CONDITIONED STIMULI, CONDITIONED REINFORCERS, AND WORD MEANING.
Technical rept. no. 27,
ARIZONA STATE UNIV TEMPE
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It was suggested that some unconditioned stimuli are also primary reinforcers, or UCSR. When this is the case, the response elicited will be conditioned to any neutral stimulus with which the UCSR is paired. In that case the neutral stimulus will become a conditioned stimulus in the sense that it will now elicit the response. In addition, as a consequence of this conditioning, the neutral stimulus will acquire the reinforcement value of the UCSR, thus becoming a conditioned reinforcing stimulus. Higher-order conditioning of these eliciting and reinforcing properties can also occur from a conditioned reinforcing stimulus to a new neutral stimulus. In the area of language, extension of these principles suggests that words may become conditioned eliciting stimuli, and as a consequence will also be conditioned reinforcing stimuli. It was suggested that measures of evaluative word meaning, which have been referred to the eliciting property of words, would also give indications of reinforcing value. Several sources of empirical support for these expectations were described. Author