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Author (up) Neuringer, A. doi  openurl
  Title Reinforced variability in animals and people: implications for adaptive action Type Journal Article
  Year 2004 Publication The American Psychologist Abbreviated Journal Am Psychol  
  Volume 59 Issue 9 Pages 891-906  
  Keywords Animals; Behavior, Animal; *Choice Behavior; Conditioning, Operant; Creativeness; Discrimination (Psychology); Humans; Memory; Problem Solving; *Reinforcement (Psychology)  
  Abstract Although reinforcement often leads to repetitive, even stereotyped responding, that is not a necessary outcome. When it depends on variations, reinforcement results in responding that is diverse, novel, indeed unpredictable, with distributions sometimes approaching those of a random process. This article reviews evidence for the powerful and precise control by reinforcement over behavioral variability, evidence obtained from human and animal-model studies, and implications of such control. For example, reinforcement of variability facilitates learning of complex new responses, aids problem solving, and may contribute to creativity. Depression and autism are characterized by abnormally repetitive behaviors, but individuals afflicted with such psychopathologies can learn to vary their behaviors when reinforced for so doing. And reinforced variability may help to solve a basic puzzle concerning the nature of voluntary action.  
  Address Department of Psychology, Reed College, Portland, OR 97202, USA.  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language English Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0003-066X ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes PMID:15584823 Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 4106  
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