Attitude Statements as Positive and Negative Reinforcements

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Science  06 Nov 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3645, pp. 798-799
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3645.798


The finding that attraction is a function of attitude similarity has been interpreted as a special case of the effect of positive and negative reinforcements on attraction. A simple discrimination learning task was employed in which the reinforcements were attitude statements similar and dissimilar to the opinions of the subject. The presentation of similar attitude statements after each correct response and dissimilar attitude statements after each incorrect response significantly changed response probability. The hypothesis that such statements could be used as reinforcers in a learning situation was thus confirmed.