Title

The role of instrumental responding and contiguity of stimuli in the development of infant secondary reinforcement

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-1974

Abstract

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.

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Volume

17

Issue

2

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