Motivational Properties of Self-Reinforcement

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To examine the motivational effects of Self-reinforcement (SR), Ss were asked to match to sample tachistoscopically presented stimuli from four response choices 100 trials with non-repeated samples were given. Three groups received 60% non-contingent reinforcement in Phase I. A fourth (NR) group received no reinforcement during the experiment. In Phase II, an External reinforcement (ER) group received continued non-contingent reinforcement, an SR group was given control over reinforcement delivery, and an Extinction (EX) group received no reinforcement. In Phase III no Ss were reinforced. Analysis of correct responses indicated no group differences in Phases I or II but significant differences under extinction in Phase III. The SR group gave significantly more accurate recognitions than all other groups. In Phase 11, SR administration closely matched the preceding ER schedule.

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