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PSYB45H3 Study Guide - Stimulus Control, Nanny, Enol


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB45H3
Professor
Zachariah Campbell

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Chapter 7
Stimulus Control: Discrimination and Generalization
Chapter Outline
Examples of Stimulus Control
Defining Stimulus Control
Developing Stimulus Control: Stimulus Discrimination Training
Discrimination Training in the Laboratory
Developing Reading and Spelling with Discrimination Training
Stimulus Discrimination Training and Punishment
The Three Term Contingency
Stimulus Control Research
Generalization
Examples of Generalization
Chapter Summary
Key Terms
Practice Test
Appendix A
Chapter 7, Quiz 1
Chapter 7, Quiz 2
Chapter 7, Quiz 3
Ideas for Class Activities
1. Provide interesting, everyday examples of stimulus control, describing the antecedent, behavior and consequence
in each example. Have students identify the SD, the S-delta, and the reinforcer in each example.
2. Have students think about their activities in a typical day and write down five examples of different behaviors
and the ABCs of these behaviors. Have students identify the SD and reinforcer for each behavior and describe how
the behavior was developed through the process of discrimination training.
Answers to Practice Test Questions
1. An antecedent stimulus is a stimulus or event that precedes the occurrence of an operant response. For
example, Ms. Wimer calls on Kiran when he raises his hand to answer a question in class. Kiran always provides
the correct answer to Ms. Wimer’s question. Kiran’s raised hand is the antecedent stimulus which precedes Ms.
Wimer’s behavior of calling on him. Calling on Kiran is reinforced by Kiran’s providing the correct answer.
2. A behavior continues to occur in those situations where it has been reinforced in the past, and stops occurring in
those situations where it has not been reinforced or has been punished in the past.
3. Stimulus control is defined as the increased probability that a behavior will occur only in the presence of a
specific antecedent stimulus or a stimulus from a specific stimulus class.
4. The following example illustrates stimulus control: Eating with his hands at the fraternity house is reinforced
because John’s friends laugh at this behavior. However, eating with his hands at a restaurant is punished by
disapproving looks from others. As a result, John only eats with his hands when at the fraternity house.
5. An SD (discriminative stimulus) is defined as the antecedent stimulus that is present when a behavior is
reinforced. An SΔ (S-delta) is any antecedent stimulus that is present when the behavior does not get reinforced.
6. The process of reinforcing a behavior only when a specific antecedent stimulus (discriminative stimulus) is
present is called stimulus discrimination training. The following two steps are involved in stimulus discrimination
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training:
(1) When the discriminative stimulus (SD) is present, the behavior is reinforced;
(2) When any other antecedent stimuli are present except the SD, the behavior does not get reinforced.
(Any antecedent stimulus that is present when the behavior does not get reinforced in an SΔ).
The outcome of stimulus discrimination training is stimulus control - the increased probability that the
behavior will occur in the presence of the SD.
7. The following example demonstrates stimulus discrimination training with reinforcement: When Kelley’s
cousin (antecedent stimulus) is working at the ice-cream stand, Kelley gets free ice-cream (reinforcer). When
anyone else is working, Kelley does not get free ice-cream (extinction). As a result, Kelley only stops at the ice-
cream stand when her cousin is working. The following example demonstrates stimulus discrimination training
with punishment: When Jenny gossips in front of her friend Rika (antecedent stimulus), Rika gives Jenny a dirty
look and walks away (punishers). When Jenny gossips in front of any of her other friends, the friends pay close
attention and participate in the gossip (reinforcers). As a result, Jenny is less likely to gossip when her friend
Jenny is around.
8. The presence of an SD does not cause a behavior to occur. Reinforcement causes a behavior to occur again. The
SDmakes the behavior more likely because the behavior was reinforced in the presence of the SD in the past..
9. Stimulus discrimination training involves a three-term contingency in which the consequence (reinforcer or
punisher) is contingent on the occurrence of the behavior only in the presence of the specific antecedent stimulus
called the SD. A three term contingency involves a relationship between (a) an antecedent stimulus, (b) a behavior,
and (c) the consequence of the behavior. For example, when Mary Ellen sees that the flag on her mailbox is up
(antecedent) she walks to the mailbox and opens it (behavior), thus finding her mail (consequence).
10. The green light is the SD. The rat’s behavior of pressing the level will increase in the future when the green
light is on.
11. Stimulus generalization takes place when a behavior occurs in the presence of stimuli that are similar in some
ways to the SD that was present during stimulus discrimination training.
12. The following example illustrates stimulus generalization: Ethan’s parents taught him to look both ways
before crossing the street in front of their house. Now Ethan looks both ways before crossing any street.
13. A stimulus class consists of stimuli which share common properties. For example, requests made by a parent,
teacher, or baby sitter are part of a stimulus class of requests from known adults - antecedent stimuli that share
similar features.
14. Stimulus generalization would be desirable when a child who is taught to say “thank you” when given a gift by
her parents also says “thank you” to others who give her gifts. Stimulus generalization would be undesirable when
a child who is taught to go with her nanny after preschool will go with any adult female.
15. Generalization will be more likely to occur when a behavior is reinforced in the presence of a number of
antecedent stimuli that share the same feature(s) (they are in the same stimulus class). Generalization will be less
likely to occur if a behavior is reinforced in the presence of only one specific antecedent stimulus.
Answers to Quizzes
Quiz 1
1. discriminative stimulus or SD 2. S-delta 3. stimulus control 4. through stimulus discrimination training
5. antecedent or SD, response, and consequence or reinforcer 6. stimulus discrimination training 7. mom 8.
dad 9. getting cookies 10. positive reinforcement
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Quiz 2
1. reinforced 2. the behavior is more likely to occur 3. stimulus control 4. S-delta 5. generalization 6.
clerk out of sight 7. clerk in sight 8. an example of reinforcement 9. an example of another behavioral
principle 10. generalization
Quiz 3
1. not reinforced 2. the behavior is less likely to occur 3. stimulus discrimination training 4. SD 5. similar
6. being at school with classmates 7. being at home with parents 8. stimulus discrimination training 9.
generalization 10. any example in which a behavior is said to be more likely to occur in the presence of a specific
stimulus
Test Questions
1. In behavior modification, the stimulus that is present when a behavior occurs is referred to as a(n):
a) antecedent
b) consequence
c) cause
d) reinforcer
ANS: A
2. Which of the following is NOT one of the ABCs of operant behavior?
a) cause
b) consequence
c) antecedent
d) behavior
ANS: A
3. Understanding the antecedents of operant behavior provides information on the circumstances in which the
behavior was:
a) reinforced
b) not reinforced
c) punished
d) all of these
ANS: D
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