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ERIC Number: EJ896727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Factors Impacting Emergence of Behavioral Control by Underselected Stimuli in Humans after Reduction of Control by Overselected Stimuli
Broomfield, Laura; McHugh, Louise; Reed, Phil
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v94 n2 p125-133 Sep 2010
Stimulus overselectivity occurs when only one of potentially many aspects of the environment controls behavior. Adult participants were trained and tested on a trial-and-error discrimination learning task while engaging in a concurrent load task, and overselectivity emerged. When responding to the overselected stimulus was reduced by reinforcing a novel stimulus in the presence of the previously overselected stimulus in a second trial-and-error discrimination task, behavioral control by the underselected stimulus became stronger. However, this result was only found under certain circumstances: when there was substantial overselectivity in the first training phase; when control by the underselected stimulus in the first phase was particularly low; and when there was effective reduction in the behavioral control exerted by the previously overselected stimuli. The emergence of behavioral control by the underselected stimulus suggests that overselectivity is not simply due to an attention deficit, because for the emergence to occur, the stimuli must have been attended to and learned about in the training phase; but that a range of additional learning factors may play a role. (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 - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A