Psychology ETDs

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Recently, a number of investigators have examined the effect of changes in the sensory modality by which stimuli are presented in a two-stage, paired-associates transfer of training task. The positive transfer effects usually found have been termed intermodal or intersensory transfer IST. Inferences as to the precise nature of component sources of transfer contributing to this positive effect have been limited, however, due to the type of controls that have been employed. The present study was designed to identify two sources of specific transfer, that of stimulus-response associations and stimulus learning, by the use of controls not normally employed. All Ss, with the exception of a no-pretraining baseline control, were presented with stimuli in a pretraining task via the visual modality and in a subsequent transfer task were, depending on the particular paradigm, presented with the same or different stimuli via the tactual modality. The relevant-stimulus pretraining condition employed to index transfer of stimulus-response associations received the same objective stimuli and the same responses in both tasks; while the condition used to assess the transfer of stimulus learning also received the same objective stimuli in both tasks, but in contrast to the former condition, received different class responses in the two tasks. Four additional conditions were employed to control for nonspecific sources of transfer. In all four controls the pretraining stimuli were irrelevant to the transfer task stimuli. Moreover, the stimuli for two of the controls were sampled from the same population as the relevant pretraining conditions, while the stimuli for the remaining two controls were sampled from a different population than all of the above groups. Evidence was obtained for the transfer of stimulus-response associations. All controls for nonspecific transfer, and the condition employed to assess stimulus learning were, however, comparable to the baseline no-pretraining condition.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Henry Carleton Ellis

Second Committee Member

Douglas Peter Ferraro

Third Committee Member

David Wilmot Bessemer



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Psychology Commons