Introductory Concepts
Elementary Relationships
Extensions of Verbal Behavior
Multiple Controlling Relationships
Building on the Elementary Relationships

6.10 Establishing Operation vs. Discriminative Stimulus Part 2

Assume you have not had any water for 24 hours. The sign is dark and you wait quietly without pushing the button. The sign comes on, you push the button, and you get a bottle of water. The “water” sign is a discriminative stimulus (SD or SD) for pushing the button. Button pushing results in water only when the sign is on. You could push the button anytime, but you wait for the discriminative stimulus.

An image of a water vending machine showing operation.
A vending machine on a white background.
Not Working

Establishing Operation

An environmental change or event with the following features:

Precedes the response to which it is functionally related

Increases the effectiveness of a particular stimulus change as reinforcement

The type of environmental event

The cause of the environmental event

The type of stimulus that gains reinforcing effectiveness

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