Discrimination

  • M. E. Bitterman
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 19)

Abstract

Discriminative training is designed to produce differential response to stimuli by associating them with different treatments or contingencies. Consider, for example, an experiment by Woodard, Ballinger, and Bitterman (1974), who trained pigeons to peck a key which was lighted for a period of 8 sec on each trial with one of three colors (red, green, or blue) presented in quasi-random orders. When the animals were pecking readily at all colors, the discriminative training was begun. For one of the colors, at least one peck during the 8-sec period was required to produce food at the end of the period (reward); for a second color, a single peck prevented food, which came at the end of the period only if the animal failed to peck (omission); while a third color never was followed by food (extinction). There were 10 trials with each color and 10 blank trials in each session. In Figure 1, performance in the discriminative training is plotted in terms of two measures--the probability of at least one response on any trial, and the total number of responses per trial. It should be noted that the two measures of performance were not entirely equivalent. One was more sensitive to the difference between omission and extinction, while the other was more sensitive to the difference between omission and reward.

Keywords

Hull Tray Stim Nevin 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Bitterman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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