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An investigation of verbal events as motivating operations : the effects of mood induction on the reinforcing value of consequences

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11185

An investigation of verbal events as motivating operations : the effects of mood induction on the reinforcing value of consequences

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Title: An investigation of verbal events as motivating operations : the effects of mood induction on the reinforcing value of consequences
Author: Freund, Rachel
Advisor(s): Dougher, Michael
Committee Member(s): Smith, Bruce
Matthews, Dan
Copeland, Susan
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Psychology
Subject(s): IRAP
mood induction
motivating operation
consequential function
reinforcing value
implicit preferences
LC Subject(s): Verbal conditioning.
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Mood (Psychology)
Implicit learning.
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: This experimental study aimed to show the motivational effect of mood-altering verbal events on consequential functions through use of a within-subjects, repeated-measures design. Specifically, the effects of mood-induction on the self-reported value of various activities were investigated using explicit and implicit measurement. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) was used as an indirect measure of changes in the reinforcing value of pleasant and unpleasant cognitive activities after mood induction. Implicit assessment allowed for minimization of demand characteristics together with assessment of cognitive preferences that participants were unaware of or reluctant to report. Data from 30 university undergraduates were analyzed and predicted effects regarding the differential reinforcement value of pleasant and unpleasant overt and covert activities after positive and negative mood induction were demonstrated. Pleasant activities were more reinforcing after positive mood induction and less reinforcing after negative mood induction, when unpleasant activities increased in reinforcing value. Interestingly, participants’ explicit report of mood state was often incongruent with their explicit and implicit preferences for overt and covert activities. Specifically, many participants did not explicitly report a negative affective state after negative mood-induction procedures, but they nonetheless preferred pleasant activities less. The reinforcing value of pleasant and unpleasant activities changed regardless of the mood state reported, based on contact with verbal environmental events. Altogether, these findings support the claim that verbal mood-altering antecedent events can function to alter the reinforcing value of activities, thus contributing to existing evidence that they function as motivating operations. Additionally, this study underscores the importance of implicit assessment, and highlights the potential utility of the IRAP as a clinical tool.
Graduation Date: July 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11185

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