Mediated stimulus generalization and words connoting mood


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Abstract

90 words connoting mood were scaled for degree of elation or depression. 70 of the words were selected as the stimuli in a study of mediated stimulus generalization. For 2 groups of men and 2 groups of women the training stimuli were extremely elated words, and for 2 different groups of men and women, the training stimuli were extremely depressed words. In each of the 2 groups for both sexes, one group was reinforced for whispering and the other for shouting. After training all groups received a generalization series consisting of words varying in degree of elation or depression. Ss trained to shout elated and whisper depressed stimuli produced steeper mediated stimulus generalization gradients than Ss trained to whisper elated and shout depressed stimuli. The Shout-Depressed group produced partially inverted gradients. The results were consistent with an asymmetrical Matching Principle: with connotative stimuli there is a strong tendency to make an intense response to an intense stimulus and a moderate tendency to make a weak response to a weak stimulus. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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