Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Arthur J. Looby


A verbal conditioning study was conducted in order to assess the effect of positive verbal reinforcement on the examinees' verbalization output and/or the individual scaled scores of the Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Similarities subtests of the WAIS. Twenty-seven female volunteer Ss were assigned to either a contingent reinforcement group, a random reinforcement group, or a non-reinforcement control group. A mixed design A.O.V. revealed no significant differences between treatment groups on the individual scaled scores of the subtests. An analysis of covariance for the composite of the three subtests scaled scores was also nonsignificant. A mixed design A.O.V. for the amount of verbalization to these three subtests revealed a significant treatment effect (P < .001), a significant subtest effect (P < .001), and significant treatmentxsubtest interaction on verbalization (P < .01). A Tukey test indicated that the contingent reinforcement treatment produced significantly more verbalization than either the random reinforcement treatment or the non-reinforcement control treatment (P < .05). Another Tukey test showed that the Vocabulary subtest yielded significantly more verbalizations than either the Comprehension, or the Similarities subtest (P < .05), and that the Comprehension subtest yielded significantly more verbalizations than the Similarities subtest (P < .05).

Included in

Psychology Commons