Psychology ETDs

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Many recent studies of the effects of past-experience variables on perception have organized in the effort to provide tests of the enrichment and differentiation accounts of these effects. The enrichment position. Usually stated in terms of acquired distinctiveness of cues (Goss, 1955; Miller and Dollard, 1941), holds that learning a distinctive responses to a stimulus will result in the addition to that stimulus of a distinctive response-produced cue. In turn, the newly “enriched” stimulus is less similar to related stimuli than before such learning occurred. Moreover, this reduction in similarity is conceptualized as a reduction in generalization among the list of enriched stimuli. Accordingly, this reduction in stimulus generalization provides a condition under which enriched stimuli may enter into association with discriminative motor responses at a rate greater than stimuli not subject to the addition of distinctive response-produced cues. In addition to consideration of the facilitation of discriminative learning tasks, due to enrichment, investigators have been concerned with more direct measures of perceptual gain. For example, Arnoult (1953) measured discriminated performance following enrichment and Ellis, Bessemer, Devine and Trafton (1962) investigated the effects of enrichment on recognition performance.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Henry Carleton Ellis

Second Committee Member

John Marshall Rhodes

Third Committee Member

Sidney Rosenblum



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Psychology Commons