Posted: December 28th, 2022

Discriminative Stimuli essay example

Assignment: Discriminative Stimuli

When a behavior occurs at a higher rate because of some antecedent stimulus than when that stimulus is absent, the behavior is under stimulus control. When you wake up in the morning to the sound of an alarm clock, the alarm clock is the antecedent stimulus that triggers your getting up behavior. On your drive to work, the antecedent stimuli of red lights and stop signs trigger your behavior to stop your car. At your work desk, the ringing of your phone is an antecedent stimulus that triggers the behavior of you answering the phone.


Each of these examples triggers each behavioral response because of what has been reinforced in your past experiences with the corresponding stimulus. Your behaviors have been reinforced over time to expect certain consequences in the presence of certain stimuli. When this happens, the stimulus is said to be a discriminative stimulus (sD).

For this Assignment, you will examine discriminative stimuli as triggers for behavior by analyzing behavior in which you regularly engage and identifying the discriminative stimulus (SD) for the behavior and the reinforcer that maintains the behavior.

To Prepare:

  • Review the readings and media found in this week’s Learning Resources to gain an understanding of stimulus control.

Assignment (1 page)

  • Identify a behavior in which you engage fairly regularly (i.e., at least every day or every other day).
  • Define the behavior in such a way that anyone could recognize the behavior by your definition.
  • Identify the discriminative stimulus (sD) for this behavior and the reinforcer that maintains this behavior.

Be sure to support your Assignment with specific references to behavior-analytic theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or the internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your Assignment. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources Discriminative Stimuli essay example.

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