SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.32 issue3Systematic Review about Personal Growth InitiativeOverview of Research on Teacher Self-efficacy in Social Cognitive Perspective author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Anales de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1695-2294Print version ISSN 0212-9728


ESTEVEZ, Angeles F.; CARMONA, Isabel; ESTEBAN, Laura  and  PLAZA, Victoria. Improvement of discriminative learning in children: differential outcomes and manual administration of different types of reinforcement. Anal. Psicol. [online]. 2016, vol.32, n.3, pp.783-792. ISSN 1695-2294.

In recent years, several studies have demonstrated that discriminative learning is facilitated when each association to be learned is always followed by a unique outcome. This way of providing outcomes was called the differential outcomes procedure (DOP). The aim of the study reported here was to assess whether the DOP could improve learning of symbolic conditional discriminations in 5- and 7-year-old children when performing a paper-and-pencil task using different types of training in which: 1) reinforcers were given after correct choices (+), 2) reinforcers were withdrawn when errors were made (-), or 3) a combination of both (+/-). In Experiments 1a and 1b secondary reinforcers were used along with primary reinforcers, while in Experiments 2a and 2b only primary reinforcers were used. Participants showed better performance when differential outcomes were arranged regardless of the type of reinforcers (secondary plus primary or only primary) and the different strategies of reinforcement (+, -, or +/-). These results add to those found by Martínez et al. (2009, 2013) and demonstrate that the beneficial effect of the DOP on discriminative learning is also independent of the way in which the stimuli and the outcomes are presented, facilitating its use in applied contexts.

Keywords : Differential outcomes procedure; discriminative learning; types of reinforcement; children.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License