Inferred Functions of Performance and Learning by Siegfried Engelmann

By Siegfried Engelmann

This paintings may be of curiosity to numerous practitioners engaged in examining and growing habit: the ethnologist, the educational clothier, the training psychologist, the physiologist-neurobiologist, and especially the dressmaker of clever machines.

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If a particular visual impression is presented, it is superimposed on the map reflexively and compared reflexively. The result is a reflexively issued change in secondary sensations. 40 2. BASICS OF HARDWIRED SYSTEMS Termination Criteria. Just as the content map for the bee would logically require some sort of termination standard that is continuously compared with the current setting and updated as the setting changes, the content map for a simple behavior, such as approaching X, would need a variation of the same comparison process.

The system may be designed so that if the loudness of the reception exceeds a particular range, the secondary sensation of pain is added to the reception. Similarly, the brightness of visual receptions, the pressure of tactual presentations, and the level of a particular gustatory or olfactory stimulus all may be designed as variables that trigger the secondary sensation of pain. The reinforcing sensation is not a substitution or modification of the physical features of the reception. The reception of a particular sound is still in the class of auditory sensation that has specific, potentially discriminable features that make the reception recognizable as a horn blast, for instance.

In other words, it remains a function of reinforcing consequences. In exactly the same way, a nonlearned (hardwired) response that is shown to be a function of reinforcing consequences is not reflexive. The only difference between operant behavior that is based on a hardwired system and learned operant behavior is that the hardwired operant behavior is always driven by primary reinforcers—it is not learned or driven by secondary reinforcers. All the reinforcing provisions must be preestablished as part of the organism’s hardwired performance potential.

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