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Responses to incidental stimuli as a function of feedback contingency


The effects of incidental stimuli, defined as visual stimuli not under verbal control, upon a selection task were observed as a function of feedback contingency. Ss judged letter pairs to be valid or invalid completions of preceding letter parts. During the presentation of the letter parts, the response pair or an alternative pair of letters was intermittently presented at a threshold value individually determined for each S. One group of Ss received a light feedback of performance contingent upon responding to the incidental stimuli; whereas a second group received a random noncontingent feedback. The results indicated: (a) both groups responded to the incidental stimuli; (b) feedback contingency had no effect on frequency of responding to the incidental stimuli; (c) frequency of responding to the incidental stimuli remained constant over 32 trials.


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This research was conductedat the Psychologisches Institut in Göttingen, West Germany, and was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft. The author wishes to express his thanks to Klaus Nippert and Josef Reinartz for their aid in conducting experiments.

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Murch, G.M. Responses to incidental stimuli as a function of feedback contingency. Perception & Psychophysics 5, 10–12 (1969).

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  • Performance Feedback
  • Croup
  • Letter Pair
  • Response Pair
  • Feedback Contingency