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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


PARACAMPO, Carla Cristina Paiva; ALBUQUERQUE, Luiz Carlos de  and  FARIAS, Andréa Fonseca. Effects of verbal consequences on rule following. Acta comport. [online]. 2013, vol.21, n.2, pp. 159-173. ISSN 0188-8145.

To investigate the effects of verbal consequences on rule following, 16 children were exposed to a matchingto- sample procedure under contextual control. The subject had to touch the comparison stimuli when a light was on. The behavior was established by rule in Phase 1. The contingencies in Phase 1 were changed in Phase 2, reestablished in Phase 3, changed again in Phase 4, and reestablished in Phase 5. In the conditions where the verbal consequence "Correct" was not presented, the probability of following the rule was higher when programmed reinforcement was suspended than when there was loss of reinforcers. When following the rule began to result in the verbal consequence "Right", following the rule was prone to be maintained, independent of interruption of presentation or loss of programmed reinforcers. The results suggest that verbal consequences may contribute to maintain rule following, blocking the effect of variables that lead to stop rule following; it is suggested that the formal properties of verbal consequences are relevant in defining their effects.

Keywords : control by rules; control by immediate consequences; verbal consequences; formal properties of verbal stimuli.

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