By J. P. Das
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Extra resources for Verbal Conditioning and Behaviour
Krasner, 1958; Kennedy and Willcut, 1964), although the issue is more complex than it is with animal-learning situations involving positive and negative reinforcement. But we shall now see that, depending on the social class of the children, praise may have less of an effect on performance than blame. Zigler (1961) and Cromwell (1963) have brought this to our attention in working primarily with retarded children. In the present section, an illustrative experiment will be described to support the view that both verbal and nonverbal reinforcements act as informative cues for S's success in a task.
G o o d " vs. rev. <0-20 (2-tail), and 1 65 ; ρ approximately 0 1 0 (2-tail); the comparable figures for retardates were 4 1 7 , / > < 0 0 1 , and 3-89; / > < 0 0 1 : d f = 2 9 for both groups. The mean latencies in seconds were 0-728±0-174 for normals and 1-194+0-280 for the retardates. In order to obtain an index of S's stability of response latency, the " g o o d " scores under acquisi- REINFORCEMENT AND PERFORMANCE 39 tion were correlated with corresponding scores on reversals. A similar procedure was followed for the " b a d " scores.
Perhaps one could hypothesize an interaction between these two tendencies. This can be formulated by stating that favourable ego-directed stimuli and unfavourable otherdirected stimuli will be better learned and recalled than their counterparts. An experiment reported elsewhere in detail ( K a n u n g o and Das, 1960) examines how far these assumptions are tenable. The ego variable was handled by taking two groups of 5s from rival castes in India. Both the groups were first equated for their learning and immediate-recall scores on materials similar to the test materials.