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Chapter 9 Stimulus Control And Concept Learning
1. Pavlov believed that generalization was
a. an automatic by product of the conditioning process
b. dependent on discrimination training along the relevant dimension
c. partly a and partly b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: a
Rationale:
Pavlov proposed that generalization was an automatic byproduct of the conditioning process.
Once an organism is conditioned to respond to a specific stimulus, similar stimuli will also
elicit a similar response due to the associative learning mechanism inherent in classical
conditioning.
2. According to the theory of Lashley and Wade, generalization is
a. an automatic by product of the conditioning process
b. dependent on discrimination training along the relevant dimension
c. partly a and partly b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: b
Rationale:
Lashley and Wade's theory suggests that generalization is dependent on discrimination
training along the relevant dimension. This means that organisms learn to differentiate
between stimuli during conditioning, leading to specific responses to each stimulus rather
than a generalized response.
3. In the research of Jenkins and Harrison, one group of pigeons received nondifferential
training with a 1000 Hz tone the same tone was present on every trial. In a generalization test
along the dimension of tone frequency, this group produced
a. typical generalization gradients with peaks at 1000 Hz

b. extremely narrow generalization gradients
c. flat generalization gradients
d. no generalization to other tones
Answer: c
Rationale:
When pigeons receive nondifferential training with a consistent stimulus, they tend to
produce flat generalization gradients. This indicates that they don't show discrimination
between different frequencies and respond similarly to all tones.
4. In the research of Jenkins and Harrison, one group of pigeons received intradimensional
training a 1000 Hz tone was an S+ and a 950 Hz tone was an S-. In a generalization test along
the dimension of tone frequency, this group produced
a. typical generalization gradients with peaks at 1000 Hz
b. extremely narrow generalization gradients
c. flat generalization gradients
d. no generalization to other tones
Answer: b
Rationale:
Intradimensional training involves discrimination between stimuli along a specific dimension.
Pigeons trained in this manner tend to produce extremely narrow generalization gradients, as
they have learned to discriminate between the specific frequencies presented during training.
5. In the research of Jenkins and Harrison, one group of pigeons received presence absence
training a 1000 Hz tone was an S+ and the absence of a tone was an S-. In a generalization test
along the dimension of tone frequency, this group produced
a. typical generalization gradients with peaks at 1000 Hz
b. extremely narrow generalization gradients
c. flat generalization gradients
d. no generalization to other tones

Answer: a
Rationale:
Presence-absence training involves discrimination between the presence and absence of a
stimulus. Pigeons trained in this manner typically produce typical generalization gradients
with peaks at the frequency of the S+ stimulus, as they learn to respond to the presence of that
specific stimulus.
6. Experiments on sensory deprivation have shown that if birds are prevented from seeing
different colors when they are young,
a. the birds are color blind as adults
b. the birds can still see different colors but respond to all of them in the same way
c. the birds may still discriminate between different colors in a generalization test
d. the birds will discriminate between different colors in a generalization test only after they
receive discrimination training
Answer: c
Rationale:
Experiments on sensory deprivation indicate that even if birds are prevented from seeing
different colors during development, they may still be able to discriminate between colors in
a generalization test. This suggests that discrimination between colors can occur without
specific discrimination training.
7. The phenomenon of peak shift is sometimes observed in
a. successive discrimination tasks
b. simultaneous discrimination tasks
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: a
Rationale:

Peak shift is primarily observed in successive discrimination tasks, where organisms learn to
respond to stimuli sequentially rather than simultaneously. This phenomenon involves a shift
in the most rapid responding away from the more intense stimulus.
8. The phenomenon of peak shift, the most rapid responding is shifted
a. toward the more intense stimulus
b. away from the more intense stimulus
c. toward the Sd. away from the SAnswer: d
Rationale:
In peak shift, the most rapid responding is shifted away from the S -, the stimulus that was
previously associated with punishment or non-reward. This shift occurs toward stimuli that
are similar to the S+, but not identical to it.
9. Spence's theory of stimulus control states that during discrimination training
a. an excitatory generalization gradient develops around the S+
b. an inhibitory generalization gradient develops around the Sc. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: c
Rationale:
According to Spence's theory of stimulus control, both excitatory and inhibitory
generalization gradients develop around the S+ and S- stimuli during discrimination training.
This theory explains how organisms learn to respond specifically to the S + stimulus while
inhibiting responses to the S- stimulus.
10. Which of the following response rules is consistent with the absolute theory of stimulus
control?
a. choose the greener of the two stimuli

b. of the three stimuli, choose the one of intermediate brightness
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: d
Rationale:
The absolute theory of stimulus control posits that organisms respond specifically to the
presence or absence of a particular stimulus, rather than making relative judgments based on
the characteristics of multiple stimuli. Therefore, neither option a nor b, which involve
relative judgments, is consistent with the absolute theory.
11. Which of the following response rules is consistent with the relational theory of stimulus
control?
a. choose the greener of the two stimuli
b. of the three stimuli, choose the one of intermediate brightness
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: c
Rationale:
The relational theory of stimulus control suggests that organisms learn to respond based on
the relationships between stimuli rather than specific features of individual stimuli. Option a,
"choose the greener of the two stimuli," fits this theory because it involves selecting one
stimulus over another based on a relational property (color). Option b, "of the three stimuli,
choose the one of intermediate brightness," also fits this theory as it involves selecting a
stimulus based on its relationship to the others in terms of brightness. Therefore, both options
a and b are consistent with the relational theory of stimulus control.
12. Results of experiments on the intermediate-size problem
a. clearly favor the absolute theory of stimulus control
b. clearly favor the relational theory of stimulus control

c. do not clearly favor either theory
d. only favor the absolute position if one takes into account Spence's theory of inhibitory
gradients
Answer: b
Rationale:
The relational theory of stimulus control suggests that organisms make relative judgments
based on the characteristics of stimuli. Experiments on the intermediate-size problem have
shown that animals can discriminate stimuli based on relative differences, supporting the
relational theory.
13. Taking into account all the different results, the most accurate position about the absolute
and relational theories of stimulus control is
a. the absolute theory is definitely the correct one
b. the relative theory is definitely the correct one
c. animals are definitely capable of making relational judgments
d. animals are definitely not capable of making relational judgments
Answer: c
Rationale:
Considering the variety of experimental results, it's most accurate to conclude that animals
are capable of making relational judgments, supporting the relational theory of stimulus
control.
14. A pigeon responds on a multiple schedule in which a VI 30 second schedule is in effect
both when the response key is red and when the response key is green. Next, the schedule
associated with the green key is changed to extinction. Which of the following changes in
behavior would be an example of positive behavioral contrast?
a. an increase in response rate on the red key
b. a decrease in response rate on the red key
c. an increase in response rate on the green key

d. a decrease in response rate on the green key
Answer: a
Rationale:
Positive behavioral contrast refers to an increase in response rate when transitioning from a
less favorable condition to a more favorable one. In this scenario, when the green key is
changed to extinction, the more favorable condition is the red key, leading to an increase in
response rate on the red key.
15. It has been proposed that behavioral contrast occurs because
a. responding is shifted from a schedule with low reinforcement to one with higher
reinforcement
b. there is less habituation or satiation when the reinforcers are reduced on one reinforcement
schedule
c. the subject compares the value of one schedule to what is available on the other schedule
d. all of the above
Answer: d
Rationale:
Behavioral contrast can occur due to various factors such as shifts in reinforcement
schedules, differences in habituation or satiation, and the comparison of values between
different schedules.
16. Based on Terrace's research on "errorless" discrimination learning,
which of the following strategies is not a good way to develop good discrimination between
an S+ and an S-?
a. present the S- briefly at first
b. allow the animal to make many responses to the S- early in training
c. present the S- early in training
d. None of the above are good strategies.
Answer: b

Rationale:
Allowing the animal to make many responses to the S- early in training can lead to confusion
and interference with discrimination learning, making it not a good strategy.
17. Experiments on learning sets have shown that
a. animals cannot generalize from one problem to another if the stimuli of the two problems
are completely unrelated
b. animals can learn to pay attention to a certain stimulus dimension, such as color
c. animals can learn to ignore a certain stimulus dimension, such as color
d. some species acquire learning sets much more quickly than others
Answer: d
Rationale:
Learning set experiments demonstrate that some species are better than others at acquiring
new problem-solving strategies, indicating differences in learning abilities among species.
18. Rosch concluded from her experiments that natural categories
a. include central and peripheral instances
b. have distinct boundaries
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: a
Rationale:
Rosch's experiments on natural categories revealed that categories include both central
instances, which are typical examples, and peripheral instances, which are less typical but
still belong to the category.
19. In deciding whether an ostrich is a bird, a child would probably
a. respond faster than if the question was whether a robin is a bird
b. respond slower than if the question was whether a robin is a bird

c. treat the example of ostrich as a central instance
d. have a distinct mental boundary between birds and non-birds
Answer: b
Rationale:
When deciding whether an ostrich is a bird, a child might take longer to respond compared to
deciding whether a robin is a bird because an ostrich is less typical of the category "bird,"
thus requiring more cognitive processing.
20. In her research on natural categories, Rosch found that
a. different subjects generally agree on which objects are included in a category and which
are not
b. subjects' reaction times to identify some category members are faster than others
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
Answer: c
Rationale:
Rosch's research demonstrated that different subjects generally agree on typical category
members, and reaction times to identify these members are faster, indicating shared cognitive
structures and processes underlying categorization.
21. Experiments on natural concept formation with pigeons have shown that
a. this type of learning is very slow
b. the subjects accomplish the task by identifying one common feature (such as the color
green) that distinguishes all positive instances from all negative instances
c. this learning can be transferred to slides the pigeons have never seen before
d. both a and c but not b
Answer: c
Rationale:

The correct answer is c because experiments have demonstrated that pigeons can generalize
their learning to novel instances they haven't encountered before. This suggests that their
learning is not solely reliant on identifying one specific feature but rather on grasping broader
concepts that can be applied to new situations.
22. Experiments on stimulus equivalence are different than other research on concept
formation because
a. the members of each "category" are not similar in form, color, or any other attribute
b. subjects know the "categories" before the experiment begins
c. subjects who cannot speak actually perform better than those who can
d. the "categories" are those found in the natural world
Answer: a
Rationale:
The correct answer is a because in experiments on stimulus equivalence, the categories aren't
defined by shared attributes like form or color. Instead, subjects learn to respond to stimuli
based on their relational properties, even when those stimuli are dissimilar in traditional
senses.
23. Treating the number “8” and the word “eight” as the same mathematical concept is an
example of
a. a learning set
b. generalization
c. stimulus equivalence
d. absolute stimulus control
Answer: c
Rationale:
The correct answer is c because stimulus equivalence refers to responding to stimuli as
equivalent or interchangeable. In this case, treating "8" and "eight" as the same mathematical

concept demonstrates the concept of stimulus equivalence as the symbols represent the same
numerical value.
24. Students interested in improving their study habits should
a. study in many different locations to avoid boredom
b. force themselves to study for a certain time period (such as one hour) whether they feel
like it or not
c. study a particular subject at different times on different days
d. none of the above
Answer: d
Rationale:
The correct answer is d because none of the provided options are universally applicable
strategies for improving study habits. Effective study habits vary from person to person, and
what works for one individual may not work for another. Therefore, there isn't a one-size-fitsall approach, and students should explore different techniques to find what suits them best.
25. If a woman's insomnia is due to poor stimulus control, she should
a. always remain in bed until she falls asleep, no matter how long it takes
b. lie in bed and read or engage in some other behavior that takes her mind off her problems
c. not get into bed until she is sleepy
d. all of the above
Answer: c
Rationale:
The correct answer is c because improving stimulus control involves associating the bed with
sleep and avoiding activities that might interfere with falling asleep. Waiting until feeling
sleepy before getting into bed helps strengthen this association, contributing to better sleep
hygiene and potentially alleviating insomnia caused by poor stimulus control.

Test Bank for Learning and Behavior
James E. Mazur
9780205864812, 9780205246441

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