Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Spring 1969

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Verne Bacharach


It has been shown that monetary reward will function as a determinant of either a verbal response or a perceptual response. Research has shown that a stimulus associated with monetary reward would be reported as the figure when the rewarded stimulus was presented in an ambiguous situation. It is still uncertain if verbal reward, like monetary reward, will determine what stimulus is reported as the figure when the S is presented with an ambiguous condition containing the previously rewarded figure. This experiment tested the hypothesis that perceptual learning will occur if Ss are verbally reinforced following identification of a designated stimulus condition. The Ss were divided into two groups. The Ss in the experimental group received verbal reinforcement after responding to the individual stimulus designated as the figure. The Ss in the control group did not receive verbal reinforcement. All Ss were given one test trial in which the figure associated with verbal reward was presented in an ambiguous situation where it might be perceived either as figure or as ground. After deficiencies were found in the design of the original experiment, a second experiment was designed. The results failed to support the hypothesis that verbal reward would affect figure-ground perception.


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Copyright 1969 Joseph Harry Giacobbe

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