Discriminative Stimulus Location As A Determinant Of Positive And Negative Behavioral Contrast In The Pigeon

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Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior


Four pigeons were exposed to a series of two-component multiple schedules of reinforcement that ordinarily yield positive and negative behavioral contrast. The stimuli that signalled the component schedules were sometimes located on the response key and sometimes off. Positive behavioral contrast was observed only when the stimuli were on the key. Negative contrast was observed independent of stimulus location. These data suggest that positive and negative contrast may be causally unrelated, and support an account of contrast in terms of the summation of key pecks that are separately controlled by response-reinforcer and stimulus-reinforcer dependencies.