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ERIC Number: EJ878723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 85
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Conditioned Reinforcement and Response Strength
Shahan, Timothy A.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v93 n2 p269-289 Mar 2010
Stimuli associated with primary reinforcers appear themselves to acquire the capacity to strengthen behavior. This paper reviews research on the strengthening effects of conditioned reinforcers within the context of contemporary quantitative choice theories and behavioral momentum theory. Based partially on the finding that variations in parameters of conditioned reinforcement appear not to affect response strength as measured by resistance to change, long-standing assertions that conditioned reinforcers do not strengthen behavior in a reinforcement-like fashion are considered. A signposts or means-to-an-end account is explored and appears to provide a plausible alternative interpretation of the effects of stimuli associated with primary reinforcers. Related suggestions that primary reinforcers also might not have their effects via a strengthening process are explored and found to be worthy of serious consideration. (Contains 5 figures.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A