Discrimination following various conditions of nondifferential training
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The major purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of nondifferential preliminary training on the subsequent learning of a discrimination by: (a) utilizing different pretraining stimuli, (b) manipulating the amount of pretraining, and (c) employing a factorial design to determine the interaction between these variables. The experimential design design consisted of giving 3, 23, 63, and 103 reinforced trials: (a) to the stimulus which was used as the positive in a subsequent discrimination, (b) to the stimulus which was used as the negative in a subsequent discrimination, and (c) to two stimuli which were used as the positive and negative stimuli in a subsequent discrimination. A successive discrimination problem involving the differentiation of responses to two circle-size stimuli was employed to assess the effects of the varying conditions and amounts of pre-discrimination training. Ten male albino rats were assigned to each of the 12 experimental conditions. A number of different indices of discrimination behavior were used to ascertain the degree of differential responding displayed by the various groups during discrimination training. All pre-discrimination training treatments resulted in eventual discrimination learning as evidenced by a gradual decrease in latency of responses to the positive stimulus, and a corresponding increase in latency of responses to the negative stimulus. An. analysis of discrimination criterion scores, correct response learning curves, number of total errore, and the ratio of positive to negative response latencies, was used to determine the effect of the experimental treatments. This analysis indicated that the various conditions and amounts of pre-discrimination training resulted in marked differences in the learning of the subsequent discrimination. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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