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Stimulus Control &


Stimulus Control
u When a given response occurs reliably after the
presentation of a specific stimulus and not in its
absence, we say that antecedent event or
stimulus has “_____________” over that response.
We call that stimulus a “_________________” ( “Ess
Dee” SD, or S+ ) for that response.
u A stimulus in the presence of which a given
response _______ occurs is also a
__________________ annotated as “S delta” ( S▼).


Several meanings
u Primarily “_______________________” which is
responding to stimuli __________ to a given
stimulus that has been brought under
stimulus control for that responding through
differential reinforcement.
u (E.G., conditioned to respond to a 1000CPS
tone, responding will also occur to 900cps or
even 600cps )

Generalization: Several meanings

u  ________________________is said to have occurred when
responding that is different from the topography ( form,
force, duration, etc.) of responding that was established
originally through reinforcement, is seen to occur.
u  ( E.G., naming the correct choice in place of pointing to
it )
u  Any responding that occurs outside of the training
u  “Learning to learn” ie more rapid acquisition of new
u  Maintenance over time of responding after training


Factors involved in stimulus

discrimination for responding
1.  The “_____________” of the stimulus
from its background
2.  ______________________________must
occur for responding to the stimulus
to continue to be discriminated.
3.  The
response must be _________
organism’s _______________________

Establishing Control by a Single

1. SR+ follows _______________________________ emitted in the
___________________ of the stimulus
2. SR+ does __________________after responses _________________ by
the stimulus
3. There are ___________________________ correlated with
reinforcement and non reinforcement.
The stimulus should be presented over ______________________ so
as to not be associated with time
If responding occurs before the presentation of the stimulus,
reinforcement should ________ be delivered


Establishing Control by Successively

Presented Stimuli
u  Spradlin describes a Terrace errorless procedure
where the eventual S+ (RED) is presented E
strongly and for longer periods followed by the
eventual S- (GREEN) presented weakly and
briefly. Once responding occurs reliably to the
Red stimulus. The presentation times and
brightness of the 2 stimuli are made equal.
u  The example results in subjects responding to an
“E” and not responding to a black square. The
Square is then gradually formed into a reversed

Establishing Control by Two or More

Simultaneously Presented Stimuli
u  Two or more stimuli presented at the same time
u  Spradlin describes a study by Sidman &
Stoddard(1971) in teaching discrimination between
circles and elipses
u  These types of discrimination between simultaneously
presented stimuli are used in “_____________________”
procedures that are designed to teach concepts
involving Conditional discriminations


Conditional Stimulus Control

u Reinforcement for responding in the
presence of a specific stimulus depends on
the ______________________________________
u E.G., Pass the Salt vs Bread

Conditional Stimulus Control

u  _________________________________________________
u  A “sample” stimulus (E.G., “2”) is presented and the learner is required to
touch it (to attend to it).
u  Once attended to, two or more comparison stimuli are then added to the
display ( E.G., a “3” a “2” and a “1” ).
u  The learner is then required to point to, or touch the comparison “2” in order
to gain reinforcement ( IE. The stimulus that is identical to the original
sample )
u  The sample stimulus changes and comparison stimuli both
change and alter positions on each training trial.
u  Once several stimuli are learned as identical, learning of new
stimuli happens on the first trial. This is referred to as


Variations on Matching
u  In the simple identity matching procedure the sample
stimulus remains present when the comparisons are
added. If it is removed when the comparisons are
added that procedure is called “____________________
_____________________” and can use delays of 0 sec to
whatever. The longer the delay the harder the task.
Similarly these procedures in order to be effective should
provide immediate SR+ for correct responding. I most
educational applications this is not trues as SR+ is

Variations on Matching
u  __________________: The opposite of identity matching but still a conditional discrimination
u  A sample stimulus is presented and attended to, then comparison stimuli are presented
all of which except one are identical to the sample. SR+ is delivered for choosing the
“odd” stimulus.
u  ________________________________________:
u  The “correct” comparison stimulus is not completely physically identical to the sample
u  _________________________________________:
u  The basis for one of the comparison stimuli to be the “correct one” and receive Sr+ is based on
some relation or function or stimulus class rule and not physical similarity
u  E.G., Given “brush” as sample choose “comb” not ‘Car” or “hammer”

u  NOTE: All matching that is “cross sensory modalities” is “arbitrary” or symbolic”
u  E.g., choosing visual stimuli given an auditory (spoken) comand


Equivalence Classes
u  Sidman(1971) the first report of equivalence. Later this was made
popular in 1982 (Sidman & Tailby, 1982)
u  TheConcepts ( the way the phenomena are described) are
from logic and mathematics and are 1. ___________, 2
_______________, and 3 _________________.
u  ___________
is identity ; A=B therefore ________ is reflexivity ; A=B
and B=C Therefore __________________ is Transitivity)
“Equivalence” is defined by ______________________
u  “bidrectionality”
is another term for reflexivity and primarily
demonstrated by human populations!
u  Transitivity
with “derived reflexivity” is prmarily seen in language
able organisms

Equivalence Classes: Research Findings

1.  New members can be added readily to the class
2.  Equivalence Classes are Durable
3.  Performances that indicate equivalence are resistant to
change as a function of changes in in baseline reinforcement
4.  Conditioning an operant response in the presence of a member
of the class , results in generalization to other members of the
5.  If one or more members of an equivalence class are
conditioned to elicit an emotional response, other members of
that class will elicit that response


Recombination of Stimulus-Response
u  The“theme” here is how many response possibilities can come for
training only a few
u  Spradlin
describes research on ________________ in which stimulus-
response combinations are taught and combinations of then
u  E.G.
“drop” Ball and “push” Glass teaching results in Dropping
glasses and pushing Balls.
u  This
is a relatively new area that has been strongly prompted by
equivalence and Relation Frame Theory developments