Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1974

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Robert Adams


This study attempted to change the valence of visual stimuli by using a classical conditioning procedure. Five male college students were administered the Reinforcement Survey Schedule and 30 slides were made of items the Ss rated as reinforcing and neutral. After a familiarization period, the Ss were allowed to view the pictorial stimuli in a free looking time (viewing at own preferred rate) session. A conditioning procedure followed with 5 neutral pictures paired with 5 neutral pictures (NN), 5 neutral pictures paired with 5 reinforcing (NR) and 5 reinforcing pictures paired with 5 reinforcing pictures (RR). A post-conditioning free looking time session was then administered to the Ss. A t-test of the percent of change of the NN and NR post-conditioning CS slides revealed a significant difference. This significant difference, however, was in the wrong direction and slides paired with neutral slides were looked at longer than slides paired with reinforcing slides. The failure of this experiment may have been due to the ambiguity of the instruction to Ss, which produces abnormally high free looking times.


Copyright 1974 Leo P. Herrman


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