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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


ORTIZ, Gerardo. Description accuracy, feedback and knowledge about postcontact description purpose on performance, elaboration and description transmission. Acta comport. [online]. 2010, vol.18, n.2, pp. 189-213. ISSN 0188-8145.

Two experiments assessed the effects of specifying the post-contact description purpose, pre-contact description specificity, and feedback frequency on instrumental performance, post-contact elaboration and description’s transmission. In Experiment 1, 30 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of six experimental groups in order to perform a matching-to-sample task. Results showed that pre-contact specificity and feedback frequency had differential effects both on performance and on the specificity and pertinence of the elaborated post-contact descriptions, and in the correspondence between performance and descriptions. Experiment 2 investigated the use of descriptions elaborated by participants in a previous experiment when used as instructions for 30 new undergraduate students. Performance levels varied around 12 correct responses, although the group with continuous feedback, yoked with a participant that received specific pre-contact descriptions, showed the best performance in the second phase. Results are discussed in terms of how can be affected both the acquisition of instructional functions by a pre-contact description and the post-contact descriptions, and the acquisition of a rule function.

Keywords : instruction; rule; pre-contact description; post-contact description; matching-to-sample; undergraduate students.

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