The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 41–45 | Cite as

Function-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli

  • Henry Schlinger
  • Elbert Blakely
Article

Abstract

Contingengy-specifying stimuli (CSSs) can function differently than discriminative stimuli. Rather than evoking behavior due to a history of discrimination training, they alter the function of other stimuli and, therefore, the behavioral relations involving those stimuli. CSSs can alter the evocative function of discriminative stimuli, establishing operations, and conditional stimuli, as well as the efficacy of reinforcing and punishing stimuli and of stimuli that can function in second-order respondent conditioning. The concept of function-altering CSSs has implications for such areas of interest as stimulus equivalence, the terminology involving “rules” and “rule-governed behavior,” and the way in which behavior analysts view the effects of such basic processes as reinforcement and punishment.

Key words

contingency-specifying stimuli function-altering effects verbal stimuli rules 

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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Schlinger
    • 1
  • Elbert Blakely
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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