From Contrast to Reinforcement: Role of Response Contingency in Anticipatory Contrast

Charles F. Flaherty, Patricia S. Grigson

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59 Scopus citations


Intake of a 0.15% saccharin solution is suppressed if access to the saccharin is followed by access to 32% sucrose in brief daily pairings. The present series of four experiments was concerned with factors that lead to this anticipatory contrast effect (suppressed saccharin intake) rather than a reinforcement effect. In Experiment 1, anticipatory contrast was obtained with an autoshaping procedure (no lick requirement on the initial tube), and degree of contrast did not vary as a function of intersolution interval in the range of 0-15 s. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that requirements of 10, 100, 200, or 400 licks on the first tube available led to a reinforcement effect in latency, but a requirement of 0 licks (autoshaping procedure) led to a contrast effect in licks and latency. In Experiment 4, a group with a 200-contingent-lick requirement showed a reinforcement effect in latency, but a group yoked to this contingent group showed a contrast effect in both latency and licks. Overall, the results suggest that anticipatory contrast occurs under conditions of a "relaxed" instrumental contingency. The data are discussed in terms of control of behavior by stimulus-stimulus, response-stimulus, and stimulus-response associations, and the results are related to behavioral contrast, to flavor-outcome associations, and to "misbehavior" produced by Pavlovian-instrumental interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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