Skip to main content

Function-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Brownstein, A. J., & Shull, R. L. (1985). A rule for the use of the term, “rule-governed behavior”. The Behavior Analyst, 8, 265–267.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Catania, A. C., Matthews, B. A., & Shimoff, E. (1982). Instructed versus shaped human verbal behavior: Interactions with nonverbal responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 38, 233–248.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Galizio, M. (1979). Contingency-shaped and rule-governed behavior: Instructional control of human loss avoidance. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 31, 53–70.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Hayes, S. C., Brownstein, A., Zettle, R. D., Rosenfarb, I., & Korn, Z. (1986). Rule-governed behavior and sensitivity to changing contingencies. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 45, 237–256.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Martin, G., & Pear, J. (1983). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michael, J. (1980). On terms: The discriminative stimulus or SD. The Behavior Analyst, 3, 47–49.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Michael, J. (1982). Distinguishing between discriminative and motivational functions of stimuli. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, 149–155.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Michael, J. (1983). Evocative and repertoire altering effects of an environmental event. VB News, 2, 21–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reynolds, G. S. (1975). A primer of operant conditioning. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rilling, M. (1977). Stimulus control and inhibitory processes. In W. K. Honig & J. E. R. Staddon (Eds.), Handbook of operant behavior (pp. 432–480). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shimoff, E., Catania, A. C., & Matthews, B. A. (1981). Uninstructed human responding: Sensitivity of low-rate performance to schedule contingencies. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 36, 207–220.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Sidman, M. (1960). Tactics of scientific research. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sidman, M., & Tailby, W. (1982). Conditional discrimination vs. matching-to-sample: An expansion of the testing paradigm. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, 5–24.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Skinner, B.F. (1969). Contingencies of reinforcement: A theoretical analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vaughan, M. E. (1985). Repeated acquisition in the analysis of rule-governed behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 44, 175–184.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Schlinger, H., Blakely, E. Function-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli. BEHAV ANALYST 10, 41–45 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03392405

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03392405

Key words

  • contingency-specifying stimuli
  • function-altering effects
  • verbal stimuli
  • rules