Psychonomic Science

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 211–212 | Cite as

Correlated delay of reinforcement in the instrumental conditioning of conversational behavior

  • Robert Frank Weiss
  • Charles M. Beck
  • Mark H. Stich
Human Memory, Learning, and Thinking Learning


Speaking in reply functions as a reinforcer. In an experimental conversation modeled on discrete-trials instrumental conditioning, with speed as the dependent variable, Ss learned an instrumental response reinforced by the opportunity to speak in reply. When shorter delay of the opportunity to reply was made contingent upon S’s responding slowly, Ss learned to match the cutoff speed, while noncorrelated yoked controls showed an ordinary acquisition curve (N = 80, p<.025), as in conditioning studies of correlated delay of reinforcement.


Instrumental Response Instrumental Conditioning Triol Reply Function Partial Reinforcement Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Frank Weiss
    • 1
  • Charles M. Beck
    • 1
  • Mark H. Stich
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OklahomaNormanUSA

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