The role of instrumental responding and contiguity of stimuli in the development of infant secondary reinforcement
Date of Original Version
Ten-month-old infants received contingent pairings of a tone (T+) and food reinforcer. Groups Sr and SD received the food on an FI 23-sec schedule for target touching, the former group receiving T+ immediately after the response and 1.5 sec prior to food and the latter group receiving T+ at the end of the intertrial interval. Group SC received food reinforcers 1.5 sec after T+ with no response required. A second tone (Tn) was heard by all groups once during each intertrial interval, at randomly determined points. All groups subsequently were given a spatial discrimination task, receiving T+ for one alternative and Tn for the other. Group Sr gave significantly more responses for T+ than for Tn, but neither of the other two groups produced a superiority for T+. Thus, both contiguity with a primary reinforcer and the presence of an operant during training appear to be necessary for a neutral signal to acquire the ability to enhance responding. © 1974.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Silverstein, Albert, and Lewis P. Lipsitt. "The role of instrumental responding and contiguity of stimuli in the development of infant secondary reinforcement." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 17, 2 (1974): 322-331. doi:10.1016/0022-0965(74)90076-9.