Jo Ann Weaver

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Previous research indicated that a past history of reinforcement affects perception, but conflicting data were found concerning the effect of punishment. These experiments were testing the theory of signal detection, which holds that a past history of reinforcement when linked with a signal makes perception of that signal more likely in the future. Eighty eight students from introductory psychology classes at the University of Richmond participated. Subjects looked at inkblots and made responses on a human operant apparatus. In Experiment 2 an analysis of variance revealed a significant difference in the perception of human forms in ambiguous inkblots after a past history of reinforcement. No significant difference was found on the individual categories or the overall rate of response from pretest to post test. Follow up research indicated was the use of a t-scope for the presentation of the inkblots.

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Psychology Commons