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Revista Brasileira de Terapia Comportamental e Cognitiva

Print version ISSN 1517-5545


PANETTA, Paulo André Barbosa; HORA, Cássia Leal da  and  BENVENUTI, Marcelo Frota Lobato. Evaluating the role of verbal behavior on "superstitious" behavior acquisition. Rev. bras. ter. comport. cogn. [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.2, pp. 277-287. ISSN 1517-5545.

The experiment evaluated interactions between instructions and behavior acquired by accidental relations with reinforcement ("superstitious" behavior). Four adults participated on a computer task. In each session there were 30 s periods in which the participants could respond by clicking with a mouse upon a colored rectangle displayed on the screen. At the end of each 30 s period, there was one interval of 10 s in which the participant could ask to quit. Four individual sessions were used, and in each of them there was only one contingency for scoring points: VR 6, extinction, extinction and VT 8 s. At the beginning of the last two sessions, the participants were told that no responses to the rectangle scored points. Three participants responded more in the last session than in the third, showing that instructions implying relationship between response and environmental change can facilitate the acquisition of "superstitious" behavior.

Keywords : "Superstitious" behavior; Computer; Verbal behavior.

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