Developmental change in the relative values of social and non-social reinforcement

Michael Lewis, A. Martin Wall, Justin Aronfreed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Asymptotic levels of performance in a binary choice paradigm were used to assess developmental change in the relative reinforcement values of social approval and impersonal stimulus events which merely indicated the correctness of prediction of an uncertain outcome. Ss were 30 1st graders and 30 6th graders, randomly assigned in equal numbers to each of the reinforcement conditions. Only the 1st graders under social reinforcement tended toward maximizing the more frequently reinforced response, while the remaining 3 groups showed asymptotic proportions of response below the actual probability of being correct. It was suggested that the value of repeated external social approval decreases with age and that the intrinsic reinforcement of correct prediction is greater in older children. The interpretation of the findings also emphasized the minimal role of mediating concepts of probability and the possible effects of having used contingent outcomes. (25 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1963
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Keywords

  • CHILDHOOD &
  • CHILDREN, REINFORCEMENT IN, VALUE CHANGES, SOCIAL VS. NONSOCIAL
  • LEARNING
  • REINFORCEMENT, SOCIAL, DEVELOPMENTAL VALUE CHANGES, VS. NONSOCIAL

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