Two procedures for the establishment of conditioned reinforcers


Publication date



Høgskolen i Akershus

Document type


Master i læring i komplekse systemer


As a science progresses, it is possible that some of its defining concepts might be overlooked, and this might necessitate later research and review to clarify what was known and what is currently known of its concepts. An example is the concept of conditioned reinforcers in the science of behavior. The concept once merited whole books but has now been relegated to mere mentions and paragraphs or chapters. This might be because there is a possibility that behaviorist are comfortable in their knowledge that they can establish them at will and as such need not delve further into it. This article reviews literature that presented two possible procedures for experimentally establishing conditioned reinforcers: brief pairings and operant discrimination procedures. The literature review suggests that brief pairings may yield conditioned reinforcers, but these may be short lived. Operant learning procedures, however; seem to establish conditioned reinforcers more effectively. The review also sheds light on some defining properties of conditioned reinforcers. Based on literature reviewed pointing to a possible short comings in brief pairing and the apparent effectiveness of operant discrimination procedures, the article concluded that, there was a need to open research into the establishing procedures of conditioned reinforcers


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)