Ss. Although this instruction heightened the motivation to receive reinforcement of unaware Ss, it had no effect on their conditioning performance. The findings suggested that performance gains in verbal conditioning are mediated by cognitive processes, and that the reinforcing stimulus has both information and incentive value. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1966

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Keywords

  • CONDITIONING/VERBAL, INFORMATION &
  • INCENTIVE VALUE
  • INCENTIVE, &
  • INFORMATION &
  • INFORMATION VALUE IN VERBAL CONDITIONING
  • LEARNING
  • REINFORCEMENT, VERBAL CONDITIONING &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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