Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Jacob L. Gewirtz
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
Fourth Advisor's Name
Date of Defense
The term "vicarious reinforcement" has been used by social-learning theorists to denote imitation that results from the observed reinforcement of behavior performed by a model. This conceptualization is incompatible with that of behavior analysis because it ignores the effect of prior learning on the observer's behavior and violates the definition of reinforcement. Experiment 1 replicated prior findings. Preschool children (N=32) imitated a model's reinforced choice responses, in the absence of direct experience with contingencies. In Experiment 2 (N=48), subjects failed to imitate reinforced modeled behavior when observed behavior contingencies were 'incongruent' with those experienced. The results were interpreted as consistent with the behavior-analytic position that observed reinforcement of a model's behavior functions as a discriminative cue (SD), not reinforcement, for the observer's imitative responses.
Cigales, Maricel, "Vicarious reinforcement is a result of earlier learning" (1995). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2367.
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