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    One strategy to program for generalization is to vary noncritical features in teaching exemplars, thereby avoiding noncritical features from being highly correlated with reinforcement and thus gaining faulty stimulus control. In the current translational evaluation, 2 groups of adults of typical development were taught to respond to arbitrary stimuli with experimenter-defined critical and noncritical features in a matching-to-sample task. The teaching arrangement used for 1 group programmed for low correlation between noncritical features and reinforcement; the teaching arrangement used for the other group programmed for high correlation between noncritical features and reinforcement. Participants in the former group displayed (a) faster acquisition of matching, (b) less variability in correct responding, and (c) a decreased likelihood of faulty stimulus control developing during training. The results contribute towards advancing the study of stimulus control and developing an explicit technology of generalization to better serve consumers of the application of our science. © 2020 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (SEAB).


    Christina J Song, Jason C Vladescu, Kenneth F Reeve, Caio F Miguel, Samantha L Breeman. The influence of correlations between noncritical features and reinforcement on stimulus generalization. Journal of applied behavior analysis. 2021 Jan;54(1):346-366

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    PMID: 32893351

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