Author

Zerbel

Date of Award

4-1984

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. M. Kay Malott

Third Advisor

Dr. Neil D. Kent

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Feature-value effect concerns the asymmetry obtained in the discrimination learning of pigeons and young children, based on the presence (feature-positive) versus the absence (feature-negative) of a single distinctive feature. Subjects master the discrimination problem when the distinctive feature appears on the positively-reinforced (S+) display but not necessarily when the distinctive feature appears on the non-reinforced (S-) display. This thesis replicates and examines the first (three) extensions of traditionally experimental research to human preschool populations. Six 3-5 year old children attending the Child Development Center preschool served as subjects in the experiment. The feature-positive discrimination training conditions consisted of the presentation of tokens versus explicit (yes-no) verbal feedback. All subjects achieved mastery criterion in the second'phase of the experimental conditions. The feature-negative discrimination training conditions consisted of the presentation of tokens plus explicit (yesno) verbal feedback versus a rule statement condition. Half of the subjects achieved mastery criterion in the second phase of the experimental conditions.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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