Sequential processes in the generalization and transfer of stimulus control
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Prior research indicated that a training sequence consisting of a negative stimulus followed by a positive stimulus constitutes the minimal condition for the production of postdiscrimination phenomena typically observed after training with random sequences of the discriminanda. The present experiments, employing multiple schedules with pigeon subjects, confirmed the earlier findings but indicated that they are restricted to procedures in which the reinforcing stimulus may acquire a discriminative function that competes with the control exerted by the nominal discriminanda. The sequences in which the discriminanda were presented did not differentially affect subsequent measures of generalization and transfer if the discriminative function of reinforcement were degraded either by introducing some reinforcers during the negative stimulus (Experiment 1) or by omitting some reinforcers during the positive stimulus (Experiment 2). It was concluded that the sequence in which the discriminanda are presented during discrimination training does not contribute fundamentally to the processes responsible for discrimination formation with random training sequences.
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