Effect of a surprising downward shift in reinforcer value on stimulus over-selectivity in a simultaneous discrimination procedure

Reynolds, Gemma and Reed, P. (2013) Effect of a surprising downward shift in reinforcer value on stimulus over-selectivity in a simultaneous discrimination procedure. Learning and Motivation, 44 (1). pp. 31-45. ISSN 0023-9690 (doi:10.1016/j.lmot.2012.05.007)

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Abstract

Stimulus over-selectivity refers to the phenomenon whereby behavior is controlled by a subset of elements in the environment at the expense of other equally salient aspects of the environment. The experiments explored whether this cue interference effect was reduced following a surprising downward shift in reinforcer value. Experiment 1 revealed that a downward shift in reinforcer value reduced over-selectivity in non-clinical adults under-taking a concurrent cognitive task. Experiments 2 and 3 ruled out a generalization decrement account of this effect; through manipulating the color of the stimuli across phases, we failed to find a reduction in over-selectivity, except for when the nature of the stimuli in one task changed in the context of another one that remained the same. Experiment 4 explored whether a reduction in over-selectivity is a function of the reinforcer and not the stimuli and failed to find a differential effect of reinforcer quality. Taken together, the results extend earlier findings of an attenuation of blocking following a surprise downward shift in reinforcer value to an over-selectivity paradigm in human subjects. Such work has important implications for remediation of over-selectivity.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 15254
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Gemma Reynolds
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 11:03
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:33
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15254

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