In the article that follows, you will find an example of stimulus discrimination. In this case, stimulus discrimination is the act of asking a question in order to test its objectivity. Here is how it can be used in the context of stimulus discrimination:
An example of stimulus discrimination can be used in the context of a situation which involves discrimination between a category of things (sound and color) and between different types of things (shape and color)
Say for example that we are speaking about discrimination of color. We have a red car. Now if the red car did not make the sound of its horn as soon as we turned on our automobile, then it would be considered an object, and not a stimuli. In the same way, if the stimulus which was the red car’s presence was not reinforced with a sound or a shape, then it would be considered an unrewarding stimuli.
For our example to be more applicable, we will now use our language examples. Take the following sentence: “The red car did make the sound of its horn last night, but you saw it did not have any paint.” The sentence has a definite instruction, which is that the sound made by the car must be loud enough to be heard by you and that it must be pleasing to your hearing. The stimuli which were the presence of the car and the presence of the stimulus which was the loudness of its sound were both reinforced with the prompt. So, we see that the stimulus control is a very important aspect of language and is indeed present in all languages, irrespective of the natural environment.
An example of an intervention can also be used, which will again be based on the language example
Let’s take the following sentence: “The baby cried after rolling over and four times during the night. We checked and found out that she had fallen asleep in her crib and we took her to her grandparents’ room. After 10 minutes she finally fell asleep on the bed.”
In this example we are using the word “crib” as a place of rest, and “grandparents’ room” as a room where the baby sleeps. The word “crib” is a strong conditioned reinforcer, since you want to go to sleep when you hear it; while the word “grandparents’ room” is not a strong conditioned reinforcer and so it does not require any modifications in behavior. This is how AA is used in the development of behavioral skills. By using AA as a discriminative stimulus, a child will learn to set aside different stimuli which might normally prompt a certain response.
In AA, the child will be reinforced for ignoring negative stimuli (the “crib” example) by receiving positive reinforcement, namely the use of an S-delta phase or another form of classical conditioning. With the use of S-delta phase, the specific salience of the stimulus is changed from its initial strength, into something significantly stronger (like a sound). Phrases like “what happens if I ignore the bad behavior?” or “what happens if I only give attention to the good behavior?”
The final example of discrimination, the unconditioning example, is the most difficult and potentially damaging to children with autism
As the name suggests, this example includes punishing children who exhibit certain behaviors based on previous experience. In this example, the child is not being treated unfairly, rather they are being subjected to prior experience, which precludes them from exhibiting the desired behavior based on that experience. For this reason, it is the last example of stimulus control and the use of classical conditioning as it is not feasible to use AA in this example due to the strong conditioning required for the behavior to occur.
In conclusion, we have presented an example of discrimination in the form of classical conditioning in the context of AA. Specifically, we discussed the role that conditioning and classical conditioning play in this example. We also talked about why conditioning might not work, what types of behavior can be considered as indicative of a particular behavior, and how the use of s-delta can be helpful in regulating these types of non-desired responses. Finally, we discussed how this particular example highlights the need for understanding the development of infants’ brains and how this can help in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders.