7.7 Sample Relational Responses

Relational responding is quite common, and many different kinds of organisms have been shown to be capable of it1. Reinforcement often depends upon relational responding. In all of the scenarios below, the organism’s behavior is most likely to be reinforced if it is based on the relations among the available stimuli, rather than just their absolute properties.

A lion in tall grass.
A lion might have food to eat only if it learns to chase the slowest gazelle in a herd.
A woman walks past the Eiffel Tower on a foggy day in Paris, capturing RFT0707.
A frugal traveler can probably find cheaper lodging if they stay at a hotel that is further away from a popular tourist attraction.
A cockroach on a concrete floor.
A cockroach may be less likely to encounter pesticides or humans if it chooses to hide and nest in the darkest area of a house or room.
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