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Chapter 7

Chapter 7


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB45H3
Professor
Zachariah Campbell
Chapter
7

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Chapter 7
Stimulus Control: Discrimination and Generalization
Antecedents stimulus events that precede an operant response; the
stimulus events, situations, or circumstances that are present when it
occurs or were present before the behavior
Examples of Stimulus Control
Jakes mom always gives him money, but his father does not
Therefore, Jake always asks his mom for money
Jakes mom’s presence is an antecedent for Jakes behavior of asking
for cash; mom’s presence has stimulus control over Jakes behavior of
asking for money
Defining Stimulus Control
Stimulus control a behavior was more likely to occur when a
specific antecedent stimulus was present
A behavior is said to be a stimulus control when there is an increased
probability that the behavior will occur in the presence of a specific
antecedent stimulus or a stimulus from a specific stimulus class
Almost all behaviors are under stimulus control
Developing Stimulus Control: Stimulus Discrimination Training
Discriminative stimulus (SD) the antecedent stimulus that is
present when a behavior is reinforced
Stimulus discrimination training - process of reinforcing a
behavior only when a specific antecedent stimulus is present
Two steps involved:
oWhen the SD is present, the behavior is reinforced
oWhen any other antecedent stimuli except the SD is present, the
behavior is not reinforced; during discrimination training, any
antecedent stimulus that is present when the behavior is not
reinforced is called an S-delta (S)
As a result of discrimination training, a behavior is more likely to
occur in the future when an SD is present but is less likely to occur
when an S is present
Presence of an SD does not cause a behavior to occur; rather, it
increases the likelihood of the behavior in the present because it was
associated with reinforcement of the behavior in the past
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